"How was school today?"
The question we often ask our children in the afternoons is “How was your day?” Sometimes we might be granted with a shrug or a grunt and at other times it is an invitation for our child to pick out the worst thing that happened among all the many great things that happened that day.
Sometimes, to get a different answer we need to ask a different question. Try some of these and notice if the after school conversation changes:
What was the best part of your day?
How were you challenged today?
Tell me something strange or funny that you learned today.
If I called your teacher, what do you think he or she would tell me about you?
How was someone kind to you today?
What game did you play during recess?
Did you say or do anything you regret?
Tell me about something kind you did today?
Was there a question you would have liked to ask your teacher today? What might the answer have been?
Was there a time when you were very proud of yourself today?
If your child has had a rough day, it’s not always your job to jump in and fix it for them. Assist them to find their own solutions to problems with some different questions. You could ask, “What did you do to help the situation improve?” or “What might you try next time?”
Then again, just listening and showing empathy is often enough.