Asking your kids about school may be one of the first things you do as soon as they get home. However, starting a conversation with your child about school is not that easy. As parents, we tend to forget that our kids had to deal with several activities during their day at school. Bombarding them with questions when they arrive home may not be the best way to get them to open up.
Do you need help to get your kids talking about school? Here are some helpful tips to try.
Let them wind down
Most kids tend to get defensive when you immediately ask them about school as soon as they get home. So don’t rush, instead, give them a warm greeting when they arrive home. Let them get as comfortable as possible. Instead of starting with questions about school, ask about other interests that they have to get them in the talking mood.
As soon as the kids start talking about random stuff, just listen to see if they are going to share some things about school. It is always better if they are the ones to bring up the subject. And when they do, take the opportunity to ask them about their day in school.
Go beyond “how was school?”
When you get a chance to ask your child about school, make sure that you skip “how was school?” or “how was your day?” This question will typically give you “fine” or “nothing” for an answer. There are alternative questions you can ask children to get them to share their day. For example, ask “who did you have lunch with?” or “what games did you play during your P.E. time?” You can be as creative as you want when it comes to asking the right questions. Try open-ended that can’t be answered by a simple yes or no.
Learn about your child’s activities
To help you start conversations, it helps if you know your child’s schedules and activities. Keep up with the various activities they do each day of the week. Get to know their teachers, their classmates and the events in school. If they have a school website, take time to visit the site to find out the latest updates and happenings. This will also give you more information about upcoming events. The more you know, the easier it will be for you to come up with better questions. For example, if there is an important celebration coming up next week, ask your child how they plan to dress up for the event. Absorb the information so you can use your child’s answer for follow up discussions.
When your kids start sharing about school, listen to them and give your full attention. Pay close attention to the things they are sharing with you. Show them that you are interested in every detail they share. Don’t react right away, and allow them to talk. Make them feel comfortable about being open about anything. This way, they won’t fear or hesitate to talk to you again.
Encourage problem solving
School can be challenging for kids sometimes. When they talk to you about challenges they encountered during school, guide their thinking instead of prescribing solutions. Children need to learn how to solve problems without you at a young age giveing them independence. So guide them and test their problem solving skills by asking situational questions and giving examples of possible scenarios. Let them come up with the solution on their own.
Learning how to effectively communicate with your child about their school day is possible. Hopefully, these tips will make it a bit easier for you. Looking for a preschool that will focus on your child’s holistic development? Please consider our Phoenix preschool.