What Did You Really Do in School Today?

A message from Doc Pop

We have all asked our kids, “What did you do in school today?” only to be told that age-old lie, “Nothing.”

Of course, what they really mean is either “Nothing significant to me” or “Nothing that I want to talk to you about.”

This week I encourage you to use active listening (while avoiding communication blocks) to really push through the resistance and engage your child in a brief conversation about what happened in school. If he is out of school on break, or sick, then talk about whatever else he did today. You might begin by asking, “May I have five minutes of your time?” Or you might just find a convenient time when he is less likely to object, for example, while waiting to be served in a restaurant or at bedtime (when staying up a few minutes later is always an incentive). Be sure to be really interested in what he has to say and to gently encourage him to share. For example, “I really want to know. Tell me about social studies today…”

After your talk, write down your answers to the following questions:

  1. What did you like about how the talk went?
  2. How did you handle your child’s initial resistance, if you were successful?
  3. What would you do differently next time?

Dr. Michael Popkin

Founder and President
Active Parenting Publishers