During the week, I’m lucky to get home at 6:30. Usually it is sometime between that and 7pm. My husband gets home earlier, so he cooks dinner. We eat as soon as I walk in, and by the time we are finished we begin the nighttime routine of baths & books.
So dinner is really the only time I get to hear about my son’s day. When he was younger, he would tell us everything he did. In detail. Then it started to go something like this:
Loving Mother: How was your day?
Sweet, Well-Behaved Son: Good.
Mother: What did you do?
Well-Behaved Son: I don’t know.
Annoyed Mother: What do you mean, you don’t know? What lessons are you working on?
Bratty Son: I forget.
Angry Mother Who Already Feels Guilty For Working And Just Wants Her Son To Tell Her About His Damn Day: Well, honey.. (swig of wine) do you remember any of the books you read today, or did you do any fun art projects?
Ungrateful, Mean, Mean Son: I was playing outside all day, I don’t feel like talking anymore.
I read an article that said you should ask your child, ‘What was your favorite part of your day?’ to get a conversation going since it is more specific. Except my son has the same answer everyday. ‘Playing outside.’ Um, ok. Good talk.
Now I have a list of questions that I have found REALLY get the conversation going. Sometimes I ask one, other times I need 2 or 3 to get a good idea of what he did. But I definitely hear much more about his day.
My favorite conversation starters:
- Who did you play with on the playground at school today & what games did you guys make up? (there is ALWAYS some sort of crazy game that was invented that day, I get a real kick out of hearing these)
- Who did you sit with at lunch and what did they have to eat?
- Who did something really funny & what did they do? (another one of my favorites…)
- What was the hardest thing you did at school today? (this one also helps me figure out what he may be struggling with)
- Did you learn any new jokes or songs today?
- When you got home from school, what did you do that you wish someone took a picture of?
- What is the craziest thing your sister did today?
- What do you think was Punky’s (our dog) favorite part of the day?
- Tell me something you did today that made another person smile?
- Tell me something someone did today that made you smile?
What are some questions you ask your child to help get more than a one word answer? I am always trying to come up with new ones!