As many children in the Wilmington area head back to school next week, parents will be anxiously waiting to hear all about how the first day went. Our kids’ responses, however, might not be as filled with the exciting details and elaborate stories that we are hoping for, because children are often not specific when faced with a close-ended question. If you’ve ever asked your child in previous years how their school day was, you most likely remember the typical responses of fine, good, or OK. These one-word answers prevent the great conversations that we as parents delight in with our kids. The key to engaging children in deeper discussions about their experiences at school is to utilize open-ended questions as much as possible. Starting the habit early of changing the way we ask our kids about their day will accustom them to opening up as they grow older, as it is in the teenage years that children have the most difficulty sharing their thoughts and feelings with parents.
Here are 15 great conversation starters that you can use all year long to help elicit interesting talks with your kids about their days at school.
- What was the best thing that happened at school today?
- What was the worst thing that happened?
- Where is the coolest place at the school?
- What books did you read in class today?
- When were you bored today?
- What was the most interesting thing your teacher said today?
- When were you the happiest today?
- Who did you play with today? What kinds of games did you play?
- Tell me something that made you laugh today.
- Tell me one thing that you learned today.
- Who is the funniest person in your class? Why is he/she so funny?
- What class rules did your teacher say are important?
- How did you help somebody today?
- How did somebody help you today?
- Tell me a strange or silly word that you heard today. (Or something strange that someone said.)