4 questions that will get your kids to talk openly about school

get your kids to talk about school

 

Something happens when your kids go to school that, it becomes like pulling teeth to get them to talk about their days.  I want to share with you 4 questions that will get your kids to talk openly about school.  I have 2 boys that are currently in school, in the 3rd & 6th grades.  I have learned through trial & error how to get them to really open up and share details about their days.

I used to be so excited to pick them up from school and hear all about their day (considering that is where they spend the majority of it) and I would go to ask the traditional question: “How was your day?”. Hoping for a dissertation, I would get a “Good” response with no follow up.  I struggled for years with questions that would get them to talk and share about their experiences and what they were learning at school.  After all how can I “train” and help them with navigating through “the real world” (which is “school” at this age) if they won’t open up and tell me the different situations they encounter.  So here are the questions that have worked for us:

1.  What was your favorite part of school today?Why?

Many times this answer centers around physical education or recess but, it gets them talking in depth about different things that happened with them or that they did while in school.  Many times this gives me a deeper understanding of each personality and what they like and find exciting to do or learn about in school.  Kids get excited to share about what they like and you gain insight into their view on the different experiences of their day.

2.  What did you struggle with today?

I tell my kids to share one thing that was hard or a struggle and I tell them this can be school work or a situation with another kid in class that may have been challenging.  This is a great way to talk about dealing with difficult people or what they should do when things get hard at school.  You also learn what subjects your child might be struggling with more than others.

I also take this time to encourage them and tell them what the Bible says about them being more than conquerors.  Also teaching them to pray and lean on God at school when things get challenging.  Sometimes I just listen and let them share but, sometimes I give advice for dealing with various situations.

get your kids to talk about school

 

3.  Tell me one thing you learned about.

I realized over the years that trying to get every detail out of them about what they learned in school was exhausting for us both LOL and, not beneficial to bonding or communicating more efficiently.  So, I’ve let that go.  I now just ask them to tell me one new thing they learned about in school that day.  This is a lot easier of a question as they don’t have to remember every little thing they did and again, I learn a lot about them and their developing personalities by what they share.

4.  In what way were you a blessing to someone else today?

I don’t want my children to grow up to be self-absorbed individuals and sadly many of us do a variety of things in parenting that we don’t realize adds to them becoming that way.  So, I intentionally added this question so that through the day they will not just think about what’s happening to them but, how they are affecting others.

It is important to us that our children realize the importance of being a light for Jesus in this world and how they are showing others His love.  Every single day they should make it a point to be intentional about being a blessing to someone.  We give them examples of how they could do that : inviting a person who is alone to play with your group of friends, helping someone who is struggling with their school work, praying for another kid who is upset, forgiving someone who didn’t deserve it.  Every day they have a different story to share and, sometimes it’s just being kind to kids who are already friends but, sometimes it’s going out of their way to include or help someone else.

Being an example is so important so we share with them how have we done these things as well.  That we ourselves have ups and downs to everyday.  That doesn’t stop as an adult.  This is such a conviction for me because, it makes me look at myself and some days I don’t have an answer.  So, this question helps me as well to grow and step outside of my own life and look into someone else’s.

I hope these questions start meaningful conversations between you and your children so that school doesn’t create a distance between you and them.   That this will bond you closer together as they become their own person, with their own views and circumstances that they will encounter.  In no way do I have it all figured out, but I’m learning what does and doesn’t work for our children and for now this seems to bring us closer and get them to to talk more freely about their days.

I pray that every person who reads this is able to form a deeper relationship with their child this school year!!

XoXo

***What questions do you ask your kids that help them open up to you about their day??

For more parenting articles, check out: “How to raise grateful kids.”

4 questions that will get your kid to talk to you openly about school

 

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122 Comments:
September 12, 2016

What great questions! I’m sure it helps the boys set those things (learning, working through a struggle, being a blessing, and enjoying something) as goals and make them more intentional through out the day as well. Very Nice.

September 12, 2016

AWW thanks so much hun!

September 12, 2016

Communication is so important! And it is like “pulling teeth” to get them to talk about their day. Great ideas for getting them to open up!

September 12, 2016

I know it really is! Thanks!

September 12, 2016

Great questions! I also suffered with the one word answers until I became creative with questions like yours. Thanks so much..we are started over with a 3yo so these tips are helpful 🙂

September 12, 2016

That’s awesome! Thanks!

September 12, 2016

Great starter questions to get kids talking! When I ask “How was your day?” I get nothing. I’m going to try these out this afternoon!

September 12, 2016

Awesome! So glad!

September 12, 2016

These are wonderful questions! We still have little ones, so we aren’t quite here yet, but I’m looking forward to using this later!

September 12, 2016

Awesome! Yea we started at pre-k! It’ll be here before you know it!

September 12, 2016

Great ideas for questions. My godkids can be nonverbal about school day. when i ask what was good about it. i get a lot more words 🙂

September 12, 2016

That’s fantastic!

September 12, 2016

I absolute love these! It makes it so much easier for them to talk when you give them good prompts!

September 12, 2016

Yea, it really does!!

September 12, 2016

I really like the 2nd question you posed — what did you struggle with today. It’s a simple question but it’s not something that I would think to ask. You can definitely get to know their day by finding out if they encountered any challenges. These are great questions to get them to share because “how was your day” is just too broad of a question. Thanks for sharing.

September 12, 2016

I know that is very true!! No problem. Thanks!!

September 12, 2016

My little one is just starting preschool, and I’ve heard from so many this is an issue. Thanks for the post!

September 12, 2016

That’s awesome ..yea it definitely begins then! Good luck mama!

September 12, 2016

I always laugh when I hear people says, “So how was school?” because you are going to get a good or bad and that is about it. I always try to ask specific questions that I know they will have more to tell me about (I am only dealing with a preschooler though, lol). My favorite question to ask is “what snack did you have today?” and she will tell me all about the snack choices!

September 12, 2016

AWW yes that is a great age appropriate question!! My other son is only 2 so I get it! LOL

September 12, 2016

I love this post! These are great questions to get to know your kids and love them well!

September 12, 2016

Thanks so much!!!

September 12, 2016

Love these questions! Thank you 🙂

September 12, 2016

AWW Thanks so much!!

September 12, 2016

Thanks so much!

September 12, 2016

When I was younger I was very much one of those kids who gave the “it was okay” responses. Thinking back I would have to say that if my mom or grandma had asked me any of these four questions I probably would have been a lot more talkative about my day. In all honesty I probably would have engaged more with others in school if my mom had asked what did I learn and how was a I blessing.

September 12, 2016

AWW that’s so great to hear! Thanks so much for sharing!!

September 12, 2016

You have a beautiful family! I love this post and yes it is sometimes hard to get little ones to open up about what has happened at school. Thank you for your practical prompts and advice!

September 12, 2016

Thanks so much!!! Yes, it is and I’m glad you enjoyed it!

September 12, 2016

I really enjoyed this post, it will definitely prepare me for motherhood some day. The questions are easy for them to interpret yet it also gives you the results you want as well. I love it!

September 12, 2016

Thanks so much! Yes, that’s great to hear!

September 12, 2016

These are great! My daughter is only in pre kinder (3.5yrs old) and I already get blocked with every question I ask!

September 12, 2016

LOL YES! I have a 2 year old too so I get it! The older they get the more need for communication as these may have to be tweaked some for toddlers!

September 12, 2016

It’s definitely a struggle to get kids to talk about school, especially boys. Nice set of questions to get dialogue going. When my boys were younger we had similar ones, worked really well until high school. And then all answers are monosyllabic.

September 12, 2016

YES! To boys lol.. thanks so much!!

September 13, 2016

These are some great questions! I hate getting no answer when I pick up my little one from school. But these seem like they’ll definitely open up some dialogue.

September 13, 2016

I know it can be frustrating! Hope these help!

September 13, 2016

These questions are a great way to start a conversation with the kids about school. My daughter and eldest son were very open about how their day went. I had difficulty with my youngest son though. He was so timid and I only found out what was going on in school if I called his teacher. I guess he overcome his shyness because when he got into high school, he was shouting, “Mama, guess what happened at school today!” soon as he got in the house. I am sharing this post with my cousin who has three young daughters in grade school.

September 13, 2016

AWW thanks for sharing! That’s awesome. I think this is so related to personalities too!

September 13, 2016

These are great questions to ask because kids aren’t ones to just answer “How was School?” with a complete answer. It helps to ask direct questions and is often how much more you can learn this way. Staying connected to them helps keep you aware of changes if things happen.

September 13, 2016

Yes and Yes I couldn’t agree more!

September 13, 2016

These are fantastic! I’m trying them out with my son today. 🙂

September 13, 2016

Awesome! So glad to hear!

September 13, 2016

I love this — thank you for sharing it! I always try to ask my kids open ended questions instead of questions with yes or no answers. I especially love the last question, it really gets them thinking about how they’ve impacted people.

September 13, 2016

That’s fantastic! Thanks so much!

September 13, 2016

#1 is the first thing I ask my kids as soon as they get home. I want them to know I care and that I’m there if anything is bothering. Even if Im busy and working they know to sit down and just talk about their day, its become a routine. They snack and tell me all about their day.

September 13, 2016

That’s fantastic! thanks for sharing!

September 14, 2016

This is such a great resource! Sometimes it is so hard to get them talking, I especially love #4.

September 14, 2016

Aww thanks so much! I appreciate that

I will totally try these with our kids too – great ideas thanks!

September 14, 2016

I’m so glad!

September 14, 2016

These are all great questions that will get your kids to talk instead of just getting “Nothing” out of them. I especially love asking them how did you bless someone today?

September 14, 2016

Thanks so much!!

September 14, 2016

I love this! My kids are like me, they give a lot of details from the simplest questions, but questions like “what did you struggle with?” can really get them thinking and we can pnder ways to make tomorrow better. Thanks for sharing!

September 14, 2016

That’s awesome! LOL GReat!!

September 14, 2016

I wrote a post like this last year that I so need to update. Love hearing what other people ask their kids!

Glam Hungry Mom

September 15, 2016

Oh that’s awesome I’ll have to check it out!

September 15, 2016

Love these ideas! Asking what they struggled with is neat because then you can help come up ways that you could work through those struggles with them:)

September 15, 2016

Thanks so much and yes exactly!

September 15, 2016

What great questions! An added benefit of asking these questions to your kids everyday is that they know you are going to ask and so they know they will need to come up with an answer. As a result, they will pay closer attention to their day and the people around them.

September 15, 2016

YEs exactly! That is the hope!

September 15, 2016

I’ve taught Kindergarten and First grade for many years. Before we left for the day we tried to review what we called our “Special Shares” which were things we were looking forward to sharing with those at home. Kids are so funny when they get home, sometimes they’d forget something and tell their families 3 or 4 days later!

September 15, 2016

LOL aww that’s really great too!

September 15, 2016

Great post! It is so important to keep those lines of communication open! I have 2 in school (1 at home). My daughter will tell me anything and everything, but it’s much harder to get anything out of my son (in Kinder). These are great questions to ask and I love how you center it around Jesus!

September 15, 2016

Aww thanks so much! Yes, you can change them for their ages too!

September 15, 2016

We do this at dinner with our toddler, not just school related but ask eachother about their day. He loves this part of the dinner conversation.

September 15, 2016

Aww that’s fantastic! Good job mama!

September 15, 2016

I so so so SO wish all the parents of my students would have conversations like this with their kids when they got home from school!