Some kids can’t get enough of discussing their day in school. If something is bothering them, like being bullied or having trouble in school, getting them to disclose even a few things about their day can feel like pulling teeth.
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There are methods to ask questions that can encourage rather than discourage conversation with a shy or private child.
Some suggestions for encouraging your children to talk about their school day
1. Discuss your kid’s favorite things or interests
You can get a child talking by focusing on something they are interested in, such as their lunchtime meal, best friend, or even favorite teacher. From there, you can inquire about their break activities and interests, such as the books they read and the friends they made.
2. Be patient and provide your child with some space
It’s OK if your little one isn’t ready to open up to you immediately. Don’t grill your children with questions right after they return home from school or a social function. Instead, try to concentrate on having pleasant exchanges with them.
You can create an inviting and enjoyable atmosphere by starting with a friendly hello or even a treat. Allow them to play a board game or watch a short TV program with them. Patience is necessary if you want information from your children.
3. Sharing your day
Children absorb what they see. Sharing the specifics of your day is a great way to teach your children about communication. When you describe your day using more than a single word, kids will follow suit. When your kid comes home from school and asks you about your day, you know you’ve done a good job.
4. Have conversations over meals
It is nice to know that the family gathered around the dinner table is a secure place to vent about one’s day. Kids will learn that this is a safe space for sharing their thoughts and feelings if their parents do the same.
5. You shouldn’t dive right into the questions
After a full day of school, it’s normal for kids to feel exhausted. Consider how much time people spend alone, responsible for their own well-being. They were not in a familiar environment where you could anticipate and meet their every need.
A good chat starter is to share some details about your day. Additionally, you may discuss other noteworthy events, such as reconnecting with a long-lost acquaintance or receiving a well-deserved promotion at work.
You can start a conversation with your child if you don’t bombard them with questions about their day and instead focus on your own.
6. Be a good listener
One of the most crucial steps is simply listening to what’s being said. Don’t cut in while your kid is telling you a detailed account of their day. Pay close attention to what they’re saying, even if it seems unrelated to the question you posed.
After they have finished telling you their story, be prepared with a couple of questions to indicate that you have been paying attention. The trick is to encourage your child to talk about their day without making them feel insignificant.
It may take some time and practice to perfect these verbal abilities. Keep asking your child direct questions, showing genuine attention, and making it a point to listen to what they have to say.
7. Know your child’s schedule
You may be wondering where to find inspiration. Knowing their schedule is a lot simpler than you might imagine. Take note of the days of the week on which they have classes. Recognize when a major assignment is due and keep in mind the week’s science class.
Inquire as to how their presentation went or what game they participated in during PE. They are more likely to remember the particulars and share them with you if you refer to specific occurrences in their schedule.
8. Talk while doing
Some children (particularly boys) are more talkative while engaged in pleasurable activities like constructing Lego, painting, or eating ice cream.
Transitions and multitasking make it more challenging to carry on a conversation (think: making lunch, getting in and out of your car, walking from the school to the parking lot). Instead, ask questions that are both easy and thought-provoking.
Do not ask any tough questions until you’re comfortable in your own home. As a parent, you might say, “I’m so pleased to see you!” to your child. Tell me about your day; I’m dying to know.
Suggestions for Effective Child-Parent Interaction
Although every child is unique, there are some general guidelines that you can apply in most cases.
- Be inventive
Inquire more if your kid brings home a finished artwork or if you discover them perusing an article online or in a book. Don’t pass up these simple chances to make a deeper connection with your child.
- Model open communication
Talking to someone is a mutual experience. Your child is less likely to be emotionally open if you don’t model that behavior yourself. Tell the truth about your life, including your friends, success, work, challenges, and interests. Get your child learn that communicating their feelings and thoughts is a skill for day to day living
- Memorize their class schedule
Children who are still developing conversation skills may be bashful or uncertain if a question is too unclear, while many teenagers would prefer to avoid talking to adults. Knowing your child’s daily schedule will allow you to ask them questions regarding their school day.
- Schedule frequent times to chat
It’s important to set aside time each week for conversations with your child as they gain independence.
One approach to staying connected and giving kids a pattern they can rely on is to have frequently scheduled game nights, family dinners, or other particular times to reconnect—where laptops and smartphones stay out of sight.
- Avoiding yes-or-no questions
There is no faster way to end a conversation than when your child’s answer is either a yes or a no. Instead, try starting a sustainable dialogue with some wide-open inquiries.
Finding more conversational question wording for your child will help you hear more of what they have to say. But don’t assume that every question will be met with a lengthy explanation.
The idea is to have casual exchanges over time. Finding unforced opportunities to converse, such as during a meal, is helpful.
Children are still very much like adults, and like adults, there are moments when we just don’t feel like communicating.
Learning when to put your queries on hold until later is important. To get an answer to an urgent or serious question, you should be straightforward and clear in your questioning.