It happens with even the most talkative of preschool children; when you ask them about their day, you get one-word answers back. This leaves you worrying about whether they played with anyone during outdoor time and if they enjoyed their day at all.
Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Valrico shares their top tips for starting a conversation and keeping it going, getting your pre-k age child to open up about their time at school when they get home.
Ask questions that are specific and open-ended about their day at preschool
You’ve probably tried, “How was school today?” without much luck. For children, especially those at preschool age, the question is too vague, and they may need more specific questions to help them remember what happened during the day. In addition to making questions more specific, it’s also important to keep them open-ended so that they can’t be answered with a single word such as “yes” or “no”. Questions like, “What games did you play during outdoor time today?” or “Can you tell me something really fun that happened” are much more likely to get your child chatting.
When they bring home art, use it as a conversation starter
Ask open-ended questions about their art and then remember to listen to their answers. For pre-schoolers, they view their art in a similar way that you view your work, so showing interest in their art helps nurture self-esteem, as well as creating a link between school and home.
Keep tabs on their preschool schedule so you can ask specific questions
This could be anything from asking about their art class to a special activity that they do on a specific day. You could ask questions such as, “what did you create in art today”, or “what happened during morning ring?”. This can also extend to the themes that they’re learning about at school; you can continue the learning at home, exploring the topic and learning new facts to build on their knowledge.
Preschool children learn by modeling their parents’ behavior
If you’re open about your day, sharing what you’ve done, things that you’ve enjoyed, and challenges you’ve faced you teach them how to communicate. You can make time to do this, maybe over dinner when you talk about something good and something bad that happened. This makes the dinner table a safe place to share life and gives you the opportunity to help your child express difficult emotions.
Read books that open a conversion
This can be as simple as choosing a book that’s about a school to help connect the story to your child’s school experience.
When you say goodnight, pause for a moment
There may be things that your preschooler wants to say to you before they go to sleep. It could be that in the quiet time of lying down that they’ve remembered something important. Don’t miss the opportunity for one last quick chat as you kiss them goodnight.
Practice actively listening to your pre-k age child
Children can always tell when you’re not giving them your full attention. You might be thinking about something that’s coming up, checking a message on your phone, or simply formulating more questions in your head in response to what they’ve said. Hold off! Concentrate on what they’re saying and don’t jump in with more questions. And, if your child starts talking about their day, put down your phone and give them your full attention. They’ll gain confidence from feeling heard and will be more likely to share going forward.
Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Valrico is family owned and operated. As a result, they welcome positive family involvement, encouraging a parent-teacher approach that puts the wellbeing of every child first.