How I encourage my children to open up about their day

Do you find it hard to get your children to talk about their day? Find out how I have got my children to open up about their day at school.

“What have you been up to today?”

“Nothing”

Does this sound familiar to you? It’s the usual reply I get from my children at the school gate. That or “it was boring”, “not a lot” the list of non committal answers is endless! I, as you do, know that these answers aren’t true. You also know yourself how you feel when you’ve finished a day at work, you don’t want to be bombarded with questions.

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I wanted to find a way for my children to open up more about their days. I miss them so much when they are at school and I feel I’m missing out on a huge chunk of their lives.

A year ago Miss 9 was struggling with school and certain friendships which led onto anxiety. This triggered me to find a way to delve deeper into my children’s days.

So I came up with a game which we play at dinner time, when we’re sat round the table as a family and they’ve had time to unwind from their day.

It’s as simple as asking each of them “What made you happy today?” I will then ask “Did anything make you feel sad today?”. I will alternate positive and negative questions.

My children now love this game and it’s become part of most evening meals with them often asking “can we play that game mummy?”. Master 3 now even joins in and wants to be part of the chat.

I now often find that we don’t go through many questions as their responses will lead to further conversations or stories that have happened during their day.

Here is a list of some of the questions I may ask to encourage my children to talk and recognise their feelings:

  • What made you happy today?
  • Did anything make you feel sad today?
  • What made you smile today?
  • Did anything make you feel cross today?
  • Did anything make you laugh out loud today?
  • Did you find something hard today?
  • Did you do anything kind today?
  • Did something make you want yo stamp your feet today?

What ways do you get your children to open up about their day? I’d love to know as I’m always looking for new ways to encourage my children to open up.

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