Going Beyond "How Was Your Day?"Mari Hernandez-Tuten
His backpack drops at the door entrance (even though I’ve told him EVERY single day for the past three years to hang it up) and he greets me with this adorable, shy smile. I greet him and ask how his day was. His reply is a simple, “Fine.” Then he proceeds to the important stuff questions about his after school snack and what I made for dinner.
Does this sound familiar?
One of the things I miss about not having my kids at home during the school year is knowing about their day. I have boys, and mine are definitely your typical boy. They like to keep their conversation to a minimum. So I’ve had to learn the art of drawing out details without seeming pushy or nagging. My secret hope is that they will learn how to do this on their own as they get older.
For us, dinner time is when my real questions pop up. The ride home may work better for you, or right before bedtime, but dinner time is our guarded family time. Ever since they were wee, little ones, I have always asked them to tell me about the best and worst moments of their day. This always opens up some interesting conversation especially after your garbage collecting son shares that his best part was when Tommy gave him chicken bones from his lunch to keep. (Gross.) Or my girl-crazy son says that his personal highlight was getting kissed by a girl. (WHAT?)
Remember to avoid yes or no questions. And if they are little people pleasers, avoid leading questions such as, “Was your favorite part of the day playing with Jim?”
Here are some questions that will hopefully help you go beyond the typical, “How was your day?”
- Ask them to share their best and worst of their day and don’t forget to share yours.
- Play your own version of Would You Rather. For example, “Would you rather: Have a strict teacher and learn a lot or have a kind teacher and learn a little?
- Who did you play or hangout with today?
- What’s one fun thing you did today?
- What’s one hard thing you did today?
- Who’s the kindest kid you know?
- What was the nicest thing you heard today?
- What put a smile on your face today?
- What’s one thing you’re thankful for today?
- What’s one thing you would like to learn to do well this school year?
Stop by my Facebook page and let me know what questions or tips you have that help your child open up.
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