To ask your kids af­ter school

South Florida Times - - BACK TO SCHOOL - Hello cre­ativ­ity! While you’re at it, grab a snack! Af­ter all, you’ll prob­a­bly get bet­ter an­swers from a kid well-fed. What’s your I don’t know about your kids but Jay­den’s al­ways ex­cited about bas­ket­ball and the swings. Best way to get the gig­gles flow

“Did you do any­thing ex­cit­ing?” “No, not re­ally.” Does this con­ver­sa­tion sound fa­mil­iar to you? If so, you’re not alone!

Most kids will an­swer with one word when asked how school was: good, fine, and if they maybe want to talk about it, they’ll say it was “ter­ri­ble” or “great” which will probe you to ask for de­tails.

Want to start a real con­ver­sa­tion? Ask open-ended ques­tions that can’t re­ally be an­swered with a yes or a no, or one word. When you give them the op­tion to just say “yes” or “no”, they’ll usu­ally take it.

Es­pe­cially as kids get older, we have to get cre­ative! There are 6 ques­tions to ask your kids when they come home from school with a print­able work­sheet you can down­load from www.so­phis­tishe.com/what-to-ask-your-kid­safter-school/.

Tell me some­thing good that hap­pened to­day. Okay, so this one isn’t an ac­tual ques­tion so we won’t count it, but it’s a great way to start an open con­ver­sa­tion without the kids feel­ing like you’re “drilling” them.

An al­ter­na­tive would be “What was the best part of your day?”.

What’d you learn in (fa­vorite sub­ject) to­day? child’s fa­vorite sub­ject? Ask­ing them to talk about it will get them to open up – hope­fully – be­cause it is fun for them! They want to tell you what they learned, what they will be learn­ing, how awe­some their teacher is, and more.

What’d you have for lunch? I like to ask this just to make sure (my son) Jay­den’s eat­ing on days we don’t pack his lunch. Most of the time he for­gets what he had! If you have lit­tle ones, ask about snack time, too. What games did you play at re­cess? What’s the weird­est thing some­one said to­day?

Which rule was the hard­est to fol­low to­day? Man oh man, rules are dif­fi­cult to fol­low some­times! This is a great ques­tion to ask about their be­hav­ior without them feel­ing like they’re sec­onds away from los­ing Kin­dle priv­i­leges.

What was the tough­est part of your day to­day? How will to­mor­row be bet­ter? Some­times even if it was a good day, there were things that hap­pened at school that your kids will want to vent about. Let­ting them vent in a safe space at home rather than bot­tling it up and lash­ing out at school can help pre­vent prob­lems down the road.

Ask­ing your kids ques­tions when they get home from school is im­por­tant, and not just for the rea­sons you might think. Yes, it’s im­por­tant from a bond­ing and in­ter­ac­tion stand­point but it’s also im­por­tant to de­tect things that could be go­ing on.

A lot of the time if a child is be­ing bul­lied or strug­gling in school they won’t come right out to their par­ents and say so. Get­ting a con­ver­sa­tion go­ing rather than ask­ing if they’re strug­gling will get you bet­ter re­sults.

And what bet­ter way to start an af­ter school di­a­logue than over snacks? I grabbed these snacks from CVS: some veg­gie chips, ket­tle corn, Greek yo­gurt cov­ered raisins, more of the fruit snack bars from Gold Em­blem abound and An­nie’s cookie bites.

Sheena Ta­tum is a self-de­scribed: in­tro­verted free-spirit and se­rial dreamer ob­sessed with all things trop­i­cal and care­free. She loves in­spir­ing oth­ers to live wholly and find beauty in the mun­dane. She mar­ried her Jr. High sweet­heart and to­gether, they raise 'three tiny hu­mans' in NW In­di­ana. Ac­cord­ing to Ta­tum, “I don’t al­ways get it right, but I’ll keep try­ing any­way. To con­tact her email: sheena@so­phis­tishe.com. For more ad­vice and ideas: visit w w w. s o p h i st i s h e . c o m .

PLEASE NOTE: This ar­ti­cle has been edited for brevity and clar­ity.

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