Finding out About Their Day at School

"How to talk so Kids will Listen & Listen so Kids will Talk"

by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

Here is a parenting tip that will help you improve your communication with your children!

What sort of response do you get when you ask your child about his/her day at school? Do you have this type of dialogue:

Parent: How was school?

Child: Boring

Parent: What did you do?

Child: Nothing

If you have been here, you know how this conversation goes.

This book has taught me to really listen to my children. When they come home from school, I ask them about their day. I start by asking "How was your day?" and depending on how they are feeling, I might get an okay or I might get the full scoop. If I am not getting details, then I say something like "Tell me one good thing that happened to you today." A simple statement like this starts the dialogue. Depending on the day, I might add, "Did anything bad happen?" I find that by asking specifics and by really listening to them, kids will gladly talk with you.

They tell me about things that made them happy and also things about that made them sad or angry. I listen more that I talk. I respond by saying Oh? Or mmm or I see. I may ask how it made them feel and help with labeling a feeling if they are unable to express it. These techniques have helped me to really know and understand my children.

The best part of my day with my children is when they come home from school and we chat for a few minutes before they do their homework.

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