When I sent my first son off to kindergarten, I had what can only be described as an ‘ah ha’ moment. (Correction; it was more of a “holy sh*t, I’ve been downsized and now somebody else is looking after my child who I’ve cared for full-time for the past 3 years and 10 months” moment.)
The realization hit me that he now had a whole other life outside of me, and damn if I didn’t want to know what was going on in that life.
For the first few years, the how was your day question was all I needed. He couldn’t wait to talk. In fact, there were days when I wished he’d shut up a bit. We’ll file that under ‘be careful what you wish for.’ Because as both my kids got older, how was your day was responded to with a “fine” and the sound of feet bounding up the stairs.
Day after day I would ask the same question and day after day, I would get the same response. That right there is the definition of insanity.
So, I changed the game and came up with some new questions.
But secondly, I began to wait until dinner to ask anything because it turns out after a full day of school, both boys really just wanted some downtime. Turns out, when you ask is just as important as how you ask.
These are question they can answer honestly without getting into trouble, so make sure you are 100% certain you won’t do a 180 and ground them.
These are the questions that will give you insight into their day.
Today my theme song would have been (insert song name here). What was yours?
You may not get answers all the time, but I guarantee you’ll get more than a fine.