You know how this conversation goes: You say, "How was school today?" Your child answers, "Fine." You then ask, "What did you do today?" The universal response is, "Nothing." We've all been there and most likely did the exact same things when we were kids and our parent was trying to give us the third degree. So why do we do the same thing over and over again?
It's time to break out of the generic question rut, parents. Ask these five questions after school instead, and actually get some good information about what your kid does all day.
1. Who was absent from school today?
Having your child focus on someone else allows her to relax for a minute and realize she's not going to get drilled for the entire car ride home. Also, you might find out who your kid spends time with and, of course, which kid might have a communicable disease.
2. What did you not eat in your lunch?
First of all, if you keep getting the same answer, you know not to waste your time and money on that particular food again. Second of all, it can be a gateway to talk about what actually went on at lunch -- which can be the most interesting time of the day.
3. Do your friends think you have too much homework?
Asking what friends think along with your child can help open up a closed mouth. After all, it's easier to tell your mom what Sarah says than what you did. The followup question is, of course, "Do you agree?" This question has the additional benefit of discovering what classes kids find difficult and what teachers they really like.
4. What was the funniest thing you heard today?
If nothing else, your kid will start to giggle when she thinks about it. Then hopefully, you'll learn a little bit about her friends and teachers.
5. Did Jeremy get in trouble again today?
That's right, pick out the kid who usually is the first one to be sent to the principal's office. Your kid will love to share the juicy stuff, you just have to know how to ask. Bonus points if this helps you understand "kids these days."
What do you ask your child when he gets home from school?
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