15 Questions to Replace â€śHow Was School Today?"
With slight wording modifications, these questions can work with children of all ages:
- Tell me about a moment today when you felt excited about what you were learning.
- Tell me about a moment in class when you felt confused.
- Think about what you learned and did in school today. Whatâ€™s something youâ€™d like to know more about? Whatâ€™s a question you have that came from your learning today?
- Were there any moments today when you felt worried? When you felt scared?
- Were there any times today when you felt disrespected by anyone? Tell me about those moments.
- Were there times today when you felt that one of your classmates demonstrated care for you?
- Were there any moments today when you felt proud of yourself?
- Tell me about a conversation you had with a classmate or friend that you enjoyed.
- What was challenging about your day?
- What do you appreciate about your day?
- What did you learn about yourself today?Â
- Is there anything that youâ€™d like to talk about that I might be able to help you figure out?
- Is there anything youâ€™re worried about?
- What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
- Is there a question you wish Iâ€™d ask you about your day?
Tips for Asking Questions
HowÂ andÂ whenÂ we ask these questions makes a big difference in the information we receive from our kids. First, you donâ€™t want to ask all of these questions on the same day.Â You might ask one or two. After a while, youâ€™ll figure out which ones elicit the most meaningful responses. Youâ€™ll want to ask during a time when you have the ability to focus so that your child feels they have your full attention. With my childâ€”and in my householdâ€”dinner and driving in the car are optimal times for these conversations.
The following can help your conversations be positive and powerful:
- Donâ€™t interrupt.Â This is a good rule for any conversation, but especially if you want to get a lot of information out of a kid.
- Ask for more.Â Simply say, â€śIâ€™d love to hear more about that...â€ť Or, â€śCan you expand on that a little?â€ť
- Ask about feelings.Â After a child describes an experience, ask, â€śHow did you feel in that moment? What did you notice about your feelings?â€ť
- Validate feelings.Â Whatever your kid feels is normal and okay. Let them know that. Feelings are okay. Tell them this.
- Tell them itâ€™s not okay for teachers or kids to be unkind or mean.Â If they tell you a story about a teacher who yelled or disrespected them (regardless of what they said or did) let them know that itâ€™s not okay for an adult to treat them that way. Same goes for how they are treated by other children.
- Thank them for sharing with you.Â Always appreciate their honesty and willingness to share the highlights and bright spots,Â as well as the difficult moments. This will fuel their confidence in telling you more.