PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA
By SHEENA TATUM
Courtesy of sophistishe.com
“Did you do anything exciting?” “No, not really.”
Does this conversation sound familiar to you? If so, you’re not alone!
Most kids will answer with one word when asked how school was: good, fine, and if they maybe want to talk about it, they’ll say it was “terrible” or “great” which will probe you to ask for details.
Want to start a real conversation? Ask open-ended questions that can’t really be answered with a yes or a no, or one word. When you give them the option to just say “yes” or “no”, they’ll usually take it.
Especially as kids get older, we have to get creative! There are 6 questions to ask your kids when they come home from school with a printable worksheet you can download from www.sophistishe.com/what-to-ask-your-kids- after-school/.
Hello creativity! While you’re at it, grab a snack! After all, you’ll probably get better answers from a kid well-fed.
Tell me something good that happened today. Okay, so this one isn’t an actual question so we won’t count it, but it’s a great way to start an open conversation without the kids feeling like you’re “drilling” them.
An alternative would be “What was the best part of your day?”.
What’d you learn in (favorite subject) today? What’s your child’s favorite subject? Asking them to talk about it will get them to open up – hopefully – because it is fun for them! They want to tell you what they learned, what they will be learning, how awesome their teacher is, and more.
What’d you have for lunch? I like to ask this just to make sure (my son) Jayden’s eating on days we don’t pack his lunch. Most of the time he forgets what he had! If you have little ones, ask about snack time, too.
What games did you play at recess? I don’t know about your kids but Jayden’s always excited about basketball and the swings.
What’s the weirdest thing someone said today? Best way to get the giggles flowing? Ask about anything weird that happened at school today! Maybe they’re the ones that did something weird.
Which rule was the hardest to follow today? Man oh man, rules are difficult to follow sometimes! This is a great question to ask about their behavior without them feeling like they’re seconds away from losing Kindle privileges. What was the toughest part of your day today? How will tomorrow be better? Sometimes even if it was a good day, there were things that happened at school that your kids will want to vent about. Letting them vent in a safe space at home rather than bottling it up and lashing out at school can help prevent problems down the road.
Asking your kids questions when they get home from school is important, and not just for the reasons you might think. Yes, it’s important from a bonding and interaction standpoint but it’s also important to detect things that could be going on.
A lot of the time if a child is being bullied or struggling in school they won’t come right out to their parents and say so. Get- ting a conversation going rather than asking if they’re struggling will get you better results.
And what better way to start an after school dialogue than over snacks? I grabbed these snacks from CVS: some veggie chips, kettle corn, Greek yogurt covered raisins, more of the fruit snack bars from Gold Emblem abound and Annie’s cookie bites.
Sheena Tatum is a self-described: introverted free-spirit and serial dreamer obsessed with all things tropical and care- free. She loves inspiring others to live wholly and find beauty in the mundane. She married her
Jr. High sweetheart and together, they raise ‘three tiny humans’ in NW Indiana. According to Tatum, “I don’t always get it right, but I’ll keep trying anyway. To contact her email: email@example.com. For more advice and ideas: visit www.sophistihe.com
PLEASE NOTE: This article has been edited for brevity and clarity.