How many of you have asked this question of your child in anticipation of a lovely conversation, only to be answered by a brusque: “Fine!” before they clumpf off to their room?
In my maaaany diverse readings, I somehow dimly remember advice on how to ask the type of questions that would provoke (I use this word in a positive sense!) a response consisting of more than a one syllable grunt. The child actually has to think about a reply.
I have used some of these questions to gauge how the child’s day was when I collect them for their tutoring sessions or simply to elicit conversation.
Some questions to ask…
- Tell me something good that happened today.
- Who did you help today at school?
- What fun thing happened during break?
- What was the most enjoyable / least enjoyable thing that happened today?
- Who sat next to you in class?
- Did you share anything with someone today?
- What life lesson did you learn today?
- Name one interesting thing that you heard at school today (try not to entertain gossip)
- If you could change one thing about school / your class / your subject what would it be?
- Who got into trouble today and how was it resolved?
- What do you like about your teacher?
- What was the most challenging thing you faced today?
- Who is the nicest person in your class?
- Are there children who are mean and what do they do?
- What did you learn that was useful?
- What are you grateful for?