Monday 6 July 2020

(AD) Encouraging Your Child to Open Up About School

If you’re a parent, you’re probably familiar with the frustrating conversation after picking your child up from school, in which you ask them about their day and receive little or no response. Don’t be disheartened by this, as getting your child to open up is a slow process, even if you know all the right tricks to use. I have teamed up with an independent school in North London to offer you some helpful advice.

Start by considering the questions you usually ask your child, remember children learn outside the classroom just as much as they do inside the classroom. Can they be answered with a one-word reply? If so, it’s time to think of some new questions. For instance, instead of saying “How was school?”, ask them “What was your favourite lesson today and why?”. This will get them thinking about their day, rather than giving you a rehearsed, generic answer and will also show them that you’re truly interested.

Try and stay up-to-date with the latest news and events at the school so that you have lots to talk about with your child. For instance, if you know that there’s a school play coming up, you can ask them if they’re involved or if any of their friends have key roles, this will also help your child's communication skills. Likewise, if you are aware of your child’s timetable, you will be able to ask them “What did you learn about in History today?”. You should also demonstrate enthusiasm when it comes to their learning so that they feel more comfortable opening up to you.

When your child eventually starts being more forthcoming with information about their school life, make sure they have your undivided attention. If they think your focus is elsewhere and that you’re not truly interested, they will be reluctant to open up to you again in the future. 

Be a good role model for your child and show them that it’s perfectly acceptable to open up about what’s going on in their life. You can do this by opening up about your own experiences and sharing what you’ve been up to at work or how you have overcome any stressful challenges. Essentially, the trick is to demonstrate to your youngster how normal it is to talk about your thoughts and feelings, so that they become more comfortable doing it themselves.

Until next time,
Jada x


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