When asked ‘What did you do today?’ The response is more often than not, ‘nothing’ or ‘I don’t know.’
I think parents feel like their kids are intentionally holding out on them, but in truth, children tend to be pretty much in the moment. When confronted with the question ‘what did you do today’ it’s hard for them to reflect back on everything they did and boil it down into a single answer.
Here are several suggestions that offer ways to get your kid talking about their day.
- Start your conversation with ‘Can I tell you about my day? I did a lot today!’ or if you had something exciting happen ‘I had this really great thing happen today…’ The more you share your day with your child, the more this becomes normal conversation. When asked the question ‘What did you do today?’, if it isn’t day-to-day conversation it might feel like they are being put on the spot, rather then you being interested.
- Rather than the blanket, all-encompassing question ‘what did you do today?’ ask your child specific questions: ‘Did anybody do anything funny today?’ ‘What was the best thing you did today?’ ‘Did you have music?’
- My ongoing philosophy of the two way street is at play here too. Make it a habit to each day, share five things you did during the day. Everybody plays or nobody plays.
- Be excited to hear what your child has to say. If it sounds like your grilling them or your not paying attention, your likely going to get the ‘nothing’ response. If you sound like you really want to know what they did today, they are more likely to open up and share.
- Recognize that sometimes kids need a little bit of time to shift gears from school to home. There is a certain mindset and persona that your child takes on as she navigates her day. Give her time to decompress and then see if she has something to share.
As with many things I talk about, the more you honestly engage your child, the more they will see that you are truly interested and supportive of who they are and what they have to say.
And keep in mind that if you get the ‘nothing’ or ‘I don’t know’ response, coming back with sarcasm, anger or judgment isn’t going to demonstrate interest in their day. Try addressing it head on with a ‘I know you did many things today and I’d love to hear about at least one when you are ready.’
Sometimes Caidin will hit me with ‘nothing’ and I’ll just let it go and then after being home for 20 minutes or so he’ll start talking about things he did during the day and I’m right there eager to listen to him.
Be forewarned though, once you get them talking, sometimes they won’t stop.
© 2012 Christine Agro
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Christine Agro is a Clairvoyant, Naturopath, Master Herbalist, Conscious Mom and Author of 50 Ways to Live Life Consciously as well as of The Conscious Living Wisdom Cards (Special Moms’ Edition). Christine is founder of The Conscious Mom’s Guide , a membership site where she helps support you on your own journey of living life consciously and on your journey of being a Conscious parent. You can also join Christine on Facebook. To contact Christine, invite her to speak or to schedule an appointment with her please email her.