It’s a problem that’s been around as long as families have existed: How do parents get their kids to open up about their daily lives, their successes and failures, hopes and fears, and what they really think?
Kids can be frustratingly distant and closed-mouthed when it comes to talking about themselves, especially when they reach their tween and teenage years. Yet it’s vitally important that you know what’s going on with them, to support their efforts, help them with their problems, and maybe ward off serious trouble.
And since most of their daily lives are spent in public school, the most relevant things you can ask about are what’s happening in the classroom, the hallways, and at recess.
It’s important that families gather together every day in situations that are conducive to conversation, whether that’s around the dinner table or at bedtime. It should be a part of the daily household routine.
If you’re struggling to get your children to open up about their experiences at school, realize that part of the problem may be the questions you’re asking, and how you ask them. Just saying “How was your day?” probably isn’t going to work. To get you started thinking about creative conversation starters, here are a few suggestions.
20 Questions To Get Your Kids Talking About School
- What was the funniest thing that happened at school today?
- What was on the menu for lunch today? Was it good?
- Who was sitting at your table for lunch?
- What happened in your gym class today?
- Did you have any hard tests or assignments to do?
- If you could change just one thing about your school, what would it be?
- Who’s your favorite teacher so far this year?
- Which teacher is the hardest, and why?
- Which class do you think is the most fun?
- Which subject are you finding the most difficult?
- What are the most interesting things you do in school?
- Do you have any best friends in your class?
- Are you thinking about trying any new sports?
- Have you thought about joining band or choir?
- If you could go back and do something different, what would it be?
- Do you think your math class is hard this year?
- Did anything happen that made you laugh today?
- Is there anything at school you’re afraid of?
- Show me something you learned today.
- What can I do to help you with your school work?
Talking to your kids about their public school experience is the best way to help them in their daily lives. And remember that good listening is as important as asking good questions.