Get Your Child to Talk About Their School Day: Top Tips

When your child comes home from school, they might want to chat about every detail of their day. Other children may answer your questions with a "yes," "nothing," or a shrug. While these responses are normal, they don't give you much insight into your child's life at school or their emotional well-being. 

Asking your child to open up about school can feel as complicated as learning how to get toddlers to talk. At The St. Paul's Schools, we understand how important these conversations are. Here are some tips to help you encourage your child to talk about school. 

Ask How Your Child Feels About School

Whether your child enjoys talking about school depends on several factors. A talkative child may not find reviewing their day interesting or may avoid talking about a bad day. Before diving into your next after-school chat, consider how your child feels about school. 

Even if your child likes school, a flurry of yes or no questions limits the detail of their response. Finding positive ways to talk to your child about their day will help them feel more engaged. The key to encouraging conversations with your child is asking open-ended questions. 

Take care to ask specific questions, though. If your questions are too vague, your child may not be as interested in the conversation or understand the question. Instead, ask your child direct questions that require more than one word to answer. 

Use the Information You Have

If you have any observations about your child's day, prefacing your questions with that information can help you get a more detailed response. Maybe you saw your child talking to another student when you picked them up, or you know your child had a substitute teacher. You can use those insights to ask questions about unique and interesting parts of your child's day at school. 

child on computer

Figure Our When Your Child Wants to Talk

Consider talking about school at a different time. Your child spends their day learning, working, and socializing. Letting them decompress, eat a snack, finish homework, or even take a nap can improve your conversation. You can also add another productive step to your child's morning routine by asking them about school before the day begins. In the morning, you can talk about their homework, upcoming events, or presentations and gain insight into what your child looks forward to each day. 

6 Questions to Ask Your Child About School

The next time you talk to your child about school, try asking them specific, open-ended questions such as the ones below:

  1. What was the best part of your day?
  2. Can you show me one thing you learned today?
  3. Who did you sit with at lunch? Do you sit with them every day?
  4. I know you have a busy day today. What part are you most excited about?
  5. I heard you played with someone new at recess. What did you play?
  6. I saw you had a substitute teacher today. How are they different from your regular teacher? 

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