Encouraging Your Child To Open Up About School

Most of us have had the same conversation with our child in the car on the way
home from school: “So, what have you done at school today?” “Nothing.”

Sometimes getting them to talk about their day can feel like trying to get blood from a
stone. This can be frustrating for parents as we all just want to know that our kids are
happy, safe and thriving between the hours of 9 and 3. To help you deal with a child
who’s reluctant to talk about school, an independent school in London has shared
their tips on how you can encourage your kids to open up.

Ask Specific Questions

Your child may be sidestepping the question because it is simply too broad. They’ve
had a long day at school and don’t have the energy or inclination to start unpacking it
to give you a play by play of the day’s events. More precise questions may be easier
for them to answer. Questions like “What lesson did you have first today?” or “who
did you sit with at lunch” are more likely to get a response as they give your child a
specific part of their day to reflect on.

Don’t Push Them For Answers

Children may be reluctant to share things that they find embarrassing or upsetting as
it’s hard to reminisce about difficult situations. If there’s an area you’re concerned
about it can be hard not to grill your child about it to find out more, but doing this may
result in them shutting you out further. Instead, try and encourage them to volunteer
information on their own. You could ask “If you had to change something about
today, what would it be?”, giving them the opportunity to discuss anything they’re
concerned with.

Give Them Time to Rest and Refuel

School is mentally and physically taxing for children and they’re likely to be hungry
and tired by the time the school bell rings at the end of the day. Straight after school
might not be the best time to quiz them. Instead, give them some time to recharge
their batteries and wind down before you start asking questions, you’re far more
likely to get a response when they’re relaxed and rested.

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