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‘How was your day?’ – Tips for prizing the details from your kids

Before I had children, I never thought that it would be difficult as a parent to communicate with your kids after the school day or activity to find out how it all went. Now I have kids of my own, I know how very hard, if not impossible, it actually is.

I remember my son’s wise nursery headteacher saying that children find it hard to say what they’ve done in a day because their days are so full of varied activities. I think this is very true. But, as parents, it can be frustrating. We really do want to know what they’ve been up to and how it all went for them.   

Recently, I worked out a sneaky little way of getting feedback from my own children (7 and 9) which seems to work well, for us at least. I thought I’d share it just in case it’s helpful for anyone else too.

I ask them to mark the activity or day out of 10, 10 being brilliant and 1 being terrible. And this seems to help them open up and discuss what they’ve done.

For example, if they say ‘10’,  I ask them why it was so brilliant and they then seem able/eager to give me examples and once you start them talking it’s then easy to investigate and chat further.

I think the open-endedness of the question ‘how was your day’ is quite tiring from a child’s point of view too, whereas with this they just have to think of a number and then the rest takes care of itself.

I’m not sure if this will work for you and your children, but it’s worth a try. You could also click here for a Shine article on this very topic.

If you have any tips for communicating with your children, please do share them too. I always love to hear from other parents and carers. 

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