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Spicing up the 'How was school?' conversation
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 23, 2017 09:32 AM

Every day when you greet your kids after school, you likely ask some version of, "How was your day?" It is not unusual for kids to reply, "Fine." and move on. While they responded, you learned nothing about what their day was like. You probably did the same thing to your parents as a kid! Instead of repeating this process all week, consider spicing up the conversation with these tips:

Ask more specific questions

When someone asks you how your day was you likely reply with "fine" as well. Instead, engage your children with issues that are less general. If your son had a math test, see how he did. If your daughter was having trouble with a teacher, ask how that class went and if there is anything you can do to help. Using these pointed questions will lead to much more informative answers. Plus, your kids will be more inclined to share what's going on at school instead of shooting back a one-word reply.

Avoid yes or no questions

You may take your "How was school?" conversation a few steps further by asking additional questions. Perhaps you follow with, "Did you have a good lunch?" or "Did you have study hall today?" These are valid queries, but the answers are yes and no. Instead, use open-ended questions to allow for your kids to have a more in-depth answer. Questions like, "What did you think about the movie you watched in science class?" or "How did you feel about taking the standardized test today?" are more likely to start a conversation instead of end one.

Ask about wins

You may be more likely to know about negative parts of your kids' schooldays than the positive ones. They may come home from class with a bad grade or a behavioral report, but that does not mean your entire conversation should be about the negatives. Ask your children what good things happened at school and you will learn about making new friends, earning better grades than they expected and even tasty mac and cheese cafeteria lunches. Everyone is more likely to enjoy talking about something they like or are excited about, so these are great conversation starters.

Get creative

There are many other questions you could ask your kids about class that are not as boring and typical as, "How was your day?" Instead, break things up and use more exciting questions. Here are some creative suggestions:

  • What part of the playground is your favorite?
  • Who is your best friend and why?
  • What is your favorite class and why?
  • Which teacher would you want to go rollerblading with?
  • What did you learn today?

These options are a little out of left field and will keep your kids interested and make them think before responding. You will not hear "fine" to the above questions unless your children are not paying attention! Skip the standby post-class questions and opt for more exciting, open-ended ones and you will soon learn all about your kid’s days.