By now the whole country is back to school and getting into the swing of things. Moms everywhere are asking their kids, “How was school?” and hearing… CRICKETS!
This used to happen to me all the time, or at best I’d get one word, like “good.” I have a few tactics that helped turn things around so I got the much anticipated lowdown after not seeing my kids for eight hours and craving connection.
One thing that helps is when they aren’t up for sharing right away, I simply start sharing about my day. If I get a “fine” or “good” I just say, “That’s great. Here’s what I did today…” and I go into my day instead of insisting on details from them. After a minute or two of listening to me talk they want a turn and I get to hear from them.
Another tactic was asking more specific questions, so instead of, “How was your day?”, I would ask something like this:
- What was the best thing that happened today?
- What was a funny moment from today?
- What did you play at recess?
- Who is the funniest person in your class?
- Is there anyone that you didn’t get along with today?
- What was the hardest thing you learned today?
- Did you help anyone today?
- What was the best thing about school? What was the worst?
- Did you hang with someone new today?
- If you were the teacher, what would you do differently?
Something else that was really important for me to learn was what time of day each of my kids likes to talk the most. My younger son comes home from school ready to chat, but my older son really likes to open up before bed. Once I stopped pushing him for answers when he wasn’t ready to talk, and read his signals for when he was, he started sharing a lot more with me. Timing is everything!