By Rachel Wells
At the end of the day when you reunite with your child from after school pick up, programs, extracurricular activities, clubs, or sports, you most likely want to know what they have been up to.
If daily conversations with your child sound something like this, “How was your day today at school?” “Fine.” “What did you do today at school?” “Nothing.” it may be time to try something new.
Kids don’t often tell you a whole lot, but if you want to know a lot then maybe it’s time to change up your questions. Instead of asking questions that allow your child to answer with one word answers or with little detail, try some of the following options instead. Programs for students like Apollo After School, give teachers an opportunity to talk with your child and ask these types of questions as well, giving your child multiple opportunities to practice having meaningful conversations.
Hopefully after reading this you will find some alternative questions to get your child to open up and start an engaging conversation about what your kid actually did during the 8 hours they are away from you doing “nothing” and after school pick up. Next time your child comes home from school try asking them one or two of the following:
A lot more fun and detailed right? These questions don’t really open the door to one word answers, but instead act as a springboard to engaging, interesting, and more thorough conversation. Remember that once you get your child to open up in daily conversations like this, really take the time to listen and not interrupt. You want this to be the start of a new normal with your child actually telling you about their day and their life when they are away from you and talking about all those fun indoor activities for kids.
Make eye contact and react appropriately when your child is finished. Ask about your child’s feelings in regards to what they are sharing and about the feelings of others involved in their stories. Finally, thank your child for having such open and honest conversations with you. This should be a time to build trust and respect and strengthen your relationship together outside of after school pick up times. Acknowledge that you are always there for your child and willing to offer help, or just be a sounding board if that is what they need.