So your child has started school and you’ve gone from knowing all about their day to being told ‘I can’t remember’, ‘we didn’t do anything today’, ‘that was ages ago, I don’t know’ when you ask what they got up to?
Well, first up, you are not alone. It seems to be a weird mind-warping illness that affects them all! My girl is a chatty and confident little thing, but if I ask her what she’s done that day, I get nothing.
Now that she’s in year 1, I’ve had time to try out and think up a few ways to prompt her to open up a little more with me, so I thought I’d share them with you in the hope that they work for you, too……
1. Be silly. I find that making ridiculous suggestions about what happened makes her laugh and feel the need to set me straight. For example, ‘so was it wiggly worms for lunch today?’ or ‘so today in maths a huge elephant popped by?’. Anything blatantly incorrect, and my girl has to correct me!
2. Be creative. My daughter enjoys a bit of creativity, so asking her to draw parts of her day or share stories about it, gets her thinking about it in a different way and has her more interested in sharing it with me.
3. Be specific. Asking her about her day generally rarely gets me anywhere. By asking her how she got on in show and tell or what she did in PE, I can see her mind whirring back to those specific occasions and she’s much more likely to then talk about them. The other thing that works well here is asking her what her favourite and least favourite parts of the day were.
4. Be sociable. By this I mean, share amongst yourselves. So whether it be piecing bits together by getting her friends involved in the conversation, or by talking to her about my day, by chatting and sharing, she tends to give a little more.
5. Be timely. Asking her as she comes out of the classroom is rarely the time to get anything out of her. She wants a snack, her brother’s vying for her attention, she wants to run free. She does not want to talk. Over the dinner table can be good, especially if we go with the above point and each take it in turns to share something we’ve done that day. She likes to be involved then, so it’s a great way to get talking. The best time will always be bedtime, though. She’s wanting to prolong this, so will happily talk on and on at this point – that’s my top tip!
There you have it, 5 ways to get your child talking about their day. Have you tried these, or have you another idea that works? I’m always open to suggestions!