Top Ten Questions to Ask Your Child When They Get Home From School {#10 is my personal favorite}

Once again, it’s “Back to School” season. If there is anything that I have learned as a Marriage and Family Therapist, it is that questions can be really powerful tools. I think the number one question that I hear most often at school pick up is, “Hey! How was school?” Although this question is a great way to show interest and create connection with our kids who have been gone at school, it can cause kids to unknowingly narrow their thinking to a one word response: “Good”, or “Fine”. I decided I would share a list of my top 10 favorite after school questions. Not only are you able to reconnect with your kids, these questions can be powerful catalysts to really help kids become aware of their feelings, to inspire resilience and thought provoking answers and can change their perspective and actions in the future. Welcome back to school!! (Top 10 questions listed below. The responses to #10 are my absolute favorite 😂).

1. What was the best thing that happened in school today?

Best doesn’t mean that they had to have a good day because we all have bad days, but it allows them to look for good things and have a positive outlook.


2. Did you see anyone helping someone today? How did they help? Did you see anyone who needed help today? What could you do next time to help?

This can cultivate a helper mindset and a problem solving mentality.


3. Tell me one thing you learned today.

This sets up a learning mindset and allows them to recognize that they can and are supposed to learn something new everyday. Spark their curiosity!


4. When were you the most {excited, frustrated, bored, curious, anxious, happy} today?

It is really neat to watch them respond when you ask them about different feelings than being happy as they learn how to process and explain ‘heavier’ feelings that often aren’t talked about or as easily “accepted” as ‘happy’ feelings.


5. Who would you like to play with the recess that you never played with before?

This question allows for future thinking and plants seeds for actions in the future.


6. What word did your teacher say the most today?

This question will tell you a lot about what they are perceiving and will plant a seed to pay attention to their teacher more. 😉


7. Where do you play the most at recess?

This is a great opportunity to learn what your child enjoys and that they have a choice as to what they do at recess and how they spend that time. Especially if your child is into electronics and video games, it is great to get an understanding of what other interests they have outside when electronics at school are not available.


8. What was your favorite part of lunch?

If you listen and remember their response, it is a powerful tool to let them know they are loved while at school. I can even remember this many years later being excited about certain lunches that were served at school and circling those lunch days on my calendar. Never underestimate the power of bonding over the love of french fries.


9. If you could change one thing about your day, but would it be?

This is a way that you can empower problem solving and being part of the solution. Even if it isn’t possible to change that they would “skip math” or “have longer recess”, you can relate to the emotions behind them and process those feelings.

**My Personal Favorite:
10. What made your teacher smile/frown today? What made you smile/frown today? This can help kids to develop an emotional intelligence- to realize feelings and when someone is happy, sad or frustrated. It is a great way to help them process feelings and recognize how those feelings change and fluctuate throughout the day. Kids are so honest too so the responses to this one are very entertaining!

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