By being patient, spending time side-by-side with children, asking good questions and listening to the answers, children will quickly begin voluntarily talking about school.

Talking with Your Child About the School Day

Posted on February 22, 2019 : Posted in Legacy Academy, Parenting Tips
By being patient, spending time side-by-side with children, asking good questions and listening to the answers, children will quickly begin voluntarily talking about school.

Parents often lament their children’s lack of communication after a day at school. This is true for children of all ages, but the after-school period can be especially challenging for small children who often return home tired or hungry. Here are some tips to assist you in talking about school with your child regardless of their age.

Don’t Ask Questions Right Away

After a long day of activity and social interaction, your child is likely ready for some quiet downtime. If you immediately begin asking questions about her day, her answers may be short or unclear. Instead of asking your child about her day immediately, give her space and time to transition. This may mean driving in silence or with music playing, or if your child likes to talk, allowing her to say whatever is on her mind. Once your child has adjusted to being home, she will be more responsive to your questions and better able to explain the experiences of her day.

Offer Information About Your Own Day

If you want to talk to your child right away, try offering information about your own day. You may choose to explain some simple tasks you accomplished, like running errands. Or perhaps you have a funny anecdote or spent time with family members during the day. Whatever stands out in your mind is good for sharing. These sorts of stories encourage your child to enter into conversation with you when they are ready. Not only does this help your child connect with you without pressure, but it also models good communication.  

Talk While Your Hands Are Busy

Children tend to offer more information when their hands are busy. Completing an activity side-by-side with your child is a great opportunity to ask questions about his day. You can ask your child to help you prepare dinner or do some other household chores. Or, if your child is engrossed in their own activities, you may decide to join them in their play. Building with blocks, coloring, modeling with clay, and other creative projects are great for parents and children to do side-by-side. If possible, allow your child to choose the activity you do together. The more relaxed and comfortable a child feels, the more likely he will begin talking about school and other things on his mind.

Choose Targeted Questions

If you decide to ask your child about her day, choose questions that ask for specific information. Open-ended questions like “how was your day?” or “what did you do today?” are often overwhelming. Children may offer vague answers. Instead, ask about specific parts of your child’s day. For instance, if you know that each child is assigned a classroom job each day, ask about her assignment for the day. More generally, you can ask what was great, difficult, or funny in their day. If a question falls flat, don’t give up! Your child wants to tell you about her day. She may just have a hard time translating her feelings and experiences into words.

Listen More Than You Talk

This is the most important rule for communication with your child. If your child has something to say, you get to listen! If your child chooses to share his life with you, be as engaged as possible with what he is saying and how he feels about it. It is a privilege to be trusted with the details of someone else’s life, including our children’s. When you choose to listen without changing the subject or giving unsolicited advice, they will be more likely to speak freely with you again.

Every engaged parent wants to hear more about their children’s days at school. However, that information isn’t always easy to learn. By being patient, spending time side-by-side with children, asking good questions and listening to the answers, children will quickly begin voluntarily talking about school. Are you looking for childcare in a place where teacher-parent communication is a top priority? Call or visit Legacy Academy Berkeley Lake to learn more about our excellent school.