Mom: So, how was school today?
Mom: So what did you do?
Mom: Who’d you play with?
Kid: I don’t know.
Mom: Just tell me one thing, something…?!?!?!
What gives? If you’re the parent of a child who goes to school and gives these sorts of answers…. well, I am and I am frustrated! I want to know more about all that my child experienced and lived with during that time: I’d love details about who they played with, how they felt during learning, what stories they read… mostly I just want to know what it is LIKE.
At the heart of this problem is the reality that my child, tired from all the social interaction of the say, might just not be ready to feed my curiosity. Maybe they are more ready for my connection, though…. and maybe I can shift the things I say to engage in connection, more than curiosity….
Look, if your child isn’t <yet> ready to spill all the juicy details from preschool or third grade, it is ok. There are other ways to get the juicy details AND support good development.
When we think good development AND connection, some things that come to mind are…
—> turn taking: in typical back and fourth connection, a peppering of questions is not the norm: back and fourth sharing is, and mostly the sentences end in periods. This is an important experience for kids to have with their parents.
—> adult modeling/sharing: It’s important for kids to witness their adults acting and communicating in the ways we want them to- and also, engaging them and providing scaffolding for their engagement in the ways we want it to be.
—> respecting good development: development is forged over many slow interactions. If asking questions or inquiring about the day isn’t working, there may be a better way.