After School Conversation Starters: Talking to you kids about school can be tough. These after school conversation starters and tips are super helpful to connecting with your kids.
Thankfully, after 7 years of after school conversations (and lots of great articles out there), I have learned a few tips that help our conversations flow a bit easier – and I get more detail then just “Fine.” And I am pleased to be sharing that with you today!
5 After School Conversation Starters
DO NOT START IMMEDIATELY HOUNDING YOUR CHILD
When your child gets home after a long school day, try to keep things light and neutral.
Now is NOT the time to talk about an unmade bed or tell them to start their homework the minute they walk in the door. Greet them with a warm embrace, a smile and no phone in hand. Show them you missed them and are happy to see them.
Another tip is to have a favorite snack ready for your child after their school day.
Some of my favorite after-school snacks are:
- Healthy Banana Split Sundae
- Gluten-Free Trail Mix Bars
- Fruit with Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip
- No Bake Apple Pie Granola Bars
ASK SPECIFIC QUESTIONS ABOUT THEIR SCHOOL DAY
I get better responses when I say, “What did you do in Science today?” verses “How was your day?”
Try out some of these specific questions about the school day:
- Did you learn anything that surprised you today?
- Did your teacher(s) make any funny jokes?
- Did anything make you sad today?
- Is there one thing you wish you could have skipped in the school day today?
- What did you enjoy about your lunch today?
- What was the most boring part of your day?
TAKE INTEREST IN WHO YOUR CHILD’S FRIENDS ARE
If you are like me, you desire to know who your child is around, but you may not have the opportunity to connect or meet with every child your child hangs out with during the school hours.
So find out more about your child’s friends by asking questions like these?
- Who did you play with today at recess?
- Who did you sit with at lunch?
- Who made you laugh at school today?
BE A SAFE PLACE FOR YOUR KIDS
Allow your children to talk to you about not liking their teacher, a friend that hurt their feelings, or their hatred for homework. Don’t minimize their feelings. Talk through a solution with them and help them to learn to extend forgiveness and acceptance (unless this involves bullying – then take the appropriate measures to talk to the school.)
I have found it also helps for me to share with my kids things I liked/disliked about school, or a time a friend hurt my feelings, or when I felt left out as a child. Again, this helps your child to relate to you and allows you to help them to feel more comfortable to open up to you. Sometimes, it also is a chance for your child to realize they are NOT alone in how they are feeling.
ASK THEM HOW YOU CAN HELP MAKE THEIR SCHOOL YEAR BETTER
Talk to them about what their favorite lunch that you pack, or what breakfast they feel gives them enough energy to last until lunch. Maybe talk to them about whether they want you to visit them for lunch at school occasionally, or if they would prefer you not to.
Ask your children if they want you to drive them to school or do they want to take the bus. I do NOT believe in bending over backwards to make our children’s desires come true, but asking these questions can help you get in their heads a bit better and make their experience at school much better.
What if you are a working Parent?
If you are a working parent, do what you can and DO NOT beat yourself up for not being there every moment you want to be. You can chat with your children at dinner or at before bedtime. The bottom line is does not matter WHEN you talk, just be sure to talk.
This post originally appeared on Don’t Waste the Crumbs.