Put a Stop to "Fine"
The question that is often asked by our partners, friends and families as adults is always a good prompt for us to brain dump our joys and frustrations of the day. Often used as a way to reflect and learn from our experiences or seek advice on how to approach a problem. However when you ask the same question to your kids you may receive a one-word answer like fine or good. We wanted to offer some other options that might allow for you to get into a bit more of a deep dive on how they are feeling and their daily experiences.
1) What was the best thing that happened today? What was the hardest part of your day?
Learning to reflect on the highs and lows of your day is important as it can not only show what is going well in their lives but also possible mistakes. This will allow you to teach your child to learn from their mistakes. This can also be a good discussion point to reflect on their emotions and how to manage anger, frustration or sadness.
2) What were you most proud of?
This is a BB favourite and how we like to end our work day. It’s a good way to reflect on what your child has achieved and what skills or abilities might have surprised them. This is their personal gold star award.
3) What was something you learned today?
Being able to recount lessons from the day is a great sign of retention. The introduction of smartphones and the Internet being at our fingertips is reducing our skills of retaining information, however until you can Google in an exam this is a skill they will need to continually work on. They will thank you when they don’t have to cram for their exams.
4) What did someone tell you today?
If you are anything like me, you like to follow accounts like Overheard NYC, LA or London, it not only provides a good laugh but a great insight into fellow humans. This is the same for your kids. What are they learning from their peers and are they paying attention to their surroundings.
5) If an alien spaceship came to your classroom and beamed someone up, who would you want them to take?
This non-threatening way of approaching the topic of who your child would rather isn’t in their class. It can allow you to uncover issues that they might be having with a peer or challenges you may have not known existed.
Remember as well as you are going through this that there is a great power in setting an example. Have your kids ask you questions similar to the above so you can show them how you reflect on your day. You are teaching them how you deal with challenges and celebrate their own success.
For more questions you can ask your child visit the Huff Post article, 25 Ways to ask your kids ‘so how was school today?’
i. Why you should make time for self-reflection (even if you hate doing it), Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/2017/03/why-you-should-make-time-for-self-reflection-even-if-you-hate-doing-it
ii. 25 Ways to ask your kids ‘so how was school today?’ without asking them ‘so how was school today?’ Huff Post, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/25-ways-to-ask-your-kids-so-how-was-school-today-without-asking-them-so-how-was-school-today_n_5738338
iii. Neuroscience says your smartphone maybe making you stupid, Inc., https://www.inc.com/tim-askew/does-smartphone-make-you-stupid.html