We all want to hear about our child’s day at school but often that equates to pulling information out of our unwilling children if we want more than the obligatory “fine”. Here are some tips to getting your child to open up about their class.
1. Use papers, artwork, or stamps they bring home as a conversations starter. Ask open-ended questions on how each item was created or earned. Your child may be more willing to describe how something was earned or created rather than answer a very broad question such as how was your class.
2. Know what they are learning about in their classes. Understand what theme they are working on or what skill they are trying to master. Ask specific pointed questions that will require more than a yes/no answer from your child.
3. Set a ritual. For example, during each night as I would fix dinner I would ask my child what was a good thing that happened during their class and then ask them what is one thing that could have gone better with them or anyone in the class. This game will start hard but become easier as you both play it together and learn from one another. Your child will see you modeling the behavior you want from them and will grow to the challenge of discussing their successes and challenges.
4. Listen, listen, listen. Our children are not always ready to talk about their day when we are. Some children will take more time to process the events of their lesson or class than other will and then they will want to discuss their day at a later time. Be prepared to seize the opportunity to listen to your child at strange and random moments. Our children loved to be heard on their schedules and feel loved when we take the moment to actively listen to them.
Your child really does want to tell you about their class, they may just need a little nudge to learn how to communicate such a vast amount of information and feelings in an appropriate way. If you are able to employ these tips you will set up a communication structure that will hopefully lead all the way into those dreaded teenage years!
Kamille Bennington (Bravo Employee)