I'm participating in the Blogher NaBloPoMo for March and one of this week's prompts is:…
These tips and after school conversation starters will help you to get your kids to talk about school.
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Sometimes (ok maybe all the time) it can hard to get your kids to open up about their day at school.
It’s almost like they’ve spent the day in a vast empty vacuum of nothingness.
Maybe the bus is really an alien space ship that erases their brain?
I mean, what else could explain the fact that they never know what they did that day?
It’s gotta be an alien or Zombie take-over, right?
It’s really just the fact that when we ask “How was your day?” we’re looking for a summary.
We want all the highlights, the latest and greatest, the best scoop.
But what kids hear is literally “How was your day?” So they tell us “Oh it was fine.”
And we have to remember, schools are working kids pretty hard these days, so when they get home, they need some time to decompress—just like adults do when we get home from work.
So how do we solve this? How do we open up that vault of mysterious school happenings?
How to Get Your kids to Talk About School
Think about your Goal
What do you really want to know?
If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking “I WANNA KNOW EVERYTHING! I want the same level of detail as seen in my favorite reality shows! I want to be a fly on the wall. I want it ALL!”
But kids don’t work that way. You’ve got to start small and Be Specific.
So let’s try again.
What’s the MOST important thing you really want to know?
Ask them about THAT in a FUN way first, and then tidbits about the rest of the day will start to trickle out.
And the chatty-Cathy’s that can’t stop talking about “Raven’s Home” (or whatever their fave TV show is) will soon be chitter-chattering about their day in no time!
Start at the End of the Day and Go Backwards
I usually start with the bus ride since it’s fresh on their mind. But if you’re kids don’t ride the bus, you can also try and open the floodgates with some fun questions (keep reading for those).
The bus ride itself is ALWAYS a great conversation starter. Since they love to take the bus, they’re usually always bubbling over with stories.
Here are Bus-Related Questions to Get You Started:
- Who did you sit next to on the bus?
- What did you guys talk about?
- Did everyone behave on the bus today?
- Did you see anything interesting?
(My girls love to tell me stories about things they see out the bus window. I actually find out lots of good info on the goings-on around our neighborhood!)Asking about the bus ride is a great way to start afterschool conversations with your kids. Read more. Click To Tweet
Here are Fun/Silly Questions to Get the Conversations Going:
- What was the funniest thing you saw today?
- What was the funniest thing you learned?
- Did you hear any good jokes?
- What was your favorite part of the day? ….then Why?
- What was the best part about recess?
- Who did you play with at recess?
Then we get inside and have a snack.
Once they’ve got some yummy sustanence in them, then I pounce with the specific questions.
Here are some sample questions that are more specific:
- How did your spelling test go?
- Did you do anything thrilling in STEM?
- Did you visit the STEM garden?
- Did you write any stories?
- What take-home book did you bring home?
- Did you participate in any class discussions (ie: answer any questions)?
- What answers did you share?
(My older daughter loves history and science and always contributes interesting facts during those discussions. I like to hear the fascinating fact she comes up with.)
For more great tips on after school conversations with kids, check out these great resources:
PBS.Org “Talking with Kids about School” This article has four different topic areas including tips for different ages and stages. Definitely a good read.
Questions for Kids: This is a great app that will send really creative conversation starter questions to your phone or Facebook account. These aren’t specifically for after school, but they’re really silly and fun. For example: “If you had a magic bicycle what powers would it have?”
Visit Latitudes.org for more even more conversation starters like this one here.
How do you like to start conversations with kids? Or is a struggle for you too? Share your thoughts below.
And as always…remember to Celebrate the Cocktail of Life!
Tell Your Story-Live Creatively
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HI! I’m a Shana, self-proclaimed Media Mixologist, wife, and mom to two little girls. I love to mix up cocktails of crafts, recipes, wellness, family and business with just the right amount of sparkle to help you shine everyday. So, grab a glass, and let’s celebrate the cocktail of life!