I remember every time my parents asked me how my day was at school. I would just say,
“Yeah, it was okay”.
“It was good”.
I would just give them a very short reply to get through with the questions because I felt they were just asking for the sake of showing interest.
Whereas now do I realize that they were genuinely interested to know more about my progress with studies, difficulties at school, interest in sports, my lunch time and much more.
But I was surprised to learn that they felt I was not interested in sharing my world with them and I was assuming that they weren’t interested to know my world.
And I thought if I’m going to have to make my child talk his heart out, how can I ask questions in a way that are “interesting” enough to get him/her talking.
Here is a list of some questions that I think might get the conversation rolling:
- Which activity at school today did you find very interesting? (less interesting?)
- Did you play any games during break or lunch time?
- What did your friends have for lunch today?
- What would you like to forget about from today?
- Did you give or receive any compliments today?
- Who got into trouble today?
- What was the hardest part of your day today?
- What’s your favorite time at school?
- Who did you sit by at lunch today? What did you talk about?
- Tell me something that was funny and made you laugh today.
- Which kid at school would you like to know better?
- What made you feel happy today? (Sad, confused, bored?)
- Which subject do you wish you didn’t have to learn at all?
- Did you get to help someone today?
- What do you wish your teacher could have done something differently today?
- Did you learn anything new today? What was it?
- Which of your friends do you like the most? And why?
- What challenged you at school today?
- Are there times when you feel left out?
- Tell me one thing that made you feel smart and confident.
And once your child starts talking, you can build on the communication by adding more intriguing phrases like:
- Oh, really?
- Tell me more about it.
- Wow. I’d like to hear more about your experience.
- Why did that happen?
- How’d that make you feel?
I’m sure now that you know, you will be able to build the conversations longer.
But just to make it more interesting and supportive for your child, try avoiding to add any kind of judgement or opinions and give them the space to share their feelings, ideas, emotions, curiosity and their fears.