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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Marge, M.S. CCC-SLP

How can I get my child to talk about his school day?

“I ask my child about his day at school and he doesn’t tell me anything. What can I do?”

Many parents have this question. They pick up their child from school and it goes something like this:

Parent: “How was your day?”

Child: “Okay”

Parent: “What did you do?”

Child: “I don’t know.”

At this point, it can turn into a round of 20 questions, or the child just clams up.

This can be very frustrating for parents because they would love to know how things are going at the place where their child spends most of their day.

Here are some tips that may be helpful:

  1. Wait until later to ask your child about her day. When some kids finish the school day, they are just done. They don’t want to think about it or talk about it right away. However, once they have eaten something and are more relaxed, they may open up about their school activities.

  2. Ask about specific activities you know she probably enjoyed. “What did you do in PE today?” This gives the child something more concrete to discuss and they may actually recall it. It is generally more difficult for children to recall activities when they have to think through their entire day.

  3. Ask a fun question. “If you could change one thing about the school day, what would it be?” “If you were the principal, what would you add or take away from the school day?”

  4. Use a foil. Deliberately ask about an activity that you know did not occur today: “What did you do in art class?” (when you know he actually had music) Your child will enjoy correcting you and you will get more information about his day!

Please keep in mind that children with language impairments will generally have a more difficult time discussing their day. It can be very hard for them to understand the questions, formulate the sentences, and tell a story. Children with executive function deficits may have difficulty knowing where to begin telling about their day. These tips can help them find a starting point and you and your child will enjoy discussing their school-based activities.

If you suspect your child has a speech and language disorder, contact a licensed speech language pathologist certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Speech and language therapists are experts in all areas of communication. Speech therapy is an effective intervention which can change a child’s life!

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