As the first day of school quickly approaches (I know some have already started), parents are asking me how I get my child to talk to me more about school. We parents want information don’t we!? We feel that in exchange for our nurturance and worry and everything we did to get them ready for school, we should at least get to know what’s happening there!
A universal refrain sweeps the country at 3.30pm each day.
Parent: So, how was your day?
Parent: What happened?
Child: Nothing happened. I told you. It was fine.
It’s not always easy to get young people to tell us about what happened at school. Some questions I ask my child;
- Tell me the funniest thing that happened to you today.
- What did you do today that made you proud?
- Who did you play with today?
- What games did you play with your friends?
- What did you learn about that you found interesting?
- What was the best part about today?
- What happened today that you wish you could have changed?
- What did you learn today that you did not know before?
- What was the most boring thing that happened today?
- Why are you looking forward to going to school tomorrow?
What (or whether) children choose to share with us has a lot to do with their personality, of course. But a factor that is more within our control is our connection with them—specifically, how much they trust us with their innermost thoughts and feelings.
Yes, I also have him questions like “What was the worst part of your day”. I want my child to learn that all feelings, even the uncomfortable ones, are okay. Eventually, I can help him understand how his emotions often drive his behaviour—and that while all emotions are okay, all behaviour is not equally effective in helping him reach his goals.
So why, in the end, do I ask him how his day was?
Because I want to be an unconditionally loving place in my childs life, where the will always be able to touch his own significance and feel his own belonging. I want to be the place where he can unburden himself from life’s difficulties—so that, ultimately, he is able to receive life’s beauty, in all its magnificence.
Photo’s taken by Amber. Follow her on Instagram _ambermg_