All parents know that at the end of the day the last thing their children want to do is talk about their day at school. However, it’s important for parents to know what their kids are doing at school and how they feel about school. It’s also important for kids to talk about their day and share their feelings. These tips can help you get your kids to open up about their school day.
- Avoid asking “How was school today?”— If you want to start a conversation, quit asking this boring and expected question. Ask more specific questions, such as “Who did you sit with at lunch today?” These types of questions will help your children focus on one aspect of their day, rather than their day as a whole.
- Use Artwork or Schoolwork as Conversation Starters— When kids bring home their masterpieces from art class or a completed assignment, take the time to look them over and make observations about them to your child. Simple comments or questions will encourage your child to share more details with you.
- Talk About Your Day— Do you want to hear what your child’s favorite part of his or her day was? Start by talking about your day and modeling what you want to hear. After hearing your stories, your child will better be able to relate to you and share a similar story.
- Stop to Actually Listen— It’s important to actually put everything else aside to listen to your child without any distractions. Stop cleaning the dishes and sit down with your child to have a real one-on-one conversation. This time will show your children that what they are saying is important to you. When you’re not distracted, you will also be more aware of your children’s feelings and how they really feel about school, giving you the chance to extend the conversation and dialogue.
- Stay In-the-Know— Read the school newsletters and everything else your children bring home from school. Stay updated on what’s going on in their daily lives and what’s on their schedules. Being involved will help you better understand your child’s life and therefore help you stay connected to your child.
Each child is different and will respond in different ways. Learn what helps your children open up and what causes them to shut down. When does your child talk the most about his or her day, and how do you fuel the conversation?