Today Asher started Kindergarten and Jackson started first grade. And when I pick them up from school, I want to hear it all. I want to hear about every single part of their day. Heck, if I could, I’d be a fly on the wall. But I can’t, so it’s up to them to tell me what the day entailed and it’s up to me to get it out of them… EVERYTHING. I know that’s not going to happen, but there are a few ways to get an answer to the question, “What did you do at school today?” and hear more than, “I don’t know.”
First, what’s helped me and what can help you is to interview your kid (not to the point of exhaustion), but just enough to get some good ‘intel.’ ALWAYS ask open ended questions. If you ask simple, “yes” or “no” questions, that’s exactly what you’ll get. Make a game out of it! Then sneak in a few questions that will ensure some juicy details. My advice comes to you after years of interviewing kids as a journalist and understanding that they are the toughest interviewees ever!
So here we go!
1) Give me two names of kids in your class.
2) What was your teacher wearing?
3) What was the first thing you did in school?
4)What was the last thing you did in school?
5) What did you see in another kid’s lunchbox that you’d like for your lunch?
6) What was your favorite part of the classroom and why?
7) What game did you play at recess?
8) What part of the day did you like the least and why?
9) Tell me how you felt when you first walked into the classroom? Nervous, excited?
10) What was one thing your teacher said to you that was silly?
11) Guess how old your teachers are.
12) Give me three chances to figure out what your favorite subject is. And if I don’t get it, you don’t have to clear your plate at dinner tonight.
13) What color uniform (or outfit) are you planning on wearing to school tomorrow?
14) If you could go back to school today and start the day over, what would you do differently and why?
15) What are you looking forward to tomorrow at school?
So you get the drift parents, and if none of this works you can always revert to bribery… here’s a little conversation that’s worked for me in the past and goes a little like this:
Me: So what did you do in school today?
Them: Yeah, nothing.
Me: Oh gee then, you must be eating too much sugar, your brain isn’t working right. We better not have dessert tonight.
Them: They start talking…