Creative Child

10 New Ways to Ask Your Kid, “How Was School Today?”

by Mary Reckmeyer

“How was school today?”

As parents, we ask our kids this question every day. Depending on their personality, they might respond with nothing more than “fine” and maybe a sigh.

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We ask this question to start a conversation with our kids so we can learn about the ins and outs and ups and downs of their day. But on most days, getting more than a bland response out of this generic question is probably not going to happen.

So how can we, as parents, really know how our kids are doing emotionally and socially if they won’t talk? And what questions should we ask to strengthen our connection with our children while they are growing up and becoming more independent?

Listening and Asking the Right Questions

One parent was concerned about her daughter, Carolyn, who was in fifth grade. Carolyn had a bright, bubbly personality at school and many friends. But when Carolyn came home from school, she would transform into a melancholy clump slumped in a chair.

I encouraged Carolyn’s mom to dig a little deeper than the one-size-fits-all “how was your day” question. When she did, she found out that Carolyn naturally had a lot of empathy and felt the weight of the world on her shoulders. She was bearing the burden of all her friends’ problems.

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Now instead of asking only about Carolyn’s day and wondering why she wasn’t happy, her mom knew that she needed to ask Carolyn about her friends, too. Carolyn needed to unburden herself from the day.

Appreciating Your Children’s Natural Talents 

When asking your children about their day — even if it’s a quick conversation in the car, at dinner, or bedtime — knowing their unique talents will help you guide the discussion into deeper territory. Get your kids talking, and show them that you listen and appreciate them for who they are.

Tips and conversation jump starters on page 2...

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