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As parents, you all want to hear about your child's day at school. You desire to know what all he did in the class, what games he played on the playground, what special lessons he learned, who he had the lunch with, who helped him and lot many more. School days are truly the most special and wonderful days and you certainly want to be a part of this new journey your child has undertaken. All your concern is to know if your child had a 'good day' at school.
However, sadly, the way of questioning kids about their day at school often leaves them in distress and parents wonder what exactly went wrong. For instance, your Grade II child comes back from school and the moment he finds himself a place on the sofa, you bombard him with questions like 'How was the school?', 'How many marks you got in the test?', etc. But do you get the right response? Well, for once or twice you might get the answers you need, but not for long. The child will soon get wary of your questions and would often choose to stay mum or answer in mono syllables like 'good', 'okay' 'fine' or any other.
If you want your child to open about his day at school, then you will have to bring in a change in your way of questioning. The change in your approach will help your child communicate with you more freely. Here check out the 10 effective ways using which you can make your child talk about his day at school without actually asking how his day was. Have a look:
1. Give him time to relax after school: Kids also have a tiring day at school. After stretched hours of studies, and activities at school, kids do need some time to relax and unwind. Give them the liberty of not talking right after the school. Most of the kids don't like to talk the minute they walk into the house, forget answering questions. All they want is to chill for some time, have their snacks or take a short nap. Just think of your day at work and how you just wish to relax in peace once back at home.
2. Go for open-ended questions: If you simply ask 'How was your school today?', it will not seek the interest of the child as he would prefer to answer it as 'Okay', 'Not good' etc. Perhaps, they might even choose to stay quiet. Make sure that you never ask questions about the school activity which answer in a 'yes' or 'no'. Instead you must ask, 'What was the most interesting thing you did today?', 'What thing in the class bored you?', 'What you learned in the science class?' or any other question that can make your child recall the activity and give the details.
3. Listen, Engage & Show Interest: Once you strike the conversation with your child about his day at school, limit yourself to listening rather than posing more and more questions. Let him say what he has to, don't interrupt. Be attentive and show interest in his talks. If you listen to him with your eyes either on the TV screen or on your smartphone, kids would lose the interest of talking about the day's activity. So, make sure you give your undivided attention to them.
4. Don't just stick to academics: Never limit your questions to the academics only. Be interested in every aspect of schooling, whether sports, arts, music or anything. Talking only of the academics part will make the kids feel scrutinized all the time, which is not a sign of good parenting.
5. Stay aware of their school schedule: Well, of course, every day you can't put up the same set of questions. You can change your style by asking questions that are more relative. And for this, it is very important for you to be aware of your child's school schedule. You should know on what day he has a yoga class, when he goes for music lessons, when is the library day or for that matter the games or art class. Once you are aware of the schedule, you can always ask questions like 'What books you read in library today?', 'How was your volleyball or cricket class?'.
6. Share stories of your school day: This is one great way of initiating open ended communication with your little ones. Tell them some good stories about your school days, let them know what your school days were like, the subjects you studied, the games you played or the kind of teachers you had. When you share your own experience with them, the kids tend to become more and more comfortable with letting you know about their day at school and the things they enjoy or deter the most.
7. Update them about your day: The basic idea behind knowing about a child's day at school is to understand if things are all going fine. It helps parents to keep a track of kids' school activities and performances. If you want your child to open up about his day at school, you will have to keep the communication very open and free. Share your day's details, anything that made you laugh during the day or any different thing that happened at office etc. Once the communication becomes two way, kids enjoy taking part without being prompt at.
8. Use indirect communication: When asking questions about the child's day at school, avoid having a direct face-to-face conversation. When asked in such a manner, the child might feel intimidated and would take it as an interrogation session. He might not tell you each and every detail, thereby keeping things to himself. Therefore, you must use the indirect mode of communication. Kids are more likely to open up when you interact while engaged in an activity like driving a car, walking, cooking or any other.
9. Don’t jump in with immediate solutions: Problems are everywhere. Even at school, the child can face some or the other problem. He can have some issue with his friend, teachers, or any activity. If he walks up to you and says 'I don't like my teacher', don't just jump into conclusions or barge into the school. First figure out what makes him dislike the teacher. If it is because he gets scolded due to his poor performance or his naughtiness; explain to your child how he can win his teacher's heart. Encourage him to develop good values that will make the teacher love him. Check on the matter after a week or so, and see what's his rapport with the teacher now. Intervene only when you feel the problem is tad difficult.
10. Help kids think solutions on their own: Your kids will love talking to you about their activities at school when they feel you are not being bossy. Even if they have any problem or something is a bit difficult for them, give them the freedom and guidance to think of their own solutions. This will make them feel confident about themselves and they'll know you are not trying to control their lives. They will be very happy to find a true supporter in you.