Getting Your Child To Talk About Their Day
Snuggle Bugz chatted with Snuggle mama, Lydia, about how she gets her two boys to open up about their days away from home. Parents of school-age children know how easy it can be to fall into a routine of video games and other electronics and become disconnected. Read on to see what this family does to keep the conversation alive!
We all remember that classic question from our parents on the way home or around the dinner table. “How was school?”, they’d ask, along with every other parent in the world, to which we’d join the chorus of children replying, “fine”, ending the discussion in its tracks. I remember that simple well meaning question like it was yesterday, and how it rarely yielded more than a one word answer, and yet now that I’m a parent I often catch myself asking it as well. Why? The reality is, we love our children and want to know how they spend their hours at school, but when our paths cross at the end of the day, we’re usually too exhausted to be creative and so resort to that unhelpful classic. We can do better!
Here are some fairly effortless ways to dig deeper into conversation with our kids after school:
Start by helping them transition from school to homeI often make the mistake of asking my kids within the first minute of seeing them after school how their day was. Low blood sugar, fatigue, and a change of context demand snacks and rest before a barrage of questions, no matter how well intentioned they are. If your child seems grouchy or distant after school, don’t automatically assume something awful happened at school – give them a minute to transition into their home life and for heaven’s sake give them some food! Once I started greeting my children at the school yard with food and a smile and no expectations, our after school conversations became more natural.
Pro tip: let their after school snack be the highlight of the day’s menu. We pack healthy snacks (think carrot sticks and apple slices) in their lunches for the day and mealtimes are rarely their favourite foods (except Fridays which are always pizza night), but after school I bring out the cookies, cake, and milky tea. I want my kids to look forward to coming home from school not just because their studying is over for the day, but because home is their favourite place, and a place where they can open up and be known.