Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How Was School Today? How I Got My Kids to Talk to Me.

My son is currently finishing up first grade while my daughter is in the last few days of 3K at the same school.  Each day I picked them up I would ask the same questions:  How was school today?  What did you do?  These questions always resulted in the same answers from both of them:  Fine. I don't know/nothing.

So I decided to change it up a little and ask them to tell me three things about their day.  It always resulted in the same answers, "I got a _____ in conduct," "I ate ____ for lunch,"  and "I worked on _____."  That third one was the only one that was news to me because they always brought home a sheet telling me about their daily conduct, and I packed their lunches.

So this was a good start, but not really the deep, meaningful conversation filled with delight and variety that I was looking for.

Time to change it up again.

So now I ask them each the following question:  Tell me a way today that you 1.) worked, 2.) played, and 3.) helped.

This finally gets me the answers I am looking for!  These are things I want to hear about their day and the answers usually give me enough information that I can delve further in with questions about details.  And if I start getting the same answers day after day, I ask for a different answer ("you've told me that three days in a row now; please give me another example").

It works great with my son and my daughter is picking up on it, although her definition of "helping" is not usually what I'm looking for ("I helped my friends by coming to look at something when they called me.").

What about you?  Do you have this same problem with your kids?  Have you found a solution that works for your family? 

Posted as part of Works for Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family.  Check out the other great tips from other great blogs!