Six Questions to Help Strike Up Meaningful Conversation With Your Student After School
“Hey, son! How was your day?”
“What did you learn?”
If your after-school conversations tend to go this way, you’re not alone. Many parents find it difficult, or even downright frustrating, to connect with their kids after school. But rest assured, their one-word answers do not reflect a desire to keep you in the dark.
School days can be mentally taxing, especially while your child is still getting used to a new routine. You might discover that talks go better after a brief period of downtime or a healthy snack. Even adults experience that foggy feeling after a long day of work, and sometimes need to recharge before jumping into conversation.
What was the hardest part of your day today?
Whether on the commute home or around the dinner table, focus on questions that help students recall specific events of their day. If your child is not a big talker, avoid questions that allow for a one-word answer and focus on topics that can start a dialogue.
Consider these conversation starters for students of all ages.
What was the most interesting part of your day?
Rather than asking, “What did you learn today?” this question removes expectations and gives the child an opportunity to share what exactly piqued their interest.
Talking about challenges – academic or social – is never easy. This may prompt a meaningful talk around your child’s unique struggles.
What are you excited about for tomorrow?
Whether your child has had an amazing day or a hard one, shifting the focus to tomorrow is often a great way to set new goals together.
Who is your favorite person at school?
This question can help you learn about your child’s relationships with his or her teachers, as well as any budding friendships.
Did you notice anyone at school today who needed help?
Open up a conversation about kindness and citizenship by asking your child to recall situations where they lent a helping hand or had the opportunity to brighten someone else’s day.
If you could change one thing about school, what would it be?
Another question that helps children open up about their challenges, this can often shed light on an area where your student needs extra support.
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