If you’re just having no luck getting your kid to answer ANY question (fun, unusual, or otherwise), give this one a shot. Sara Ackerman in the Washington Post writes that when she asked her daughter “Do you want to hear about MY day?”, her little girl was indeed interested in hearing about mom’s meetings and the jammed printer. And after Sara shared about her own day, her daughter, “like she’s taking her turn in a game of Go Fish” opened up about what she’d done that day. The article explains the genius behind this question better than I can. Check it out right here and let us know if this finally gets your gradeschool kid talking! Continue reading Do you want to hear about my day?
So the third question in this series actually already appears in this section of “Questions to ask your gradeschool kid.” But I really love these 3 for how they work as a combo. And I REALLY love the effect they have when asked consistently, every single day. The benefits extend beyond kids and go right up to parents and the family as a whole. For the full scoop, check out this article by Meg Conley titled, “We Ask Our Kids the Same 3 Questions Every Night.” Continue reading How were you brave? How were you kind? How did you fail?
Helping your kids have a healthy perspective on failure is a TREMENDOUS service to their lives at work, with others, and within themselves. In a video interview with Business Insider, Sara Blakely – the CEO of Spanx, shares how her dad at the dinner table would ask her every week how she’d failed at something. The terrible auditions and other “failures” were celebrated and high-fived. If Sara had failed at nothing that week, her dad was actually disappointed. As a result, for Sara the real failure became not trying new things. The other “failures” were recast as wins on the way to valuable lessons. Start redefining failure early for your kids and the resilience that grows will pay off for a lifetime. Continue reading What have you failed at recently?
Conversing with grade-school kids as if they’re adults (whenever possible) just seems like a good idea to me. I don’t mean talking with a 10-year-old about escrow. I mean engaging with that 10-year-old in a way that makes it clear that you’re interested in his perspective on the world and care about how he experiences things. This question is a great way to get into a meaningful and potentially enlightening conversation (for both parties). Continue reading What about being an adult are you most looking forward to? Least looking forward to?
If your kiddo answers this one with his best friend, feel free to ask again saying, “Okay cool. And how about if you couldn’t be in Mike’s group?” The answers get interesting when, beyond best friends, you start to get a sense of what your kid values in a collaborative exercise. Does he pick someone who is nice and easy to work with? Or the classmate who usually has the right answers? Or someone he wants to get to know better? Does he have different criteria completely? There are tons of good options! So how does he decide? Find out! Continue reading If you could be in anyone’s group for a group project, whose team would you want to be on? Why?
This question reveals a lot about how your kid sees himself and what qualities he thinks he does or does not possess. It’s also interesting to see how he thinks of opposite personalities. Is his exact opposite a classmate he dislikes or just someone he feels different from? Continue reading Which person in your class is your exact opposite?
There are plenty of reasons why your kid might want to skip an assignment. The subject is frustrating because it’s confusing. It’s a partner assignment and he doesn’t work well with his partner. Maybe it’s just not that interesting a subject to him. Ask and find out! Continue reading If you could skip any assignment this week, what would you skip? Why?
This question gets a good conversation going about who your kid respects and likes in her class. It can also easily turn into a discussion about her interests as well as how she feels about the real teacher. (One pro tip: Try adding the requirement that your kid can’t pick a best friend as the teacher.) Continue reading If one of your classmates could be the teacher for the day who would you want it to be? Why?
Let’s not make things more difficult than they need to be! Cut straight to lunch – regularly a highlight of the school day. As with all good questions, this one can’t be answered with a yes-no. You’re guaranteed to get some info about friends, jokes, topics of conversation, etc. Continue reading What was your favorite part of lunch?
Everyone loves a good zombie apocalypse! And your kid certainly has opinions about all her teachers. Combine the two and you can get some great insights into which personalities, teaching styles, and subjects your little one likes or dislikes. Continue reading Which one of your teachers would survive a zombie apocalypse? Why?
I had a friend in 4th grade named Adam and he would tuck his knees up into his shirt and walk around class that way cracking everybody up. I still like talking about him! Your kid will probably have more to say in response to this question than she would for “How was your day?” Continue reading Who is the funniest person in your class? Why is he/she so funny?
Simple enough. Not loaded. Just “What did you play?” This should definitely get your little one talking. You’ll also find out who your kid plays with. Continue reading What games did you play at recess today?
It’s a very specific question and it can’t be answered with a yes/no. Your little one will have to reflect a bit on the day and his/her answer will open up lots of possible follow up questions. “Cool. What does that word mean? Why did the class talk about that word so much?” Continue reading What word did your teacher say the most today?
If you ask your little dude/dudette, “How was school?” you’ll probably get a 1-word answer. On the other hand, this aliens question is much more likely to get your kid talking and also telling you about the classroom dynamics. Continue reading If aliens came to school and beamed up 3 kids, who do you wish they would take? Why?