As parents, we always want information. We want to find out what happened during our kids day at school, who they played with, what activities they did in class and more importantly, if they enjoyed their day. These conversations may not be easy for all parents. But getting your kids to talk about school is an effective way to find out what was happening and if there are any problems they need help with.
If you you are struggling with how to talk to kids and get them to open up about school, try these helpful tips.
Make time for greeting and chatting before asking questions
A lot of parents make the mistake of asking their children about school right away. Allow them to be more relaxed first by greeting and chatting with them as soon as you see each other. Talk about fun things before you ask about school. Use interesting conversation topics that they are comfortable talking about. This will prevent them from feeling intimidated and getting defensive.
Ask open-ended questions
Try not to use the same old question, “how was school today?” There are plenty of other open-ended questions you can ask your child to get them to talk. For example, ask them who they sat with at lunch, or ask them to tell you about the game they played during recess. Just avoid the yes or no questions.
Use their school papers to start conversations
The things that your child brings home from school can be very useful in starting a conversation with them. It could be their art projects, masterpieces, homework or anything they show you from school. Show interest in their work and pay attention to the details. Ask them a few questions about it and make sure to listen intently.
Ask some direct questions
As soon as your child begins to feel comfortable with your conversation, start asking them some direct questions. But try to veer away with “what did you do at school today?” You can make use of other questions including “what did you like best about school today?” or “what sport did you play during PE time?” Asking specific questions will give you specific answers. At the same time, this will also give you an idea of anything that may trouble your child in school.
Understand your child’s learning style
Each person has their own learning style and according to educators, children have three major learning styles. Some learn best by listening, and they are called auditory learners. Some are visual learners who learn best by seeing illustrations or by watching. And others who learn by doing are called tactile learners. Understanding your kid’s learning style will guide you in identifying the right approach. For example, instead of asking a visual learner to talk about their day in school, you might want to ask them to write an outline or draw a picture about.
Know their school schedule
Knowing your child’s schedule at school will give you an idea about the questions you can ask. For example, it is a library day on a Friday, so ask them about the books the librarian showed them, or if they have chosen a favorite book and what it is about. If they have brought the book with them, take time to read it with them, too.
Share your day, too
So that your child can see how communication is modeled for them, it’s also helpful if you share your own day, too. Talk about your friends, your interests, the best part of your day, your activities during the day, and so on. This is an excellent way to stimulate a conversation and encourage them to naturally talk about their own experience at school for the day.
Communicating with your child after school about their day is an excellent way to help them with their daily challenges. And if you are looking for a preschool that will nurture and promote your child’s holistic development, please consider our Jackson preschool.