It's a routine, you pick up your child from school give them a big hug and go right into the questions to find out about their day. We are all guilty of doing it. We've missed then so it's natural natural to want to start talking to our little ones the moment we see them. But the typical response is a shrug or the dreaded "nothing"
Our children understand a lot but they are still learning the language skills to really express what they want to say and what they are feeling.
The goods new is that there is some simple ways to connect with your little ones, and have them open up! Here are some helpful insights.
Asking them question after a long day is the last thing that they want. They want to know that we are connecting with them before the 20 question come at them. So being present and offering to carry their backpack and helping them gather their things, letting them know how much you missed them is a great way to start the flow of conversation. This will set the stage.
Ask specific questions versus generic. For example, instead of asking "how was recess?" you could say " during recess did you play with Ben or George?" Asking for specifics will help them go back to that moment. From there it will have a snowball effect. we might not only learn who they played with but what they did outside. when you ask "did you have a good day?" or "did you have fun?" we are prompting for one work answers versus a dialogue.
Stay positive. If your child say something negative about their day it is really important that we don't over react! kids tend to shut down if our reactions are too much. You may feel the need to protect your child, and as a parent it is a fair concern. Unfortunately we cant be a fly on the wall, and much of the time the issue is much smaller then we might think. Instead of reacting with too much emotion, try to be empathetic and say " i;m so sorry that Johnny grabbed the toy out of your hand, hopefully tomorrow will be a better day."
Lastly, finding time in jam pact day sometimes feels impossible. We tend to be on the go. Bouncing from work to school to sports then home for dinner homework bath and bed. Try to take advantage of the regular moments in our day. Being in the car or bedtime are great for no pressure chats. setting aside time to talk to your child is important. Even 10 minuets! Giving them your full attention.
You want your child to enjoy talking to you. the more that they walk away from a conversation with you and think 'I feel better' the more that they will come back.