Crane Country Day School Established 1928

Crane School Blog: Focus on Learning

Featuring articles written by Crane Staffulty

For more information about Crane Country Day School, please contact admission@craneschool.org or call 805-969-7732 x127.

Blog Image: How was your day?
Kristen Peralta

In the past seven months, most parents have been more involved in their children’s academic lives than ever before. We know what sight words they have been working on, what the all-school art project is, and who presented in the Friday assembly video.

However, as Crane School students in all nine grades now have the option to learn on campus, the majority of parents are once again receiving less information about the day-to-day activities both in the classroom and on the playground.

We have all asked the question and gotten the dreaded answer. You know the one. Parents enthusiastically ask, “How was your day!?!” The response is an annoyed or indifferent, “Fine,” “Okay,” or possibly just an undecipherable grunt...

In the past seven months, most parents have been more involved in their children’s academic lives than ever before. We know what sight words they have been working on, what the all-school art project is, and who presented in the Friday assembly video.

However, as Crane School students in all nine grades now have the option to learn on campus, the majority of parents are once again receiving less information about the day-to-day activities both in the classroom and on the playground.

We have all asked the question and gotten the dreaded answer. You know the one. Parents enthusiastically ask, “How was your day!?!” The response is an annoyed or indifferent, “Fine,” “Okay,” or possibly just an undecipherable grunt.

How can we break this pattern and get a glimpse into our students’ lives? How can we connect with our children during the elementary and middle school years?

If you have ever Googled or searched Pinterest for “how to ask your kids about their day” you will find countless lists and conversation starters. Here are a couple of examples:

Source: Pinterest

These questions are creative, more specific, and phrased in a way that makes single-syllable responses more difficult to use.

In her book, Voice Lessons for Parents: What to Say, How to Say It, and When to Listen, Wendy Mogel, PhD, shares parenting tips to best communicate with children. On page 29 she states:
When talking with children, pretend you’re an armchair traveler or cultural anthropologist. What are the ways of these people? What are their traditions, their beliefs? Whom do they admire, and why? What are they striving for? As you enter their land, let an open mind, curiosity, and courage be your guide.

Mogel provides parents with vocal coaching because what we say is just as important as how we say it. Everything from our body language, eye contact, facial expressions, tone, and the presence of digital distractions affects children’s willingness to trust, respect, feel confident, and engage in conversation with parents. Some children might need a snack or a change of scenery so that they don’t feel like they are being quizzed about their day the second they step into the car.

As parents it’s time we break our habits and get more creative and mindful about the questions we ask our children and the way we ask them. We could test out a new question each day.

Do you have a magic question or strategy that gets your child to open up about their day? We would love to hear your tricks.

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