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  • Writer's pictureMs. Liz

The Art of the After-School Chat: Tips for Meaningful Conversations with Your Child

Are you tired of asking your child, "How was school?" only to receive a one-word answer like "Fine"? Or "What did you do at school today?" Answer: "I can't remember." You're not alone. Many parents face this classic communication challenge. However, there's a simple yet effective strategy to encourage more engaging responses from your child: ask specific questions.

Engaging Questions to Ask Your Child

Instead of the usual "How was school?", try these questions:

  • "What was the funniest /silliest thing that happened today?"

  • "What was the best/worst part of the day?"

  • "Who did you play with today?"

These specific questions can spark more detailed and interesting conversations, helping you better understand your child's experiences at school.

Tip of the Day: Make It a Routine

To foster meaningful conversations, make it a routine to have a daily debrief with your child. Keep it informal. Here are some ways you could do this:

  • During dinner: A perfect time when everyone is gathered. Share your answers too - our children love it when we connect and share what was up and down about our day!

  • While driving home: Utilize the car ride to catch up on the day's events.

  • Before bedtime: A quiet moment to reflect on the day. (I prefer not to do this at bedtime in case anything comes up that is upsetting or over-exciting, but every family is different.)

Consistency is Key

Consistency is crucial in building this habit. Regularly engaging in these chats can strengthen your relationship and keep you informed about your child's daily life.

Recently, our conversations have been that school lunches are terrible because the jacket potatoes don't have butter, someone had an asthma attack at school and that worried my youngest- so we talked about asthma, seeds were planted in the school garden, and are growing nicely - we have now planted seeds in our garden, and the excitement of the summer half term and final half term of the school year are almost too much. How can we possibly fit everything into our busy social and activity packed lives?!

You can transform the typical after-school monosyllabic chat into a meaningful dialogue by asking specific questions and establishing a simple routine. Sometimes this will be very short and sweet, sometimes you might want to probe a little deeper. Start today and see the difference it makes! Don't worry if you can't do this every day. Do what you can. Let me know where your wonderful conversations take you. Have a great weekend! Ms. Liz

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