Whether we are single or divorced, we all lead busy lives. When we reunite with our children at the end of each workday, we are tired and so are our children. Consequently, it's easy to lapse into the traditional adult question: "How was your day?" It's not unusual to hear responses such as: "Okay", "boring", "all right". And as children become teenagers, it may not be unusual to receive some kind of primitive grunt.
Now one would think that because I'm an attorney and I'm good at interrogating people, I would be better than the average adult in parenting children and obtaining information from them. Unfortunately, I have to admit somewhat sheepishly, I am not. However, after doing some research, I think I found some additional questions that are somewhat open ended and would require more than the monosyllabic response.
These are questions which your children may answer with more than a single word or grunt. In fact, don't be surprised if you may be able to engage in a whole conversation with them. Some suggestions I've received from friends are as follows:
- What did you eat for lunch?
- Did you catch anyone picking their nose? – Now that should certainly get a surprised look from some children
- What games did you play at noontime or at recess or at gym class?
- What was the funniest thing that happened today?
- Did anyone do anything super nice for you?
- What was the nicest thing you did for somebody else?
- Who or what made you smile today and why?
- Which one of your teachers or principals would survive a zombie apocalypse? Why?
- What new fact did you learn today that you did not know before?
- Who had the best food in their lunch today? What was it?
- What challenged you today?
- How would you rate your day on a scale of 1 to 10? Why?
- If one of your classmates could be teacher for the day, who would you want it to be? Why?
- If you had the chance to be the teacher tomorrow, in what subject would you want to teach and what would you teach in that subject?
- Did anyone push your buttons today? What happened?
- What is your teacher's most important rule?
- Tell me something you learned about a friend today?
- If aliens came to school and beamed up three kids, who do you wish they would take? Why?
- If aliens came to school and beamed up three teachers or principals, who do you wish they would take and why?
- What was one thing you did today that was helpful to somebody or something?
- When did you feel most proud of yourself today? Why?
- What rule was the hardest to follow today?
- What person in your class is your exact opposite?
- What's the one skill you hope to master before the year is out?
I'm sure that our readers will be able to come up with variations of these questions and add additional questions to this list. Again, the key to engaging children in conversation is to ask something they may not be expecting and in an open-fashion way. Don't be surprised if your child is shocked at this new approach of interacting with him or her at the end of the day. Be patient, keep trying, and the conversations will come.
Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney Charles D. Jamieson understands that divorce is an extremely sensitive and important issue. Thanks to extensive experience and a focus on open communication, Attorney Jamieson adeptly addresses the complex issues surrounding divorce while delivering excellent personal service. To discuss your divorce or other family law matter, please contact The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A. online or call 561-478-0312.