Asking the kids questions and trying to engage them everyday after school is a great way to reconnect after a long day apart and this is not as easy you are reading it right now. Many parents get tired of hearing the word ‘’Fine“, ‘’Nothing’’ and other single syllable responses that may not really elicit further questions.
Yes, one-word answers don’t foster a good discussion, and they certainly don’t help us reconnect with our kids after a long day apart from each other. Reconnecting can really be beneficial to us as parents because it helps to figure out their struggles at every point in time. More importantly, Talking about school daily is a great opportunity for you to get insights into any problems like bullying, school anxiety, friendship challenges and more and you may not get all the details you need when all you get for a response is “Fine and Nothing”
So, what kind of questions can you ask to get the kids talking?
The truth is that Children do love to talk about a lot of things including the ones that may not interest you as a matter of fact. Sometimes, the magic happens through a little bit of prompting after creating a relaxed and welcoming environment to get the conversation going.
Here is a list of questions to help you have a productive discussion with your little one
- Ask what was your favourite part about school today instead of asking how was school today? This is a more open-ended question than asking ‘’How was school today”? At least 80 percent of kids would say fine when ask this as against when the question is a probing one.
- Ask what’s the most interesting thing you heard at school today? This kind of question has the tendency of immersing your kids in the conversation. The answers may not be readily available, so they engage in a little bit of brain wave to recap all that happened thereby getting them involved while you also get richer information.
- Ask if you could change just ONE thing about school, what would that be? This can as well work like magic as it helps you get a glimpse of your child’s perception about school. It can get your kids talking about their likes and dislikes while giving you clues about whether they are getting value for the money you are spending or not. It can also inform your decision about whether to meet with the teacher or the school authority to make some suggestions that can better improve their interest in school or consider changing school.
- Ask which assignment/activity did you feel most confident about today? This can easily help you travel through their mind to understand their strengths and passions. If your child frequently mentions how interesting a particular sport he/she participated in was, or if he tells you how the teacher asked the rest of the class to applaud him/her after getting a question right, then you easily tell where their strength is tilting towards.
- When I went to school there were some kids that were a bit mean, teasing and such…have you noticed anything like that at your school? This is just your sure way to find out if your kids are experiencing some form of bully in school which can quickly help you find a way to salvage the situation.
Encouraging kids to talk about school gives parents the opportunity to be present in the lives of their little ones and helps to discover how they are doing at school, adjusting, and learning. If you need to build some bond and trust and foster corporation, this is just one way to set the ball rolling.
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