I am clueless, my child does not talk about his school day!

So there are some children who get in through the door of the car or their home and there is a ton of information dumped on you, from how their best friend was hurt, who the teacher scolded, who won the trophy and what the naughty boy in class did. These are the parents whose children feel the need to share their day as soon as they can get their parents’ attention.

Then there are those children who answer in monosyllables and you could be Sherlock Holmes and none the wiser. You could prod gently or you could poke them but the maximum answer you would get from them would be – “It was a good day.” My son likes to say “normal day” implying the same routine.

Its not that your child is purposely hiding something from you or wants to keep his day a secret, its just that the timing, the questions, his mood might not be right.

A frustrated mother writes in sharing how she is clueless about her child because he comes home and does not talk about his school day.

I share some strategies on how to encourage your child to talk about his school day.

  1. Are you asking your child the questions at the right time? Yes you are ready to ask the questions but it might not be that your child is ready at THAT time. Yes you need to cook dinner, pick up your older one from class but that does not mean you can ‘force’ your child to answer when it is convenient to you. Maybe he needs a bit of a rest, a snack, and time to unwind before he faces your questions? (Hint: Just like the way you need to give your husband his space after he comes home from work)
  2. Are you asking him the right questions? We tend to ask the same old, same old questions – how was your day at school? And children then give you the same old, same old answer – good/ok/normal. They feel that’s what you want to hear and it becomes an automatic response of monosyllabic answers.
  3. Try asking him different questions everyday. Questions that make him think about his answers, questions that show you genuinely want to know what happened in his school day. Examples of questions that can get you more than a monosyllabic answer:

– What was the best part of your day?

– Which part of the day do you wish had not happened?

4. Are you truly listening in or are you distracted while he is answering? Children are   smarter than you think and they pick up cues very well. If you are on your phone checking emails or sending messages then they feel not heard or seen. That discourages them from sharing with you because they get the message that mum or dad are not interested in what they have to say. It becomes a pattern over time, till such time you realize that you are not privy to their going ons. They have learnt to shut themselves up catering to your basic questioning in monosyllables.

Actionn: If you would like help as a mother/parent to develop skills to learn how to parent your child and establish a better communication channel– email sunainaathena@gmail.com to book a FREE 30 minute session.

Incase your child needs to learn skills on how to communicate with confidence email       sunainaathena@gmail.com to find out how I can help your child develop communication skills to achieve academic success and enhance their personality.