Stop asking your kids "How was your day?"

Today I didn’t ask the girls how their day was.

I’m never asking “How was your day?” again!

No, that doesn’t make me a horrible mother.  I’m tired of feeling that I’m pulling teeth to get an answer out of them.

Standard conversation:

Me: How was your day?
Them: Fine.
Me: What did do today?
Them: I dunno.

They don’t know?!? They spent 8 hours there, they had to have done something!

Then they would  ‘um’ and ‘ah’ and try to recall every little detail. “First we had carpet time and then we went to the gym and then we had music and then we…”  I love them, but that is hard to listen to everyday.

I don’t want it to be that hard, so I’m not asking “How was your day?” any more!

Today, during dinner, I asked…

“What was the best and worst parts of your day?”

The answers were a million times better!

You could tell that they were excited to tell me about the things they liked.  They didn’t have to stop and think about what came next in their day.   Rachel was excited to tell us about a game that they played in the classroom and Lauren liked that they got to make some art for the hallway outside their classroom.

The “best” was best, but the “worst” really was worse.

When it came time to talk about the worst part of their day, I really wasn’t prepared for the answers.  I was hoping for “I didn’t want recess to end” or “I don’t like having to sit still for so long”.  Instead we had to hear about how the bully was up to no good…again.

This time, however, Lauren was the one who got hurt.  The boys that Rachel had been playing with started rough-housing. The bully and some other kid came over to join in and Rachel was trying to get them to stop. Lauren, unknowingly, ran across the play ground to see Rachel and the bully lashed out and hit Lauren.  Rachel took her to the office and told the Principal what happened.  Not even two weeks into the school year and we’re dealing with the wrath of this kid again.

Make the best out of a bad situation

We used this as a great moment to come up with some strategies on how to deal with this kid.  We talked about staying away from him on the play ground (thankfully, he’s not in Rachel’s class; he’s in the other grade 4 class) and if he comes around that they need to walk away.  We suggested to Lauren, that she stay with her friends on the playground so there is less chance of the bully coming around her.

It sucks that that we have to tell our kids to be on heightened alert when they’re supposed to be having fun and enjoying themselves, but with this kid on the loose, they can’t be too careful.

As much as I didn’t like the answer, I loved that by focusing the question on a specific part of their day, we got to hear so much more than we normally would!

So, take it from me!  Stop asking your kids “How was your day?” !!

Do you struggle with your kids to get them to tell you about their day?? What strategies do you use to get your kids to open up?

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