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5 Ways to Get Information Out of Your Kids - What do you ask your child when he gets home from school?

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5 Ways to Get Information Out of Your Kids

Posted by April Peveteaux

talking to kids about schoolYou know how this conversation goes: You say, "How was school today?" Your child answers, "Fine." You then ask, "What did you do today?" The universal response is, "Nothing." We've all been there and most likely did the exact same things when we were kids and our parent was trying to give us the third degree. So why do we do the same thing over and over again?

It's time to break out of the generic question rut, parents. Ask these five questions after school instead, and actually get some good information about what your kid does all day.

1. Who was absent from school today?

Having your child focus on someone else allows her to relax for a minute and realize she's not going to get drilled for the entire car ride home. Also, you might find out who your kid spends time with and, of course, which kid might have a communicable disease.

2. What did you not eat in your lunch?

First of all, if you keep getting the same answer, you know not to waste your time and money on that particular food again. Second of all, it can be a gateway to talk about what actually went on at lunch -- which can be the most interesting time of the day.

3. Do your friends think you have too much homework?

Asking what friends think along with your child can help open up a closed mouth. After all, it's easier to tell your mom what Sarah says than what you did. The followup question is, of course, "Do you agree?" This question has the additional benefit of discovering what classes kids find difficult and what teachers they really like.

4. What was the funniest thing you heard today?

If nothing else, your kid will start to giggle when she thinks about it. Then hopefully, you'll learn a little bit about her friends and teachers.

5. Did Jeremy get in trouble again today?

That's right, pick out the kid who usually is the first one to be sent to the principal's office. Your kid will love to share the juicy stuff, you just have to know how to ask. Bonus points if this helps you understand "kids these days."

What do you ask your child when he gets home from school?

by on Aug. 11, 2012 at 1:50 PM
Replies (11-15):
by on Aug. 11, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Depends on the kid.

My oldest, I can even ask "Was it PE you had today or computers?" and he clams up. It is a work in progress. Even when he does tell a story, it's confusing and I don't really get who was doing what and when. Strangely, when he makes up a story, like a super hero story, it's pretty easy to understand. Something about memory...

My middle child, it's hard to keep her from telling you stuff. Yeah, good luck with that. And if you ask about anyone or anything, she will give you all the 4-1-1 imaginable.

The 3 year old is between the 2. Sometimes she forgets when things happened and gets reality and fantasty mixed up a bit more than the others, but overall, she will tell you what happened with her friends, what she played with at recess, and if there were good snacks or art (and there you have everything she cares about)

by on Aug. 11, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Love it! I ask random questions and it usuallu gets them going! :)
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by on Aug. 11, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Great questions. My daughter ask me why I want to know what happened at school. I tell her it is because I wasn't there to share it with you and I like to hear how your day was. Usually doesn't work :(
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by Mikki on Aug. 12, 2012 at 9:18 AM

In our Sunday school class, they did an series on family time.  One suggestion was made instead of asking how their day was and get the typical answers of fine and nothing, to have each child give a break down of their day, meaning they give you every detail of it.  I think I'm going to try this.

family in the van   Mom of four

by on Aug. 12, 2012 at 9:47 AM
Thankfully my kids have to tell me every detail of their day when they get home. Lol
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