As parents, we are interested in hearing about our child’s day at school. We want to make sure that they had fun playing sports during PE, that they had someone to sit with during lunch and most importantly, that they had a great day. However, getting kids to talk about school is not that easy, especially when you use the same old approach. Many parents make the mistake of asking the generic “how was school?” question that doesn’t really give them the answer that they want to hear.
Are you struggling when it comes to getting your children to open up to you about school? Here are some tips that you might find useful.
Greet them first
Asking kids right after school isn’t the best time if you want to hear the details about their school day. This may make them feel put on the spot or intimidated. Save your questioning for later. Instead, give your kids warm greetings when they arrive home. Let them relax before you ask about school specifically. Chat about other things not related to school or think about interesting conversation starters for that kids can relate to.
Let them bring up the subject of school
Conversations are usually easier when your child is the first to bring up the subject of school. Rather than asking right away, chit-chat with your kids first and see if they will start talking about school. This way, you won’t have to force the topic, and the conversation is going to flow more naturally.
Spend a few minutes each day to connect with your kids
Setting aside a few minutes daily for a “special time” with your children can help strengthen your connection with them. When you are bonded with your kids, it’s a lot easier for them to trust you with their thoughts and feelings. The more they trust you, the easier it will be for you to find out details about their day at school. They will feel more comfortable answering your questions and opening up to you about their experiences. It is also an excellent way for you to help your child feel that they are your highest priority, making them feel that they can count on you no matter what.
Share your day’s events
It is equally important that you share your own experiences with your kids. Talk to them about your friends, your day at work, your interests, if you had a great day, and so on. This is a perfect way to model how communication and conversation should be.
Know their daily schedule
A simple way to come up with the right questions to ask that will get your kids to share about school, is to take time to find out their school schedule. Be familiar with the activities they are scheduled to do during the week. Try to be aware of special events or activities at school. This way, when you ask your child about these events, it will lead them into opening up to you.
Ask specific and open ended questions
Rather than asking your child what they did at school or how their school day was, ask more specific questions that will give you a more specific response. Ask open-ended questions. Be creative with your approach. Instead, ask “what games did you play in PE today?” or “what was the most exciting classroom activity?” and so on. These questions will be interesting to your child because they will be talking about games, playing and activities. They will then be more likely to answer in length and even talk about their day.
Communicating effectively with your children may not be very easy, but you can use these tips to help you come up with the right approach. Looking for a preschool that focuses on your child’s holistic development? Please consider our Tampa preschool.