Your kids are gone from you the whole day and you are eager to hear about their day. Does this sound familiar in your household or car trip? What did you do today ... nothing. This answer drove me crazy as a teacher hearing my class walk out and answer with this to their parents. Hours outside of my school day preparing a lesson that my class would be so involved in and look like they were having a ball to not remembering it a few hours later. Now being the parent, it actually annoys me even more. Are my kids learning? Do they have any issues? Are they ok with their friends? Are they understanding what they are being taught? Are they happy? I want to know but I am getting nothing! I vowed never to be the parent that has their face smeared against the window stalking their kid before the bell goes. People please if you do this, trust me I get your desperation but from the other side of the window it's not a pretty sight for the teacher. It's distracting and you are possibly embarrassing your kid. Hang back from leaving lipstick marks on the window and I will give you some convo starters with your child that you can have instead of making your mind up by the look on your child's face that you may be mistaking for the fact he looks sad but is actually just tired. So don't start panicking yet. Don't you love that I'm a teacher as well!! I know I'm such a meany ;)
So before I give you the list of questions, you need this vital tip if you actually want to get some answers out of your child. You know when you work for a day and come home and you just need that five minutes buffer zone? Well why would kids be any different? If they come out of the class bursting with information then by all means start the conversation while it's there, but if not give them a minute to take a breather from their day. We usually get ourselves all in the car and I will either start up the questions when we are half way into our trip or when the kids are having their afternoon snack at home. Sometimes Jack looks like he's about to fall asleep in his car seat so I figure I'm not going to get much out of him then. Wait for their answer to finish before diving into the next one and don't come to any dramatic conclusions about something they have said (obviously if it is an issue that's different). Make your questions positive and try an avoid too many 'yes and no' answers because I promise most of them will be a no.
Here are some questions to try out with your kids and feel free to add some more in the comments section to help others and for me to add to my list! You will also need to change the wording of these questions depending on the age of your kids. Take note that I don't use words like 'favourite' and 'worst' because they might have not experienced this and will feel like they have to make something up to give you answer.
1. Tell me about your day?
2. What is something interesting you learned today?
3. What play did you do during your recess and lunch?
4. What was something you found a challenge today? (this can be in and out of the classroom)
5. What do you think you did great/good at today?
6. What is something you need to practice more? (you can suggest to follow up on this at home)
7. Did your teacher give you any comments about how you went today?
8. Is there anything you want to talk about from your day?
Conversation endings - Keep them positive, especially if they have had a tough day.
Like I always say, be your child's biggest fan!
© The Realistic Mum
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