5 ways to get your kid to talk about school

by beagooddad on May 9, 2007

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Everyday when Geetle gets home from school, we ask her what happened. The most complete answers we usually get are “Nothing” or “I don’t know.”

She’s not too hard of a nut to crack, though. One of these 5 tricks normally gets her to open up.

5 says to get your kid to talk about school

  • Yes or No questions. Stuff like, was your best friend there today? Did you go outside today? A lot of times they will just answer with a simple yes or no but if it was entertaining or horrible they will start talking.
  • Ask about things that you know happen every day. For Geetle and Pookie this includes, what did you have for snack and what was your job today?
  • Ask if their friend/enemy was at school. If their best friend or enemy was at school, then there is probably a story about them waiting to be told.
  • Look in their book bag. You will find letters from the teacher, class projects, homework, and stuff your kid found on the playground. Grab any of it and start asking questions about what it is?
  • Be shocked/amazed/horrified with them. Don’t just sit there and say “Mmm hmm” every once in a while. Get involved with the conversation. Act like you care about what happened while your kid was in school.

The yes/no questions are good for getting things warmed up, but move past them as quickly as possible. Focus on asking open ended questions that need longer answers and make sure that you do not lead them so much that you answer your own questions. Also, really listen for the things that excite them; both good and bad. They will want to talk about these things and you can learn a lot about your kid and what is going on at school by listening.

Be willing to wait for the conversation to start. I know I don’t like to think about work right after I’m done. If your kid really doesn’t seem interested in talking about the day, wait until later. Dinner time is normally good.

Like most things in life, the earlier in life you start, the better. If your preschooler is used to chatting about school, I would be willing to bet that they will be more likely to still talk about school when they are in junior high.

Do you have any tricks of your own that you use?

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