Talking To Our Children

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Parenting Hack: 33 Questions guaranteed to get your little one talking about their day!


Unbelievably, we are almost nearing the end of the first half term of school! Even though they’ve been back at school a while now, it is only natural for them to still feel anxious about their new classes and school routines in general. Equally, as parents we want to protect our children and ensure they are happy and healthy – not just physically, but emotionally, too.

If you have a child already in school, I am confident you’ll have asked them about their day only for them to simply grunt or mutter ‘fine’ and carry on about their business.

If so, you aren’t alone. It is something parents up and down the country deal with every day! Getting our children to open up and talk in a meaningful way about their day at school can be tricky. After all, coming home is their time for relaxation, putting the school day behind them in favour of family time.

Even so, as parents we strive to have an open dialogue that will enable us to support and guide our children where needed. To helpfully ease some of those back-to-school worries for both parents and children, I have compiled a list of questions you can ask which will hopefully engage them in further conversation.

Hopefully, this will help you to explore how they are coping with school life and share in their everyday experiences.

The goal is to ask open-ended questions, rather than those which have a simple yes or no answer. In addition, you can consider more in depth questions which take into account their entire day and will therefore give you a lot more information.

Here are a few examples of questions you could ask:

  1. What was your favourite lesson today? Why?

  2. Who was your favourite teacher? What do you like about him/her? If they have the same teacher all day, you could ask What was something your teacher said today that made you smile?

  3. What was the best thing that happened today?

  4. Tell me the funniest thing you heard today.

  5. Tell me the saddest thing you heard today.

  6. What was the worst thing that happened today?

  7. Tell me something you now know that you didn’t when you left the house this morning.

  8. Which lesson did you find the most challenging?

  9. Which lesson did you find the most rewarding?

  10. Which lesson did you find the most engaging?

  11. What equipment/technology did you use today?

  12. Who did you sit with at lunch?

  13. What games did you play at break time?

  14. What are you going to try and do differently tomorrow?

  15. What was today’s assembly/class story about?

  16. If you could drop one of your lessons, which one would you lose and why?

  17. If you could do more of any lesson, which one would you choose and why?

  18. How did you feel at the start of the day?

  19. How did you feel at the end of the day?

  20. What are you most looking forward to doing tomorrow?

  21. What are you not looking forward to doing tomorrow?

  22. What topic do you need most support with?

  23. What lessons did you have in the afternoon?

  24. What story are you learning about in Literacy/English?

  25. What operation are you doing in Maths (many schools begin each year with place value followed by the four operations – add, multiple, divide and subtract).

  26. Tell me something you found out from a friend.

  27. What was your favourite thing in your lunch box/school dinner?

  28. Which went quickest – the morning or afternoon? Why?

  29. Tell me about your favourite book on the class book shelf.

  30. What can you see from your classroom window?

  31. Who do you sit by in English/Maths/Science? Do they help you? Do you help them? Or, what did you help them with today? What did they help you with today?

  32. What did you do during SODA time? (The acronym for this will vary by school. SODA is start of the day activity, meaning what they do as soon as they enter the building while the teacher does the register. It is usually things like reading, maths challenges, puzzles etc.)

  33. What activities did you do in P.E. today?

There you have it! This is by no means a comprehensive list, it is simply a guide to get you going and hopefully steer you on the right path to some truly meaningful conversations. The key is using questions that are broad and cannot be answered by a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

Remember, you don’t want to ask a ton of questions every single day. Going to school is an exhausting experience for children and they will need time to unwind and relax. Perhaps consider asking them over dinner, rather than as soon as they leave the school gates. Or, give them a drink and snack first so they feel refreshed and hydrated before needing to talk.

Let me know how you got on by dropping me a comment in the comments box below!

Comments on Talking To Our Children

  1. Kalley says:

    Great ideas! I love asking what was the most boring thing… what did you use a ruler/rubber/pen/pencil for? They get a giggle and they have to think before answering too!

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