Three simple questions to help you engage your child in conversation and learn more about their experience at preschool.
Let’s be honest, preschoolers are not always easy to talk to. Let alone carry on a conversation with! They don’t have well-developed verbal skills yet and they get easily distracted. Or they talk endlessly about a lot of random things. Which can make it difficult to get a grasp of how they’re feeling about preschool.
As a parent, you want to know how they’re really doing in school. Are they liking it? Are they making friends? Are they having a hard time with anything? What are they learning?
And you want to know from their perspective too. You don’t want to have to rely on the teacher’s report all of the time.
So how do you talk to a preschooler about their experience in a real, meaningful way?
Every child is unique, so it may take some creativity on your part! But here’s a few questions to get the conversation going, that will hopefully lead to some great insight:
What was the best part of your day?
Try starting with this simple question. And try asking it when you have a captive audience. Like when you are driving home together or eating dinner and the table. Don’t try to start a conversation when they are in the middle of an episode of Blippi or engrossed in building Magna-Tiles. You probably won’t get very far.
But this simple question allows your child to focus on something happy and positive that they experienced at school. And it’s a wonderful way to gain insight into what is special to your child. Try to recognize themes or patterns to their responses and reflect on what that shows you about your preschooler. This question is a great ice breaker for further conversation as well!
What was the hardest part of your day?
This is a great follow up question! Once again, it gives you great insight into the mind of your child. Their response allows you to be aware of struggles they might be having with the curriculum or difficulties they may be having with a friend. It reveals what they think is important and even how they see themselves.
It helps you see their struggles without labeling these struggles as “bad” things. Asking “what was the hardest part of your day” connotes something different than asking “what was the worst part of your day”. They may avoid answering that question as a way to bypass discomfort. Kids learn avoidance tactics early on!
What is something you are looking forward to?
After discussing the best and the hardest part of their day, a fun follow-up topic is to focus on something they are looking forward to. This allows you to learn about class events and things that seem particularly interesting to your preschooler. It also gives you an “easy in” to be a part of what they’re doing in school.
For example, maybe your child is excited about their upcoming music class. So in response, you can creatively incorporate music time at home or remember to ask how their music class went.
Preschoolers are brilliant, funny, and intuitive. And conversations with them can be so fun! At the Connection Point Early Learning Center, we are not only passionate about proving a great experience for your preschooler but also helping you connect with your child. We hope these simple questions help to spark great conversations with your child. After all, kids really do say the darndest things!