If you have young children, you probably ask them often: “How was your day?”, “Did you have a good day?”, or “Did you learn anything today?” The responses have probably been equally mundane. “Fine,” “Good,” “Nothing”.
What if you could ask your kids questions that might elicit a more thoughtful response? Here are some examples.
“Were you nice or helpful to anyone today?”
This can jumpstart their memory of the day and gently suggest that being nice and helpful is something they should focus on a bit every day.
“Tell me about any compliments you got or gave today.”
Again, this can help your child review his or her day and allow them to put weight on giving compliments.
“What was the best part of today?”
This can help your child separate the elements of their day and help them recognize the best parts of their day. It also communicates that you like hearing about these happy events.
“Who did you play with today?”
This can help you learn who your child’s best friends are and if they are playing with the same children each day.
“Was anyone mean to you today?”
You have to be careful not to over-react to any answers you may get to this question. Kids argue and fight, and teachers often have to correct students. It can still give you some interesting information, especially over weeks and months.
“Did you notice how (sunny, hot, rainy, windy, cloudy etc.) it was today”?
This can help your child’s ability to observe and appreciate his or her surroundings. It also helps make a connection with you, and although you may be apart, you still share some things like the weather.
“Did you think about me today?”
This allows your child to express their feelings and provides you with the opportunity to tell them you think of them throughout the day as well.
“What would you like to tell me about your day?”
This gives permission to your child to say what’s on their mind. Maybe they don’t know how to express it based on “How was your day?” but when you ask them what they would like to tell you about, it gives them a wider platform.
Communicating with children is not easy. It can take work. Crafting thoughtful open-ended questions can really pay off. What would you really like to know about your child or your child’s day? Here’s a thought. Ask them and have a conversation.
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