Talking With Your Children About Their Day
There are so many wonderful things that happen in a Kiddie Academy® early learning school, and as parents, we’re excited to find out everything we can about our child’s day. So, when we ask them, “What did you do in school today?” and all they say in return is, “Nothing,” it’s disappointing.
“Sometimes parents have higher expectations for answers than kids want to give,” said Kiddie Academy’s Director of Training, Sandra Graham. “Sometimes a child simply doesn’t want to talk much.”
If you want to talk with your child instead of just talking to them, Graham suggests taking advantage of all the resources Kiddie Academy has to let parents connect to their children’s day to help you come up with a better way to start the conversation. “Ask questions that are related to something your child did during the day. We have the AcademyLink® App whereby our teachers send out daily reports and lots of pictures of activities their children are doing. You can use this information to ask about a certain activity or about a friend you know they’ve played with during the day.”
Most experts say that if you want better answers, ask better questions. Here are some tips on how you can do that:
Ask questions that require more than “Yes” or “No” answers. “The best way to get your kids to open up is to use open ended questions,” says Richard Peterson, Vice President of Education at Kiddie Academy. “Open-ended questions often begin with: why, what, who and how.
Focus on a specific thing they did that day. Since younger children don’t really have a concept of time, you can ask for specific details that will help narrow down the day. “Will you sing me a song that you learned at school today?” “What math games did you play today?”
Avoid face-to-face interrogations. Try not to make your child feel like they’re being grilled about their day. It might work better to ask about their day while you’re in the car, while you’re making dinner or during their bath time.
Make it fun. Ask them to tell you about a funny thing that happened, what they did during playtime or who they sat with at lunch.
So don’t get discouraged when you get a one-word answer about their day. Sometimes it just takes a little finesse on your part to get them to open up.
Here are some additional resources for you:
“Talking with Kids About School,” PBS.org
“Talking Strategies,” PBS.org
“How to Say It: Better Questions to Ask Your Child About School,” Understood.org
Thank you for reading along, as we work together in raising the next generation of amazing kids!
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