Every day when we get back home, we are often greeted by “how was your day?” Whether you’re welcoming a young child or a teenager, the answer is usually a very brief “ok” and off they go to something else! With a few minor changes to your question, you might open the door to possibilities for more interesting conversations. Asking a more specific question regarding their day will be showing your child that you follow their daily challenges and accomplishments.
Here is a list of a few examples:
- How do you think you did on your math test today?
- How far did you get on the ( …story, project ) you started yesterday?
- Did you play with someone new during recess today?
- What are you working on in science now that unit … is over?
- What book did your teacher start reading today?
- Did your teacher read another chapter of the story ? What is happening now?
Trying to frame your question so that your child has to answer with a few more words than just a yes or a no will help you move the conversation along. Your conversation might give you an opportunity to recount an anecdote that happened to you when you were that age! Using a piece of art that you find in their school bag to start your conversation is also a good idea. Your child will have many more details to tell you about how this piece was created such as how hard or easy it was or how much he / she liked doing this kind of work. A paper written in French would also be interesting but don’t ask your child to translate it for you! Your child already did the work!! Instead turn the conversation to the fact that you like to write or the difficulties you experience yourself when writing. Using open ended questions might also open the door for a conversation on another topic that you would not have thought of when you asked that question or your child might engage in recounting some events that happened during the day!
Be ready to listen when your child comes with a question or a comment. Children don’t keep it for the scheduled dinner conversation ! Connecting with your child on a daily or regular basis is key. As for anyone else, there will be days when there is more for them to talk about than others, but knowing that you as a parent are available is important for them.
Here are some great prompts to start the conversation with:
Here are some articles on the topic that you may find interesting: