1. Don’t ask, “How was your day?” It’s so instinctive, I know. But your child doesn’t like it any more than Kramer on Seinfeld. For different reasons: it’s just too vague and she wouldn’t know where to begin to quantify it all.
2. Be Specific! You want to ask specific questions that spark a conversation: make sure a one-word answer would not suffice. “What was the best part of your day?”, “What did you do after lunch?”, “What book did you read?” Then, be sure to listen enthusiastically!
3. Get an Anecdote from a Teacher. Go ahead and graciously ask his teachers for an anecdote. Tell them that you want to have a meaningful conversation with your child. Your teachers will eat it up! (As a former preschool teacher, I know I don’t need to tell you to be sure to thank them.)
4. Use a Friend. What are friends for? Ask your child what Rebecca did outside. Follow-up on a previous story about a classmate’s endeavors. It will be easier for your child to relate a story about someone else. No friends yet? Every child develops at his own pace and every classroom has an interesting child to talk about.
5. Live and Learn. Ask your child what the worst part of the day was. Be careful not to give too much attention and energy to negativity, but do focus on solutions together! Ask her what she can do next time and help her articulate the lesson without judgment.
By: Tom Limbert
Tom Limbert is a published parenting author and Parent Coach and can be found online at www.parentcoachtom.com. He has been working with young children and their families since 1992. Tom has a Master’s degree in Education with an emphasis in early childhood development and is the co-creator of Studio Grow. Tom’s book, Dad’s Playbook: Wisdom for Fathers from the Greatest Coaches of All Time, has over one hundred inspiring quotes and includes a Foreword from Hall of Fame QB Steve Young.