How to Talk to Your Child About School

Does your child give you one-word answers when you ask him or her how school was? Many parents find it to be challenging to entice kids to talk about school, yet having these conversations is vitally important for early childhood education and college prep education. Discussing school with your child lets him or her know that you value education. Try using the following tips to motivate your reluctant talker to open up to you.

Choose the Right Time
When you first see your child after his or her after-school program lets out, try not to immediately begin asking questions. Many children need a little time to decompress and adjust to new surroundings. Greet your child enthusiastically, discuss the family’s plans for the rest of the day, and then ask a few questions about school.

Take Advantage of Conversation Icebreakers
Some children are more willing to discuss school if they feel that they brought up the topic first. Listen for conversational cues that your child wants to talk about school. For example, you can invite your child to talk about a school project when he or she asks you to bring him or her to the library for research.

Ask Specific, Open-Ended Questions
It’s generally best to avoid asking your child generic questions, such as “How was school today?” Your child will probably have a standard response to this question, which won’t shed any light on what he or she actually did in school. Instead, ask specific questions such as, “What was your favorite thing in school today?” “Were you able to switch lab partners?” or “What story did you read in English today?” If your child is still reluctant to discuss school, try making the questions funny for him or her. Ask your child, “If aliens invaded your school, what would they think was the weirdest or coolest thing in it?”

Students enrolled in after-school programs in NYC have the benefit of being in a safe, supportive environment while working on their schoolwork. 82 nd Street Academics provides these safe havens for kids after school, along with exceptional college prep guidance and enrichment activities. Parents who would like to learn more about our after-school programs can call us at (718) 457-0429.