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Conversation starters

September 23rd, 2010

“How was school today?”


“What did you do?”


“Anything interesting?


Conversation with your kids not getting anywhere?

A parent asked me how she can get her child to tell her about what’s going on at school.

Since you are the adult here, don’t blame the child for not wanting to talk. He may be going through all kinds of growing pains, or simply growing up, that has not matured to be able to talk to you to your satisfaction. It’s up to you to develop the savvy to talk to your child in a way that draws him out.

Consider these 3 principles of what you can do to have a decent conversation with your child:

1. Talk about something that interest your child, not you. He doesn’t want to talk about schoolwork or how messy his room is.

2. Keep the nagging tone out of your conversation. Keep it friendly, not condescending.

3. Ask your children specific questions of what you really want to know, not general questions that do not show a genuine interest.

Here are a few conversation starters to get your children to talk about school (and for you to know what’s really going on):

* What was most fun at recess today?

* What did your teacher/friends do that made it a good/bad day today?

* Who do you think would be voted as the nicest/funniest/most athletic/most talkative person in your class?

* What do you think you would be voted as?

* If you had to pick 5 people from your class to be stranded with on an island, who would you choose? Why?

* If you were the teacher in your class, what would you do differently to help kids learn?

* If you were the teacher in your class, what would you do with kids who don’t turn in their homework?

* What is your favorite part of the class?

* What do you think is your teacher’s favorite part of the class?

Be creative in asking your children about their day at school.  Their answers may surprise you.

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  1. […] are some complete-the-sentence conversation starters. Parents have to answer too. Use these when you take a walk together, or on an hour drive to […]


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