Hooray school is back in session and parents couldn’t be happier. Yes, children are amazing, and the summer was great but I’m sure we are all thankful that they are now in school for the majority of the day. Because of that, we miss out on a huge chunk of their day, and most times when we ask how their day was, we get a dull “it was good” response and off they go. In today’s blog, I’m going to share with you my tips for getting school-aged children to open up about their day.
Don’t bombard them
For a minute imagine that you just got off work and have successfully made it through your heavy commute and now you walk into your home and boom, each of your children has surrounded you and now you’ve just clocked into job #2. Well maybe you don’t have to imagine it, that’s probably your everyday life. But wouldn’t it be nice to have a least 5-10 minutes to yourself to wind down before engaging with your family. I’d encourage you to carve out that time for yourself at least twice a week. But in simple, don’t ask children how their day went as soon as they get in.
When it comes to asking children about their day, I’d suggest waiting at least 15-20 minutes after they arrive home. In the meantime, you can keep conversation normal, and even assist them in making an after-school snack.
Switch it up
Most of the time when we ask children about their day, we literally say “How was your day today?” Now in the first couple of days, when school has recently started back, we might get more thought out response just because everything is so fresh. Eventually, it becomes a routine and children may feel less enthused to provide more specific recounts from their day. So, we should switch up our questions to keep them on their toes.
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Add more detail
A great way to switch up our questions is to add more detail. Instead of asking them if they had a good day today try asking “what was the funniest part of your day today?” “Did anything silly happen today?” “What was the most interesting thing you learned today?”
Make it conversational
Sometimes we can get into the motion, after asking about their day, and receiving a response boom the conversation is over. Try responding back at least twice before moving on to something else. This is a great time to practice active listening.
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Mix it in
This is especially important for children who are reluctant, ask them about their day while engaging in a card game or while both of you are completing a chore or doing a similar task. Sometimes children can feel “put on the spot”, and you may get a short answer just because of that. Try asking when they are busy with their hands, prepping a snack or playing a card/board game.
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