Your Children, and How to Ask Questions About Their Day
Talking with your kids about school is one of the best ways to engage them and to make their day a part of yours. It is also a great way to start a dialogue that typically carries into other areas of their lives, their thoughts, their dreams and ambitions, and into many other dimensions of their simple yet complex lives.
Asking the right type of question is key. Questions should not be asked such that a YES, NO or O.K. would suffice as an answer.
Don’t ask …
- Did you have a nice day?
- Was school fun today?
- Did you see your friend “Timmy”?
- Did anything funny happen today?
Ask questions that span a variety of topic and emotional curves. Ask about things that are of interest to them and investigate multiple sides of the topic…
- What was the funniest thing that you saw today? Or, what was the saddest things you saw today?
- What was the best thing that happened at school today? Or, what was the worst thing that happened at school today?
- What “New” thing did you learn today? What “old” thing did you do again, and do you feel better and faster doing it?
- Tell me about the project you worked on. Who was involved and what did each of them do?
Ask about specific people …
- If you could choose, whom would you like to sit by in class? Whom would you NOT want to sit by in class? Why?
- How did you help somebody today? How did someone help you?
- What did you and Sally/Timmy do? Tell me about the game/play time rules? Show me how to play that game?
Time your questions so that they fall within time windows where a conversation could transpire.
- Ask question when driving to and from somewhere.
- Ask questions at dinner. One great reason to have family meals with the TV off.
- Don’t ask as they're running out to play.
- Don’t ask as they're about to do their chores, or when it’s time for them to play, unless you're helping in the play or chores.
In short, children are great conversationalist once you get them going. It is up to us to ignite the fires of discourse and to bond with your children, through talking.
Here is a simple link to get you started. As you look through the sample questions, keep in mind the above set of rules.
Have fun and meet your children.