7 Tips to Help Your Children Process Their School Day

It is truly a wonderful thing when your child voluntarily sits down with you to chat about their day but it may be something that many parents can only dream about in this fast-paced, technologically-saturated world. Learning different ways to have a conversation with your child will go a long way to improving your communication but it doesn’t always happen naturally. As your child goes through different stages, getting them to open up about their day may become quite challenging but it is essential if they are to process the highs and lows of everyday life. Here are 7 tips that I use to get my children talking about their school day when they get home.

1) Get the Most out of a Conversation with Open-Ended Questions

Questions like, ‘How was school’ are conversation killers. They can be answered with a single word and do not require detailed answers. Try asking them about what they had for lunch, or what activities they took part in during the school day. Having open-ended questions prompts conversations. You should avoid questions that can be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Try packing them in their pram (if they’re still small), or grabbing their bike and getting out for a walk to create an open environment for conversation to flow.

2) Take the Time to Learn Their School Schedule

After your kids have spent some time in the library, try asking them about the books that they chose to bring home. You can also sit with them  whilst they’re doing their homework, read the books with them, affirm their choices and encourage them to read. You might also want to talk to them about P.E, their science project or their art project. Doing so will help you get to know about their schedules and their day at school.

3) Explore School Themes Together

Have fun with your child as you explore topics that they’re covering at school. Researching different topics, such as fairy tales and legends, or the Amazon Forest, will help them learn new facts and will hopefully get them talking about what happened during their school day.

4) Use Their Artwork, Science Projects or Homework Assignments as Conversation Starters 

According to Marvin and Privratsky’s research study, when young children bring their art projects home, they tend to refer to their recent school activities more than when they do not. Take advantage of this opportunity as a parent and ask your child open-ended questions and listen attentively. By showing interest in their work, you build-up their self-esteem and bring them closer to you.

5) Sneak in a Conversation at the Dinner Table

Be a good role model and try sharing about your day, by doing this you will be improving their social cues and communication habits. Take advantage of having your family gathered at the table, as it provides you with a safe space to share your shortcomings and your achievements. Share with them an event that occurred during your day. You can even make it a game of thinking of a positive and negative, joyous and sad, or thrilling and terrible event that day. By encouraging your child to discuss the events of the day, you will be able to provide them with emotional words that will assist her/him in expressing themselves.

6) When They Stall Before Bedtime, Make That a Conversation Moment 

Kids are smart, and they’ll do anything to stay up longer. Good news for you because they’ll even take time to share about their day if means an extra five minutes before bed. Take advantage of this time and try some open-ended conversation topics with them.

7) Listen Attentively

When your child starts talking about their day, drop everything you are doing and listen. Hold off questioning them a lot and let them flow. By affirming them, you boost their confidence, and it shows them that you care.

When it feels like you and your kids are not speaking the same language, come back to these tips and find fresh inspiration to open up the channels of communication again.

Make sure to read some more blogs and how to guides from Sam, over at MovingBabies.com.

Do you also want to help your children whilst they are at school? Take a look at this blog, which talks about the important issue of sleep deprivation and its effects on learning.

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