How to Get Your Kids to Talk About Their Day After School

I often hear about the struggle that parents have getting their kids to talk about how their day was at school. I am in the same boat. It’s so funny how when you ask them about their day, they apparently did nothing in the six hours they were there or they just can’t remember. Really? How is that possible!

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It’s not just your kids or my kids, it’s so many of them. Just know that you’re not the only one who feels like they are excruciatingly, painfully extracting teeth when you try and find out what your child did at school.

It’s something that I’ve been working on for the last few year and I’ve been having a little more success with finding out about their day and working around the answer I always get, which is “nothing” or “I don’t remember.”

I recently read a blog post on Chai Momma’s which inspired me to share my ideas and hopefully they can help you out as well.

How to Get Your Kids to Talk About Their Day After School

1. Talk About Your Day First
Since Chai Mommas inspired this post, I thought I would share their tips first. Talk to the kids about your day first. Share all the little details. Listening to you will trigger them to remember and talk about their day when you ask.

2. Ask Open-Ended Questions
Try not to ask yes or no questions because then it’s too easy for the kids to just say yes or no.  Open-ended questions will give kids the opportunity to expand.
For example:
Instead of, “Did you have a good day at school?”
Ask, “Tell me what you enjoyed at school today.”
Instead of, “Did you go to the library today?”
Ask, “What books did your take out of the library today?”

3. Find Out Their Weekly Schedule
A great way to figure out what the kids are doing in school is by finding out their weekly schedule. Write down what days they have library, gym, music, computers, tests etc. This allows you to ask them specific questions on specific days.
“Tell me what you did in music class today?”
“What games or sports did you play in gym today?”
“What games or websites did you learn about in computers?”
“What songs did you learn or sing in music class?”
By you knowing what they are doing that day and asking specific questions about it, it’ll trigger memories of what they did and make it easier for them to share.

4. Favourite Part of the Day
When we are driving to school, I remind the kids that when I pick them up, I will be asking them to tell me one favourite thing from their day at school. I tell them to remember at least one thing that they liked and to share about it whether it was playing tag outside, colouring a new picture or even enjoying their hot lunch. This one took a while to work but now it’s great and they have at least one thing they “remember” and can share after I pick them up.

5. Bedtime Sharing
And if it’s still hard for your kids to remember or share about their day in detail, then bedtime might be a good place to try again. Children will attempt to stall, so try getting them into bed a few minutes early and then talk to them about their day again. Sometimes I’ll sit down in a chair beside the bed or I’ll lie down with them. And that closeness seems to get them talking, especially when it prolongs bedtime.

Do you have a tip to share that you use with your kids to get them to talk or that your parents used with you?

9 thoughts on “How to Get Your Kids to Talk About Their Day After School

  1. I always ask my son two questions: What was your favourite part of today? and Was there anything that you didn’t like about today? He can usually answer those questions. Almost everything else gets “I don’t remember.”

  2. Don’t have kids but I read Chai mommas post and kept it as a reminder to when I do have. Now I have another list to add to for tips. This could work with your partners as well 😉

  3. Awesome ideas Salma! I am going to give that a try! I like the idea of adding their school activities to my calendar so I can ask them about those specifically. Right now I just ask how their day was overall and their favourite part of the day (usually it’s recess 😆) so I’m not always hearing about class activities. Great tips!

    1. I’m so glad yo found them helpful Shannon! Yes, knowing their schedule takes some of the guess work out of it so we can ask the right questions.

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