We may spend hours with our families, but how much of that time is actually spent making our connection stronger?
Work, school, after-school activities, and friends can make for busy days…it’s understandable to feel like time is slipping away.
The everyday-ness of conversation in my house tends to be of the “Who ate all the cookies?” or “There is an amnesty period of exactly seven-and-a-half minutes for whomever returns my nail clippers to their proper location” variety.
Don’t be like us.
Ask questions that go to the heart of the matter, that really check in with your kiddos and let them know you are interested in them, and their happiness.
Why Do These Specific Questions Work?
Dana Basu, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist, tells Verywell Family that open-ended questions might cause confusion in children. However, you can help them by asking how they felt or what they did that day.
“I love asking my kids specific questions about their school day, which helps point their attention to specific moments,” Dr. Basu says. “I find that this allows them to be better able to recall stories and moments from their day.”
This is because scientists believe young children have a hard time distinguishing between what actually occurred and what they wish had happened. Asking specific questions helps your child focus on actual events instead of generalities.
My Kid Answered The Question. Now What?
Northstate Parent says that when you ask your child an open-ended question, be sure to allow enough time for your child to think about the question and string together an answer.
Make sure to use active listening skills like making eye contact and repeating their or phrases. You can say, “I heard you say…” “Did you mean…?” “Are you saying?…”
After your child answers you can widen the conversation with “Tell me more about…” or “What else…?”
CNBC recommends A.C.T. for small talk, and I think it would transfer to the relationship with our kiddos as well. That’s Authenticity, Connections, and conversations that show your kiddos a Taste of how your day went.
Mega Publisher Scholastic Recommends These Questions
Tell me about the best part of your day.
What was the hardest thing you had to do today?
Did any of your classmates do anything funny?
Tell me about what you read in class.
Who did you play with today? What did you play?
Do you think math [or any subject] is too easy or too hard?
What’s the biggest difference between this year and last year?
What rules are different at school than our rules at home? Do you think they’re fair?
Who did you sit with at lunch?
Can you show me something you learned (or did) today?
My Life And Kids Offers Its Own Set Of Questions For Younger Children
What did [INSERT TEACHER’S NAME / FRIEND’S NAME / PRINCIPAL’S NAME HERE] say today?
What color were your teacher’s shoes today?
Did anything scare you at school today?
What made you laugh today?
Who did you sit with at lunch? Who did you play with at recess?
Are any of your classmates having a hard time lately?
Questions For Preschoolers From Today’s Parent
Was today a good day or a bad day?
What did you like better today: snack time or circle time?
Who did you play with today?
Verywell Family Recommends Making It A Game
‘High/Low’: Everyone goes around the table (or car) and says their high and low points of the day.
“Would you rather?”: Ask your kids questions that can be as serious or as silly as you like.
It can range from “Which is better, ice cream or donuts?” or “Would you rather have a lower paying job with unlimited vacation or a higher paying job with two weeks of vacation a year?”
What do you think about these questions to ask kids? Will you incorporate any into your after-school chats? Let us know below!
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