Wellbeing News

Hi families,

It is not always easy to get information from your child about how their school day was. A typical after-school conversation might go a little something like this:

“How was your day?”


“What did you do?”

“Nothing much.”

You continue with your afternoon or evening with no further information than that, feeling frustrated or disappointed that your child doesn’t want to talk to you about school at all.

If you’re tired of repeating this process each day with no change, it might be time to start thinking about some other questions to ask instead. Leading with a question that requires more than a simple yes or no is a great way to open a conversation and get your child talking about their day.

Why don’t you try one or more of these questions and see how your child reacts.

Happy reading,

Ms Jodie

Talking about school: why children sometimes find it hard

‘How was school?’ is a big question. To answer, your child has to sum up a whole day, and that’s hard for children (and even adults!) to do.

A child might really want to say, ‘My day was so jam-packed with ideas and classes and social stuff that I don’t know where to start’. So it’s easier just to say, ‘OK’.

Some children feel their school experiences are private, so they might not want to share them. This is a typical part of school-age development as children start to shape their own identities and social worlds. But your child still needs to know you’re available when they’re ready to talk.

Why talking about school is important

Talking with your child about the school day shows you’re interested in what’s going on in their life. This interest boosts your child’s mental health, happiness and wellbeing. It can also have a very positive effect on your child’s behaviour and achievement. It shows your child that you value school and education, which encourages them to value it too.

Talking together about school also helps you get to know more about what’s expected of your child at school, how they learn and how they handle challenges. It can help you understand when your child is feeling less interested in school or having problems.

When you’re in touch with your child’s feelings about school, you’re more likely to see problems before they get too big. This way you can work on overcoming challenges together.

And talking about school issues – like school projects or friendship problems – is also a great chance for you to express your family values about things like teamwork, respect for self and others, friendships, relationships, problem-solving and so on.

Strategies for talking about school with your child

When your child first gets home from school in the afternoon, they’ll probably be tired and hungry or thinking about other things. So easing the transition from school or after-school activities to home can help your child feel more like talking.

It’s best to avoid asking your child a lot of questions straight away – this can be overwhelming for your child. You can just let your child know that you’re glad to see them, and talk about non-school topics for a while. Younger children will probably also like unpacking their bags and going through any notes before you ask about school.

Saving questions about homework for later on can also take the pressure off!

Every afternoon or evening will be different. Even if your child usually likes to share their day with you, there’ll be days when they don’t want to talk. Sometimes it’s a matter of sensing your child’s mood and picking the right moment. Some days there might not be a right moment at all, and that’s OK.

Questions to ask your kids about their day at school

Specific questions to open communication

  • What did you do after eating your lunch?
  • Did anything funny happen today?
  • What’s one new fact that you learnt today?
  • What were 3 things you enjoyed today at school?
  • What was the best/worst thing about today?
  • What was your highlight? What was your lowlight?
  • What questions did you have today that didn’t get answered?
  • What was your favourite thing today?
  • Did anyone or anything make you sad?
  • Did anyone get into trouble today?

Friendships and big feelings

  • Who did you sit next to at lunch? What was the yummiest thing in their lunch box?
  • Who do you hang with today?
  • If you had a magic eraser to erase one thing from the day what would you erase?
  • What was your favourite act of kindness you witnessed today?
  • What was the most challenging part of your day today?
  • What made you smile today?
  • What was the best part of your day?
  • What are you looking forward to doing tomorrow?
  • What was something kind you did?
  • What was something you learned?
  • How were you kind today?

Ten conversation-starter questions from Scholastic:

  1. Tell me about the best part of your day.
  2. What was the hardest thing you had to do today?
  3. Did any of your classmates do anything funny?
  4. Tell me about what you read in class.
  5. Who did you play with today? What did you play?
  6. Do you think math [or any subject] is too easy or too hard?
  7. What’s the biggest difference between this year and last year?
  8. What rules are different at school than our rules at home? Do you think they’re fair?
  9. Who did you sit with at lunch?
  10. Can you show me something you learned (or did) today?





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