It’s a common complaint amongst parents –‘I ask them what they did at school today, and all they says is “Nothing!”’ This can be very frustrating, especially when your child has started a new school, or class. There are ways in which you can gently encourage your child to open up a little more.
Try some of these approaches:
Don’t start asking questions straight away- children often need time to process their day and have some down time at home before they are ready to talk about things.
Ask open rather than closed questions. A closed question only requires a yes, no or another single word answer, for example; Did you have a good day at school? Open questions need a fuller answer: What was the best thing that happened at school today?
Avoid the used of emotive words like happy, sad, unkind, as these can shut conversation down.
Ask questions about your child’s social time at school; playtime, lunchtime, friendships, as well as their learning.
With younger children it can help to ask questions involving numbers- Tell me two funny things that happened today, or tell me three children who sat on your table at lunch.
Here are some suggestions of questions to ask.
Don’t ask: Instead ask:
How was school? What’s the best thing you did today?
Is your teacher nice? What was the best thing your teacher told you today?
Were the kids in class nice? Who did you enjoy working/playing with today?
Was the work hard? Which work did you enjoy the most today?
Did you play with anyone outside? What games did you play outdoors?
How was lunch? Who did you sit with at lunch time? What did you have to eat?
We hope you found this helpful?
If you would like to discuss this matter further please talk to one of your child’s key persons.