The school day is over, and you ask your kids, “How was your day?”
More often than not, the response will be a one-word answer or you’ll get no response at all. Not ideal.
As parents, we have questions. Lots of them. We want to know what happened at school. Did they like their new teacher? Did they play with anyone at recess? Is anyone bullying them or treating them unkindly?
Connecting with your child and having an actual conversation is easier than you might think. These 40 questions to ask your kids after school are just what you’re looking for.
Why Won’t My Child Tell Me About Their Day?
Communication is so important for children. It gives us a glimpse into their day and how they’re feeling. It allows us to connect with them and build trust. Keeping those lines of communication open will have benefits now and as your kids grow older – the best one being that they won’t hesitate to come to you first when they want to talk.
So why aren’t you getting a response? The following reasons may help you better understand why.
- Young children under the age of 5 may simply have a harder time recalling the events of the day. It’s not that they don’t want to tell you, it’s because of where they are developmentally.
- Older children aren’t always comfortable with being put on the spot. Much like adults who have been working all day, your kids don’t always want to talk about their day right away. They also need time to decompress and switch from “school mode” to “home mode”.
- They may worry about your response. Once kids start to understand morality and the world around them, they may hesitate to answer because they’re worried their answer may be wrong.
- If your child is already feeling stressed or overwhelmed by a situation at home or at school, they will likely be unwilling to open up. Working through those bigger problems first and simply being there to listen when they’re ready can help when it comes to communicating about their day.
- It may be as simple as they need to eat! Their bodies and their minds are exhausted after a day of school. Recalling their day and putting their experiences into words takes quite a bit of energy. Fuel their brains with a snack before you start asking questions.
40 Questions to Ask Your Kids After School
When asking questions, the best option overall is to stick to open-ended questions that help to encourage more detailed answers.
Here is a list of 40 questions to ask your kids after school to get the answers you were looking for…and some you may not expect!
- What was your favorite food at lunch?
- What was the silliest thing you did today?
- What made you smile today?
- Did you do an art project today? What did you make?
- Who is your kindest classmate?
- Who did you sit next to in class?
- What do you like most about your teachers?
- What was the nicest thing someone said to you today?
- Did something make you feel frustrated today?
- Is there someone in your class that could use a friend?
- Did you sing any songs today?
- What was something you did really well today?
- What was the worst thing that happened to you today?
- What games did you play at recess?
- What was the hardest rule for you to follow today?
- Did you share today? Tell me about it.
- Who brought the best lunch to school today? What was it?
- What class rules does your teacher say are important?
- What’s the biggest difference between this year and last year?
- Who did you sit with at lunch today? What did you talk about?
- What did you read in class today?
- What part of school is your favorite?
- What was the most interesting thing your teacher said today?
- Were you able to finish all of your work today?
- Can you show me something you learned today?
- What questions did you ask your teacher today?
- Did you ever feel unsafe today?
- Was anyone in your class gone today?
- What are you looking forward to tomorrow in school?
- Did anyone get in trouble today?
- Was there someone or something that made you upset today?
- Where do you play the most at recess?
- Who in your class do you think you can be nicer to?
- If you could change one thing about your class, what would it be?
- Who would you not want to sit next to in class? Why?
- Is there anything that you’d like to learn that you’re not learning at school?
- What is something you saw that made you think?
- What rule did you almost break today? Why did you choose not to break it?
- If you had a camera at school today, what would you have taken a picture of?
- How did someone help you today?
Save a copy of this list and keep it handy. Now when they jump in the car at pick up or walk through the front door, you’ll be ready with the perfect questions to ask your kids after school.