January 1, 2017
WHAT DID YOU DO AT SCHOOL TODAY?
Linda M. Penn
“Nothing,” might be the answer from your kids to your question above. “Okay,” might be the answer to your question of “How was school today?” So…how do we move beyond these one-word answers into a conversation that reveals what they REALLY thought about their day? ASK GOOD QUESTIONS!
Avoid questions that can be answered with “yes,” “no,” “nothing,” “okay,” and other similar one-word answers.
Ask lead-in questions that might lead your kids and you into a more in-depth conversation. Examples:
What book or books did you read today? What was the book about? Did the characters remind you of anyone you know? What advice would you give classmates about reading this book?
What did you learn in Science class today? Social Studies? Music? Any other special class?
What was your favorite part of the day? (Besides lunch and playtime!) Why did you like that?
How did you help someone today? How did someone help you?
Avoid the “20 Questions” everyday but do ask your children about something. Then, they will be in the habit of expecting to talk about their day. And guess what? They might even start to ask you questions about your day!
Imagine how special I felt when granddaughter, Samantha, asked me how my day was when I picked her up at school?
Depending on the maturity of your children, avoid being too nosey or critical
if they do open up to you. Just let them be aware of your interest in their friends, activities, classes, etc. Examples:
What makes you think that?
Why do you say that?
Ask questions in the car on the way to soccer practice or dance class if you
rush from one place to another after school. Questions are good anytime, anywhere, especially at the dinner table.
Avoid interrupting if the child “gets on a roll” with conversation.
Avoid using your cell phone when your child is actually talking to you. Make eye contact (unless you are driving, of course!). PLEASE DON’T PRETEND TO BE LISTENING TO THE KIDDOS WHEN YOU ARE TEXTING!
If you become aware of a problem for your children that appears to need your help, avoid demeaning comments about others. You can always tell them you will check into the issue and get back with them. If the problem appears to be resolvable by your child alone, give them your guidance, but don’t make unusual demands on them.
ENJOY YOUR CONVERSATIONS WITH YOUR KIDDOS!!!
HAVE A GREAT 2017!
Check back the first week of February for blog titled: GESTURES OF KINDNESS
COPYRIGHT 2017 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
LINDA M. PENN