One of the reasons I enjoy the summer, is the amount of quality time I get to spend with my kids. We run errands together, we cook together, we clean together, we travel and we talk. We spend a lot of time together. In fact, by the end of summer, we are all ready for school to start.
They went back to school this week. I am happy they are back, and so are they (well, mostly).
When they get home, I am eager to hear about their day. After spending all summer together, being apart for 8-10 hours, seems really long. When they stroll through the door I ask, “how was your day?”
My older kids play school sports, so they are usually too worn out to talk. My younger kids are also exhausted from the day (and the heat), so they aren’t very interested in talking either.
I don’t mind their need for quiet and space after a long day, but I genuinely do want to talk. I ask my kids to tell me their highs and lows at dinner, but recently I found a better list of questions to ask (see below).
If you struggle getting your kids to talk about their day, maybe some of these questions will open the door. I showed my middle schooler this list last night, and he was happy to answer several questions.
- What made you smile today?
- Can you tell me an example of kindness you saw/showed?
- Was there an example of unkindness? How did you respond?
- Does everyone have a friend at recess?
- What was the book about that your teacher read?
- What’s the word of the week?
- Did anyone do anything silly to make you laugh?
- Did anyone cry?
- What did you do that was creative?
- What is the most popular game at recess?
- What was the best thing that happened today?
- Did you help anyone today?
- Did you tell anyone “thank you?”
- Who did you sit with at lunch?
- What made you laugh?
- Did you learn something you didn’t understand?
- Who inspired you today?
- What was the peak and the pit?
- What was your least favorite part of the day?
- Was anyone in your class gone today?
- Did you ever feel unsafe?
- What is something you heard that surprised you?
- What is something you saw that made you think?
- Who did you play with today?
- Tell me something you know today that you didn’t know yesterday.
- What is something that challenged you?
- How did someone fill your bucket today? Whose bucket did you fill?
- Did you like your lunch?
- Rate your day on a scale from 1-10.
- Did anyone get in trouble today?
- How were you brave today?
- What questions did you ask at school today?
- Tell us your top two things from the day (before you can be excused from the dinner table!).
- What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
- What are you reading?
- What was the hardest rule to follow today?
- Teach me something I don’t know.
- If you could change one thing about your day, what would it be?
- (For older kids): Do you feel prepared for your history test?” or, “Is there anything on your mind that you’d like to talk about?” (In my opinion, the key is not only the way a question is phrased, but responding in a supportive way.)
- Who did you share your snacks with at lunch?
- What made your teacher smile? What made her frown?
- What kind of person were you today?
- What made you feel happy?
- What made you feel proud?
- What made you feel loved?
- Did you learn any new words today?
- What do you hope to do before school is out for the year?
- If you could switch seats with anyone in class, who would it be? And why?
- What is your least favorite part of the school building? And favorite?
- If you switched places with your teacher tomorrow, what would you teach the class?
What questions do you ask your kids?