Parent: “How was your day?”
This kind of response from their child often frustrates parents. “How can we get them to talk to
us?”, parents plead.
There are many parts to the answer (more later), but first, change the climate of your interactions. Avoid
having the child feel interrogated. For example, share something about YOUR day and YOUR
feelings first. “Gee, it was so hot today, I found it really frustrating driving in the traffic and found it hard to be patient.
What was it like for you at recess? Did you play around the trees, or were you on that hot
playground where there is no shade?” Your child’s response will likely give you another
opening to continue the conversation. Continue with an observation, personal memory or empathetic
response to your child.
- Don’t just ask questions
- LISTEN with undivided attention
- REMEMBER the details for future encounters
PS Parents of older children often say “yes, I have tried this and it didn’t work”. The older your child
when you begin active encounters, the longer and harder you have to work at it. Sorry! Don’t give up!