How often do you ask your kids how their day was and get the answer, fine. What did you do at school today? Nothing. More and more I learn that this is common amongst kids but I found out the hard way that there are better ways to find out how your child’s day went.
When I think of one of my biggest parent fails, I think of the time that my son was in grade 1 and he lied to me. He lied to me and it was the best thing that could have happened.
Every day I would ask him who he played with and he would say nobody. He said he walked around by himself, read a book or look at his Pokemon cards. You can understand as a parent that this broke my heart to think that he was alone and had nobody to play with. He didn’t seem to be bothered by this and said he enjoyed recess. I would continue to ask every day how his recess was and who he played with and the answer remained the same, recess was fine and he played by himself.
And then it happened one day, when I asked him who he played with, he named off two boys in his class and my Mommy heart swelled with happiness… and then it broke. He quickly recanted his statement and said “Mommy I lied, i’m sorry, I played by myself but I didn’t want you to feel sad. I enjoy watching the other kids and just doing what I want to do.” In that moment I felt like a total failure as a parent as my child felt like he had to lie to spare my feelings. He was a happy child and what I felt should make him sad was actually what made him happy and made him enjoy his recess. Now that he is a little older he has lots of friends that he plays with and recess is all about the fun with his buddies. What I learned from this experience is that I needed to change up the questions I asked when the kids came home so I would get actual answers and get a little more insight into the whole school picture rather than dwelling on one area and assuming that I knew how they were feeling
Here are some of the questions we now ask our kids about school and we can’t get them to stop talking about their day now…
– What was the high and the low of your day? (this is their fave)
– Tell me your favourite new thing you learned today?
– What was the hardest/easiest thing you had to do today?
– How did you help or someone help you today?
– What was favourite thing you did at recess/lunch?
– If you could sit beside anyone in class who would it be and why?
– Who do you think has the best lunch at school? What do they bring?
– Math, Science or Social Studies – Tell me one thing you learned today
– What was the funniest thing that you saw today?
– If you were a teacher, what is one rule you would make for the classroom and what would you want the kids to learn the most?