Ask a child “How was your day?” and get the reply “good, fine, ok thanks”?
Such a question doesn’t do much for kids.
They say a simple question gets a simple answer. ‘They’ were probably mums.
Family schedules are busier than ever; jam-packed with work, after school activities, homework and household chores so when it comes to dinner time it’s more important than ever to sit together and ask questions. It’s a time when a family can just “be” and enjoy one another’s company with no pressures or expectations.
The one-word answers may truly explain your child’s day but there is no doubt they have so much more to tell you. With our 18 questions to ask kids at the dinner table and similar open-ended questions you will not only be teaching your child the art of conversation, but you’ll also get a feeling for their emotions, hear their thoughts, worries and what’s most important to them.
A few tips before you get started:
Open-ended questions work best for kids, getting them thinking and talking because they need to reply with more than just one word.
Make it fun! Kids don’t want to feel like they are being tested or put on the spot so ask questions which your children would be comfortable answering.
This is a no-judgment time. Refrain from lecturing or trying to over-analyze. Sit back and let your child answer openly and honestly without feeling like they are going to open up a can of worms.
Let them ask too. The point is for better communication, right? Let kids ask you some questions and feel like they are on equal ground.
Make it routine. Asking the same questions often may create awareness. ‘What was something nice you did for someone today?’. Kids love accomplishment, by asking this question often kids will eventually start to show acts of kindness and love just to express it at the end of the day.
Help them along. If you ask a question which your child finds difficult to answer. Maybe they’re unsure if they were kind to one particular person or can ‘t think of something they are grateful for. Make a suggestion, not all the time but just enough for them to feel like you notice them. They may have shared a toy with a younger sibling – kindness. It was a sunny day – grateful for the sun and letting all the kids play outside.
We share our list of questions to ask kids at the dinner table but these could be asked at any time. Going through the car wash, waiting for a sibling after school, even while out walking the dog together. Getting kids talking more will not only strengthen your relationship with them but set them up to be better communicators as they grow up.
18 Questions to Ask Kids at the Dinner Table
1. What was your favourite part of the day?
2. What was the most challenging part of your day?
3. What are you most grateful for?
4. What did you discover today?
5. What are you excited about tomorrow?
6. What do you want to learn?
7. What was the funniest thing that happened today?
8. What games did you play today?
9. What was the nicest thing someone did for you?
10. What was the nicest thing you did for someone else?
11. Who made you smile today?
12. Who brought the best food in their lunch today? What was it?
13. What would you rate your day on a scale of 1 to 10? Why?
14. If you had the chance to be the teacher tomorrow, what would you teach the class?
15. Who do you want to make friends with but haven’t yet? Why not?
16. What is your teacher’s most important rule?
17. What is one thing you did today that was helpful?
18. When did you feel most proud of yourself today?