We’ve all been there – you ask your child to share about their day and all you hear is ‘fine’ or ‘good’ in response. It can be difficult to get children to open up about the true nature of their daily experiences, but it can be essential if you want to forge a strong bond with your child.
After all, these early years can help set the communication habits and expectations your child will carry forward for many years to come.
How can you encourage a more thorough response? What do you need to do to help children to open up? Read on and we’ll walk you through what you need to know.
Try Different Timing
Your initial impulse to ask your child about their day likely starts the moment they’re back in your own care. However, this is likely the same moment that your child is feeling the urge to relax and decompress.
Part of the reason you may get a short response from them is simply that they don’t want to get into it at this moment. It’s all fresh and they’re tired of it.
Getting them to open up about it might be as simple as waiting another hour or two to talk about it over dinner, or during another opportunity. You can try to connect with them on something else in the meantime – perhaps one of their favorite conversation topics.
Mix Talking With an Activity
Sometimes talking to kids can be difficult if they feel all of your focus head-on. There’s something about this concentrated attention that can make the questions you ask them feel more like a test than truly catching up.
One way to break away from this atmosphere is to try and catch up while doing some other activity together. It could be playing catch in the yard, taking a walk, or working together on something at home.
This change in action can help your child feel more comfortable, and less on the spot, and encourage a more chatty response.
Ask Better Questions
At the end of the day, parents also need to realize that ‘how was your day?’ isn’t the most well-thought-out question, either. You may get the simple answer you deserve.
If you want to talk to your kids, you’ll need to put in a little more effort to meet them with the specifics of their life. Make sure you know who their teachers and friends are, and ask specific questions about people, activities, and events that you have some awareness of.
The specificity of these questions should help to push them towards a more engaged response. You can chat separately with your child’s teacher or care providers to get a sense of what kind of things to ask about.
Getting Your Child to Share
You have a natural curiosity about your child’s life in the hours that they are away from you, but it can be difficult to get children to open up about this experience.
The above information can help you create a more communicative environment – these steps can help to encourage your child to share more.