Create better communication with your children by asking them engaging questions to get them to open up and talk with these get to know you questions for kids.
When kids are younger, they seem to talk non stop about anything and everything.
As kids get older, they tend to share a little less and less everyday, and sometimes it can feel like pulling teeth or talking to a wall when attempting to open up a conversation with your child.
I wish this wasn’t the case. I wish that all kids just jumped into the car or ran into the house at full speed, just waiting to tell you about their day.
*Que memories of Kindergarten*
I truly believe the challenge kids face when answering a large question such as “How was your day at school?” is that the topic is too broad.
Often times, when I ask my spouse how his day was at work, he will also respond with “Good” because it’s easy and requires no thought.
So how do we get our kids to open up to us about their day and let us know about bullies, insecurities, and victories?
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*This information is for educational purposes only, if you need medical attention, please consult a physician.
Asking questions is all fine and dandy, but you may not have much luck with getting kids to open up and communicate if you’re asking the wrong questions.
The right questions are not difficult to come up with, in fact I’ve compiled a list for you to put into your positive parenting toolbox starting today.
Effective Ways To Ask Questions
Since children do ask more than 300 questions a day (according to studies) and it can get frustrating, but if you can keep an open mind, it allows kids to understand that imagination and curiosity are wonderful things.
We can encourage kids to be inquisitive by asking them questions. Your kids do mimic words and behaviours that you model and when you ask proper questions, you’re teaching them how to ask questions properly also.
It’s quite amazing how much information our kids “forget” to share with us, and it’s often because they simply don’t realize that we want to know these things.
If you create the perfect combination of words, asked at the right time of day, and in the right way, you can get your children talking about anything and everything.
I know it’s daunting, and sometimes can seem impossible, especially when dealing with the Tween stage of life, but I assure you, it’s not impossible and you CAN do it.
Here are some tips to help you ask these questions in an effective way.
- Keep questions open-ended: When a question has no right or wrong answer, children are more likely to answer it. Thought-provoking questions such as “what do you think” or “what would happen if” helps children use their creative and critical thinking skills.
- Use Question Starters: Using question starters can get conversations flowing just by creating a prompt for your child to start talking. Examples of question starters could be ” what would happen if..” or “How many times can you…”.
- Encourage Elaboration: when your child tells you something, encourage them to tell you more about that thing by asking follow up questions such as “how did you feel when that happened” or “wow, that’s really cool, and what happened next”
- Document Answers: It’s not a terrible idea to document the answers your children give you, whether they can read them of not. Seeing you document their thoughts can be encouraging for them and shows them that you really care about what they have to say.
- Avoid Closed-Ended Questions: Questions that can be answered in one word or a sort sentence should be avoided because your child will use that as an opportunity to use a short answer.
- Accept Answers: Although sometimes your child’s answer is “boring” you should still accept that answer and feel excited about it because when you show that you are not interested in what they have to say, next time they will share less and less and then they will stop sharing altogether.
Now you have some tools to go beyond “how was your day” and get into deep and meaningful conversations to get to know your kids in all stages of life.
Get To Know You Questions For Kids
Questions for toddlers and preschoolers
- If your stuffed animals could talk, what would they say?
- What does it feel like when I hug you?
- If you drew everything that came to your head, what would you be drawing right now?
- What do you think you’re going to dream about tonight?
- What sounds do you like?
- You’re outside for a whole day: what would you do?
- What makes the best fort?
- How do you think animals communicate?
- Describe a great day. What are you doing that makes it special?
- What animal would make a great driver?
- Do you like it when other people share with you? Why?
- Who is your favorite storybook character?
- What one thing do you do now that you need an adult for but would like to try to do all by yourself?
- If you had to give everyone in the family new names, what would they be?
- What makes you happy?
- If you could do anything right now, what would you do?
- If you had a pet dragon, what would you name it?
- What would you do together?
Questions For School Age Kids
- Do you ever see kids being mean to each other?
- What do most of the kids play during recess?
- How do you feel your day went on a scale of 1 to 10? Why?
- If anyone in the world could be your teacher for a day who would it be?
- What is your favourite class?
- What is your least favourite class?
- What subject is the easiest for you?
- If you could stop doing anything in your school day, what would it be?
- If you could add anything to your school day, what would it be?
- Do you ever feel left out at school?
- Would you do anything differently in your classes if you were the teacher?
- Does everyone follow the rules in your class?
- Who do you want to make friends with that you haven’t already?
- Did you feel scared or alone during your day?
- Did you help anyone out today?
- What did you learn today in ____ class?
- Tell me something that makes you feel smart.
- What was the most challenging thing you worked on today?
- Did you start any new projects today?
- How did _____ (project, presentation, event) go today?
- Did you have fun today? What was the best part?
- Did anything happen today that made you feel brave?
- Did you enjoy your lunch? Is there anything different you would like for your lunch kit?
- Who did you hang out with at lunch?
- Did you make any new friends?
- Did anything make you laugh today?
- What was the most boring thing?
Questions For Older Kids
- What do you like daydreaming about?
- Tell me something about you that you think I might not know.
- What have your friends been up to?
- What’s a memory that makes you happy?
- What do you look forward to when you wake up?
- You’re at the beach. What’s the first thing you do?
- What makes you feel brave?
- What makes you feel loved?
- How do you show people you care?
- If you could give $100 to a charity, which would you choose?
- How would you design a treehouse?
- If you wrote a book, what would it be about?
- If you designed clothes, what would they look like?
- How do you best like helping others?
- What makes you feel thankful?
- If you made a cave in the woods, what would be inside it?
- What makes you feel energized?
- If you were in a play, what would your character be like?
- What makes your friends so awesome?
- What makes you so awesome?
- What are three things you want to do this summer?
- If you had friends all over the world, how would you keep in touch?
- If you joined the circus, what would your circus act be?
- If you were a teacher and could teach your students anything at all, what would you teach them?
- If a friend asks you to keep a secret that you don’t feel comfortable keeping, what would you do?
These are some pretty great conversation starters, and some funny questions to ask kids that can get them talking and talking, hopefully. Not every day will be an epic talk fest after school. After all, school is exhausting, just like a workday can be, sometimes they need a little quiet before they are ready to talk.