My daughter is 8 and in the third grade. When I get home from work and want to hear all about her day, I used to ask “How was your day?” or even “What did you do today?”
Her typical response “I don’t know” or “Nothing”.
So instead of getting aggravated or annoyed with her lack of wanting to tell me anything, I changed up my questions. I started asking very specific questions that did not have a yes/no answer to spark some sort of memory from her day. Now I ask;
Questions I ask my daughter after school
1. What did you eat for lunch?
2. Who did you sit next to?
3. What was your class chore?
4. Which special class did you attend today?
5. Who did you play with on playground?
6. Who’s bucket did you fill?
7. Who’s bucket did you take from?
8. Tell me one thing you learned
9. What did you worry about today?
10. What made you laugh today?
Asking these very specific questions, I have a mugh higher percentage of starting a real conversation. Once she starts talking about something, anything, it’s a snowball effect all about her day and what she did and what she learned, conversations she had with teachers and friends. Fun science facts or a funny book that was read aloud. Once she starts talking I don’t need to ask that many starter questions, I can talk to actual things that happened throughout her day or let her know that I had no idea about what a cool fact she shared with me.
She learns so many new and wonderful thing each day, but asking such an open-ended question such as “what did you learn” there’s too many things to process to pin-point just one to share with me. Asking very specific questions helps her narrow down all of the information and share one small detail. Starting with one fact, triggers a second which triggers a third and so on and so forth.
What specific questions do you ask your kids after school to elicit real answers?