We know how it goes. Your child comes home from school and you ask the classic question “So how was your day at school today?” Most likely, the response you get is an answer like “fine” or “the same as yesterday”, which doesn’t tell you a whole lot – especially when you also want to know how your child was hearing at school today.
The trick is to ask about things that are specific, but still open-ended. Move beyond “fine” and “good” by asking your child to describe their world. Try these tips and conversation starters to get your kids talking about their school day and hearing experience.
- Model healthy communication by starting the conversation with an anecdote from your own day.
- Know your child’s schedule and stay involved in what is happening at school so you can be more knowledgeable in the conversation.
- Eliminate electronic distractions to ensure you and your child are fully engaged in the conversation.
- Set up a ritual of together time with each of your children for them to share and talk to you.
- Build “special time” with your child into your routine once a week or month.
- Try these conversation starters:
- Tell me about the best/worst thing that happened at school today.
- Tell me about something you learned today (in math class).
- What was the hardest thing you had to do at school today?
- How did you help someone today?
- How did someone help you today?
- What do you think you should do/learn more or less of at school?
- Who did you hang out with at school today? What did you do?
- Is there a time when you wished you had extra help at school today?
- If you teacher called tonight, what would they tell me about you?
It’s important to make sure you connect with your child every day, even if just for a short time. It may be right after school, in the car, playing with toys or at the dinner table. Remember, once you get your kids talking, the most important part of helping kids open up is to listen.
For more resources to help improve listening, encourage conversations and instill confidence so that your child can achieve their best, visit the Communication Corner.