Don't ask your kids if they had a good day at school — try this instead 11 months ago

Don't ask your kids if they had a good day at school — try this instead

We are just a few weeks away from back to school.

I must admit, much as I always look forward to a few routines again after the summer holidays, I also feel this pull at my heart. I will miss my children when they are in school, having spent pretty much every waking moment with them these past two months.

One thing I always look forward to is picking them up from school and getting to hear about their day.

I don't know about you, but I am always curious to hear how their school day went; who they played with, what they did, if something upset them — anything, really.

I mean, how else are you meant to find out how their maths test went, who they played with a break time, how the Egypt project presentation went and so on and so forth?

The thing is, how we phrase those questions might be the real issue, says Kristin Wilson, a counsellor at Newport Academy in the US, who spoke to PureWow about how asking kids if they had a "good day at school" might be doing more harm than good.

"When you ask your child if things are fine or good, you’re giving them the message that you want everything to be OK,” says Wilson. “Kids don’t want to disappoint or disturb their parents, so they’re more likely to say 'sure' or just nod in response and let you believe that everything’s fine — even if it isn’t.”

In other words, this seemingly innocent question we all ask can sometimes, to kids, become a little problematic.

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“The ultimate goal is to give your kids the sense that you’re open to anything they have to say, whether positive or not so positive," explains Wilson. "Thus, they’re more likely to share what’s going on in their lives.”

However, asking questions that are too open-ended, such as "how was your day?" will no doubt yield vague answers such as "good" or "not good" – giving you sweet FA information about how your kids' day actually was – as I am sure we all know.

To figure out how your child is really feeling, Wilson suggests asking more specific questions like, “How was your get-together with Rachel?” or “How did that geometry test go today?”

What do you think, parents? Have you got any tricks for getting your kids to talk about their day that we need to know about?