If you are struggling to glean details from your child’s day, start asking these 3 Conversation Starters For Kids and watch them finally open up!
It is so interesting to observe the differences in our children’s personality…one can be shy while the other one knocks you over to meet a new friend at the park.
One can love to be outside while the other thinks she should only be outside if it’s 72 degrees and sunny (true story).
READ MORE HERE ABOUT LOVING OUR DIFFERENT CHILDREN DIFFERENTLY
And while one child may tell you every.single.detail from their day, the other child can be like a closed book on the top library shelf gathering dust.
Welcome to my world…and if I’m guessing right, welcome to your world too huh?
I pick up my younger daughter from preschool and the details start spilling out…that she had goldfish and strawberries for snack. That jaden got put in time-out today. That she played with Lucy on the playground. That she learned about Munching Mike (letter M) today…and more!
I pick up my older daughter from 1st grade and…silence….no, wait… I heard a sneeze.
Then more silence.
Between 3 pm and bedtime, I’m lucky if I hear one or two things about her whole day!
Seriously, it is like pulling teeth most days. My daughter, who is at or above grade level on every single subject, can’t manage to recall one thing she has learned from the day. Much less share more personal details like who she played with…who was nice to her…and who was not.
This has become such an issue that I did not even realize she was struggling with a couple of girls at school until one of THEM came up and told me!
Something had to change.
Because I feel like NOW is the time…the time to establish open lines of communication. The time to show my girls that they can tell me ANYTHING.
That in our house, NOTHING is off limits. That nothing needs to be kept inside.
That no mistake or fear is greater than the love I have for them.
That they have never been, nor will they ever be, alone.
My husband realized there was an issue as well, even though he is often only home for an hour – tops – each night with the girls.
So he suggested having each of the girls tell us 3 things about their day.
Which seemed like a good idea…a start at least.
But it kind of fell flat.
Without any specific guidelines, 3 “things” began to encompass everything from “I ate lunch today,” (yeah, we sort of figured) to “Mrs. Burns liked my hair today.”
So while we were happy to be hearing SOMETHING, it wasn’t what we were aiming for.
Enter a mom friend…because we all know the two best sources of information in this parenting thing are experience and other moms!
READ MORE HERE ABOUT FINDING AND RELYING ON YOUR FRIENDS FOR PARENTING ADVICE
I was at my good friend Heidi’s house, and while our girls did their weekly homework together, I noticed an interesting post-it note on her kitchen table.
3 simple questions scribbled down.
3 questions I knew right away could be a game changer for our family.
When I asked her about the post-it, she said she had seen the questions somewhere along the way and had began using them at meal time to open up communication from her two young children.
So now, these are the 3 questions we use as daily conversation starters for our own two girls.
And even though we may not eat dinner together every night, these questions still get asked sometime over the course of the evening.
3 Conversation Starters For Kids
1. Tell me one good thing you did today.
2. What is one mistake you made today?
3. Name one thing that made you smile.
Simple, aren’t they? But what makes them so awesome is that they are broad enough to make your kids think. They are open-ended AND it really gives you insight into their day…not just what they learned at school.
These questions give you the chance to see the social aspect of your child’s day.
They also show your children that it’s okay to make mistakes…so much so that it’s a daily expectation of a sort. It’s #2 every day for a reason.
Because we all make mistakes…every.single.day.
And because these questions are still pretty general, your kids won’t feel like you are prying into every single detail.
But the interesting thing is this – the more they share, the more comfortable it becomes.
The more natural it is.
And the more we encourage it now, the easier it will be for our kids to share details about their lives when the details can get a lot more muddled…more difficult to share…more embarrassing…more important…
So we are starting now…I’m using these 3 questions tonight.
I’m hoping you will try them too! Please come back and let me know all about it!
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We ask these questions s as well and it made such a difference over the past few years. We have also added what is the most interesting thing you learned or heard today.
This lets me get more details on school, her new found interests, etc., instead of the what did you learn with the response, “I don’t know”.