He’s my baby, he’ll always be my baby, and I love to know how his day was and what he did during the day. I’d love for him to share willingly….but everyday I work to get my son to tell me about his day at school. Usually I can get him to tell me about what he ate at lunch (which I already know because I packed it), but I’m looking for more substance.
This “need to know” started when he was a newborn. If my parents watched him while we went to a movie or dinner, afterwards I happily grilled my mother about his every movement, sound and diaper. My mother happily related those events. When he started childcare in the baby room, I would do the same with his caretakers. I also loved having the daily sheet they filled out telling me what he did when and how much of ‘it’ he did. When he moved into the toddler room, the amount of information I could glean from his daily sheets started to decrease. Thankfully his caretakers were very forthcoming. I think they adored him nearly as much as I did.
As he grew older, of course, he learned to talk and he talked a lot, but he’s never wanted to share his school day with me. When I pick him up from childcare he’s wiped out. Many days he can’t believe I’m there so early and doesn’t want to leave. Obviously he likes to be there and has fun…so why can’t I get him to share his day? I don’t know the psychological reasoning behind it, though some days I could swear its stubbornness, but I can tell you what I’ve tried, what’s worked and what hasn’t.
- Open ended questions like “What did you do at school today?” and not yes or no questions like “How was your day today?” (Doesn’t work)
- Asking a specific question about a part of the day, “Who did you sit next to at lunch?” or “What did you do after circle time?” (Sometimes, rarely, works)
- Giving multiple choice questions (don’t laugh!) like did you play in the sandbox, build with blocks or draw pictures today?. (I get information, but not much)
- Being incredibly silly, “What did you do today in school? No! Wait! Don’t tell me….I know! You went to China on a camel! No, no. that can’t be right…you took a boat across the ocean all the way to France and climbed the Eiffel Tower!” Sometimes works.
- I’ve tried telling him about my day instead. (Didn’t work)
- I give him time to decompress and wait til bedtime to talk about his day (Doesn’t work, I forget’)
- I ask him which friends he played with and then what did he play with them. (Sometimes works)
- Reverse psychology, “Don’t tell me about your day!” (Sometimes works)
- Setting the scene in the morning, before school, “Your mission today is to remember one funny thing that happened at school today!” (Doesn’t work)