How Was Your Day, Sweetheart? – Why do we need to ask our kids how their school day was?

When we ask our kids how their school day was, we often get a range of answers. In their elementary school years, it’s usually an enthusiastic response filled with stories about what they did at recess, what they learned in science class, and what they ate for lunch. These responses tend to dry up as they get older, or maybe we stop asking. Let’s be honest. School becomes very much like work over the years – one day often looking just like all the others. So, why continue asking?
I’m so glad you asked that. As parents, we have far more impact on our children’s lives than it may appear, especially with teenagers. Asking, “How was your day?” or “What did you learn today?” takes minimal effort, and it shows that we care. That we’re willing to listen and that we want to be supportive. There may be days when nothing tremendously exciting happened, and there may be days when they don’t want to talk about it. However, I’d argue, you should keep asking your kids how their school day was?

Staying Involved

Asking about your child’s day at school is a great way to stay involved and engaged. But, what kinds of questions should we ask? Is “How was your day at school?” really enough?
Well, there are a few things to consider when asking questions in relationships. One of the essential elements of asking a good question is considering what you know about the situation. You may not have a ton of info, but you certainly have access to their teacher list. Pointedly asking what they learned in Mrs. So-and-so’s class today might be a great place to start, especially if it’s their favorite subject or a class they were excited about taking.
Knowing if your child is thinking of joining any clubs is a great way to keep things specific. A great way to learn what clubs are available and seem more genuine in your asking is to review the list with your children and talk about them. You may find that your children need your guidance and support more than you know when it comes to getting involved at school.
If your child is considering a new sport or even quitting the one they’ve invested so much into, these are things to discuss. Children often have more profound reasons for their thoughts, feelings, and actions than we credit for.

Taking the Time to Listen

Everyone likes to feel heard and accepted. If you’re going to seriously engage with your kids by asking them probing questions about their school day, you must be ready to listen. You might interject with questions here and there, but most of all, your kids want to know that you’re listening to them and taking them seriously. You may not know or understand everything they’re telling you, but at least you can be willing to learn. Asking about what’s going in your child’s life has to come with some understanding that they will keep something’s private.
The willingness to listen and engage non-combatively is so essential. A desire to read and engage with your child in studying can also help have something to talk about. Exploring the emotions of fictional characters is a way that teachers challenge students to comprehend the actions of others and build empathy. Taking part in this process and having open conversations about the characters and scenes will also help your child form stronger attachments to their education.
Children need to feel heard. They need to know that when they need you to listen to them, you will. Ask your kids about their day. Talk about the good things and the bad. And allow them to create their understandings. Do your best to be supportive and understanding. This will help them realize that you are a person they can trust and come to with their stuff, be it large or small.

Sharing is Caring

Not only should you take time to ask your children what they are doing in school and elsewhere, but you should also be willing to share. By sharing specifics of your day, the good things and the bad, you teach your children about healthy ways to communicate. You show them that vulnerability is sometimes a strength. In doing so, you will reinforce the certainty that they are safe to open up to you about things in their lives.

Share about your friendship problems and how you’ve dealt with them. Share with them – what you’re willing – about your past/failed relationships. Personal stories are a great way to connect. There is such a thing as an over-share, but, for the most part, your children will appreciate some of the finer details, especially about your memories from your teenage years. These stories and facts will help them get to know you as an individual. We tend to trust individuals more than authority figures.

Why do we need to ask our kids how their school day was

Drawing Conclusions

There is a multitude of reasons why you should ask your children about their day. Many different interpersonal skills are required for some of these challenging times in our relationships. You or they may not be entirely ready for all of it. From my experience, asking questions is a good thing. It reminds people that you care, and if you go deeper than simply asking about their day, it reminds them that you listened.

Sharing is caring!