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Schooltime Interrogation

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Has anyone else noticed that when kids finally go to school, they clam up? I mean, literally STOP TALKING.

“How was school today?”


That’s it. That’s all I get. Sorry, kid, but when you’re out of my sight for a full day, one word answers do not pass muster. This is the same kid who used to be a constant flow of chatter from the minute he woke up till his head hit the pillow at night. A stream of words and commentary on anything and everything he saw. And now I just get “good?”

We have resorted to making him think we are playing games, but we are actually engaging him in conversation. For example, we will ask him what his most favorite thing about his day was. What his least favorite thing about his day was. List three kids you played with! What was the thing in the top left corner of your lunch tray? How many times did you get to slide down the slide at recess? Details. Details! Anything to keep this child talking!

And it seems to be working. We are getting more information and having to do less chipping away to get it. He even flummoxed us the other day by asking US how OUR day was.

Yes, you read that correctly. My six-year-old son inquired after how MY day was.

Now if I can only keep him talking till he’s 16, when their mouths clamp up tighter than a steel trap…THAT will REALLY be saying something.

How do you encourage your children to talk about their day?

Author: Aimee

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  • comment avatar Amber March 19, 2009

    My preschool-age daughter does the exact same thing. It was kind of a conspiracy to “not to your mom” with her best friend. One day, I got tired of them clamming up and asked if they like preschool. They, of course, said “yes” and I told them if they want to keep going they’d better tell me about all the fun things they do there. It worked. 🙂

  • comment avatar Laura March 19, 2009

    My kids do the same thing! My kindergartener even sighs heavily when she says, “Fiiiiine, mom. Everything was fine!” I usually ask her questions about lunch. She’s always excited to tell me what the other kids were having while she ate her standard PB&J, string cheese, and fruit.

    Laura from LaLaGirl

  • comment avatar Momma, The Casual Perfectionist March 19, 2009

    Oh, Aimee…we’re still in the jabberbox-we-get-all-the-details-and-more stage! She talks non-stop on the way home from her class, and I get the most intricate of details.

    We had crackers!
    On blue napkins!
    And I sat next to so-n-so on this side of me, and so-n-so sat there!


    Growing up, I always shared every detail about my school day with my mom, too…so maybe it’s genetic. 😉

  • comment avatar Kagey March 23, 2009

    Can you bribe them with special snacks? I’m planning on bribing mine if they clam up. jk!

  • comment avatar Anne-Marie at A Mama's Rant April 1, 2009

    I ask them how their teachers and friends are and was the hot lunch good that day. That usually gets the conversation going. Then again, my kids never shut up about anything.

  • comment avatar Melissa Taylor April 3, 2009
    Bedtime, in bed. When I lie in bed with my daughter and she’s trying to avoid sleeping, it seems to motivate her to talk and talk and talk. (And, perhaps, it’s the only time she’s not distracted by other things!) It’s the only time I hear about her day, her questions, her problems. I love it! Finally, I’m hearing from her.

  • comment avatar Leah April 7, 2009

    My son seems to like to talk about his day over dinner or while he helps me make dinner. If he is into his video game, reading a book or while watching his favorite TV show he is not interested in sharing. He is a 10 year old boy, so I let him have his down-time first, and then we discuss. 🙂

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