How many times have you had this conversation with your school age kids…
Hi honey! How was your day?
Kid – Fine, Good, Ok
You – What did you do today?
Kid – I don’t know. Nothing
You – Did you learn anything new?
Kid – No
It is by far the most frustrating conversation to have! I don’t think it can actually be categorized as a conversation. More like sheer torture.
When Ellie first started Pre-School everyday I would ask her “So what did you learn today?” Her answer was always the same “My ABC’s.” I would then reply “Anything else?” To which she would respond “Nope.” UGH!
So how does one start a conversation with a kid?
Last year when Ellie started Kindergarten her teacher actually told us almost immediately not to ask “those” questions. All it does is frustrate you and in return frustrate your little one. She suggested that we be more specific in our questioning.
What good book did your teacher read to you in class today?
This is something specific they can answer. To which you can reply “What did you like about it” or “Which Character was your favorite?”
Don’t forget developing their social skills are just as important! Ask about the social part of their day as well.
Who did you sit beside at lunch?
Here are some of my favorite questions.
I’ll admit when we started there were a few of the social questions that I would still get the “I don’t know” response. Now that I’m asking her these questions frequently it has her thinking about her responses and her actions through out the day. More times than not Ellie will now jump in the car to let me know she said something nice to a friend. From there the conversation blossoms!
Once your child gets older you can add more in-depth question, but start with the easy to answer question first.
What was the best part of your day?
Did you have a test today? How did you feel about it?
There’s always a best part, even if they say lunch. I normally follow up with “What was the best educational part of your day?”
What do you hope to do tomorrow?
What are you looking forward to learning?
I have a challenge for you. Try this for one week and let me know what kind of responses you get. I’d love to see if it helps you as much as it helped me.