Recently, Heidi Stevens , the Features Editor at the Chicago Tribune contacted me because she liked my article on “Nine Tips to Get Your Child to Talk About Her School Day,” and wanted to interview me for an article she was writing on that topic.
Last week, her article, “Kids Won’t Talk About School? Experts Reveal How to Get Kids of All Ages to Talk To You About Their School Day,” ran in the Chicago Tribune and featured some of my suggestions as an expert.She mentioned my points that you should know your child’s friends, what they are doing in class (read up on the class Web site) so you can be an informed conversationalist about her day. Many kids say that recess is their favorite subject so be a student of recess. Know what games they play with the kick ball or what equipment is popular with your child. If snack is important to them, be able to talk snack.Avoid a lot of questions but start some open ended statements and pause for your child to fill in. One of the other experts quoted in the article, Jim Fay, of Love and Logic Institute, suggests a 30 mintue rule which I like. “Make your first half hour together question free.” Let your child relax, get a snack, unwind after his day. Then get the conversation going.
Respond to complaints by problem solving together and working through soluntions, giving your child the words to work through difficulties. If your child says, “I hate math, I’m no good at it,” you might respond by saying, “I’m sorry. I can see you are frustrated. Show me your math book and let’s see what is hard.”