How was your day? Tips for Meaningful Conversations with Children

Each day, parents ask, “How was your day?”. Here are some tips to help you have a meaningful conversation:

Use open-ended questions: Rather than asking yes or no questions, try to ask questions that encourage your child to share more details about their day. For example, instead of asking, “Did you have a good day?” try asking, “What was your favorite part of your day?”

Show interest: Be attentive and show genuine interest in what your child has to say. This will encourage them to share more with you.

Listen actively: Listen carefully to what your child is saying and show that you are listening by nodding, making eye contact, and asking follow-up questions.

Be supportive: If your child had a difficult day, be supportive and empathetic. Let them know that you are there to listen and help them if they need it.

Keep the conversation going: If your child seems hesitant to share, try asking more specific questions about their day. For example, you could ask about a particular activity or class they had that day.

Remember that every child is different, and some may be more willing to share than others. By asking open-ended questions, showing interest, and being supportive, you can help create a positive and engaging conversation with your child.

Start a conversation about your child’s work.

Each month, your child will be creating art, participating in classroom projects and sharing what she learned. Watch for exciting activities to come home and use them as communication tools to talk to your child about what she is learning.

use art experiences to ask preschoolers "how was your day?"

Try asking these questions to learn more about your child’s experiences:

  1. Can you show me your favorite part of this project?
  2. How did you make it?
  3. Who else made a similar project? What else did you do with that friend?

It is often difficult for children to find the words to express their ideas or feelings. Use movement or visual aids to help your child show you her choices or feelings. Use this feelings poster and ask your child to point to the way she felt during different parts of her day. How did you feel during circle time? Snack time? Nap time?

Download the Feelings Poster

Use the How Are You Feeling? poster to ask your child, “How was your day?” Here are some guiding steps to follow when checking in with your child’s emotions:

  1. Start by showing your child the poster and explaining the different emotions on it. Point to each face and say the name of the emotion, such as “happy,” “sad,” “excited,” “tired,” etc. You can also talk briefly about what each emotion might feel like, so that your child has a better understanding of them.
  2. Then, ask your child to point to the face that best represents how they are feeling right now. This can be a good way to check in with your child and get a sense of their mood before asking about their day specifically.
  3. Once your child has chosen an emotion, you can ask them to explain why they feel that way. For example, if they point to “excited,” you can ask, “What’s making you feel excited today?” Or if they choose “tired,” you can ask, “What did you do today that made you feel tired?”
  4. As your child shares their thoughts and feelings, try to listen attentively and ask open-ended questions to encourage them to elaborate. You can also offer empathy and support, such as by saying, “It sounds like you had a busy day” or “I’m sorry to hear that you’re feeling sad.”
  5. Finally, if your child seems open to it, you can ask more specific questions about their day, such as “What did you learn in school today?” or “Did you have fun playing with your friends?” However, try to avoid pressuring your child to share more than they want to, and always respect their boundaries and privacy.

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