How To Get Kids To Talk About Their Day
The amount of sensory information kids experience in a day is overwhelming. There is only one way to get kids to talk about their day on a regular basis. Make it a habit!!!
Any time family members (including parents) get together after spending most of a day apart, download your days! Downloading means telling what happened during the day but even more importantly, how you felt about what happened.
With young kids it’s usually best to start at the beginning and you may need to prompt them with their schedule to reveal the ups and downs of the day.
It might sound something like this:
P: Carly, tell me about your day. We had breakfast, I drove you to school and what was the first thing that you did when you got there?
C: I put my coat in my cubbie, got my pencils, went and sat down…Oh, and there is a new kid in my class. She sits right next to me now.
P: That’s great. What’s her name?
C: I cant remember, she was nice though.
P: That’s good, maybe you two can be friends. What happened after you sat down?
C: Then we did math…Oh, and Jessie got mad at me.
P: What happened?
C: Well, she thought I pushed her but I didn’t
P: And, did you try to tell her that?
C: Yep. I told her she was a liar.
P: Sounds like you were angry that she thought you would push her?
P: Sounds like maybe Jessie was hurt that she thought it was you, her best friend who pushed her.
C: I guess she was…
P: So, what could you do since both of you are feeling bad about this? There’s no point in both of you feeling sad or angry, is there?
C: I guess I could…Dad, is it okay if I go call Jessie and then we finish downloading?”
With younger kids, there may be times you’ll want to prompt them with “And then” or “What class was next?” As they reconnect with their day they also reconnect with the emotional reactions and stresses of their day.
This is a great opportunity to see how your child is coping with daily situations, as well as offering them some tools to empower them. Downloading is a powerful tool to help uncover emotions on a daily basis.
Here’s one last note about downloading. It’s important to truly listen to your child when he or she is downloading. Kids can easily pick up on a lack of congruity when you pretend to listen but your mind is somewhere else.
Listening attentively also allows you to respond appropriately to their emotions and sets a good example by showing that listening is an important form of respect.
The very simple and seemingly trivial habit of downloading increases communication between you and your children, which can carry on throughout your lifetime. My daughters still download whenever they call or come home from college.