Every parent knows the feeling…
Dad: “How was your day at school?”
This post is to help you find a better way to talk to your kids after school about their day!
1) Start With The Best – Try asking your kid what the #1 best thing that happened at school was. Or ask for one cool thing that happened that day. One or two positive questions… and then leave it at that. Move on with the conversation, and then follow up again at dinner or later on in the evening. Encourage them for the one thing they shared with you. Show them that talking to you is a positive experience.
2) Don’t Overwhelm – Kids are tired after school, so don’t inundate them with questions about every detail of their day. And don’t ask big questions that can feel overwhelming. Always avoid these two: “So how was your day?” and “What did you do at school today?” Too much to handle!
3) Homework Time – Try sitting with your kids while they do their homework. While they do their schoolwork, you do your parent-work: bills, emails, etc. Share homework time together, and every once in a while, observe what they are working on or doodling about, and you’ll probably find out bits and pieces about their day.
4) Friends & Emotions – “Who did you sit with at lunch?” That’s a question about relationships. Kids don’t usually want to talk about academics, but if you can ask non-confrontative social-emotional questions, you might have better luck. Try: “Did anything funny happen during lunch?”
5) Be Specific – “Did you like the lunch I made you?” Specific questions spark conversations way better than general ones.
6) Tell The Story Again – If you end up having a good conversation with your kid on the way home from school, try bringing it up again during dinner. But remember: most kids don’t want to retell a story on command. Instead, turn to your wife and say: “Guess what Daniel told me about recess today!” Start telling the story, and your child might join in out of their own initiative.