“How was your day?” is probably the most common question any of us ask at the end of a school or work day. It’s also possibly the biggest conversation-killer.
“Fine.” “Okay, I guess.” “Bad.” “Normal.” “It was just a day.” These are the kinds of responses my kids usually provide – or, worse, the dreaded grunt/shrug/eye roll. Then we enter tricky territory. Do I ask the logical follow-up questions (“What did you do?” “Do you want to tell me anything about it?”) and risk getting more one-word responses or driving them away altogether? Or do I keep my mouth shut and spend the next hour wondering what they actually did all day? I, like most parents, really need some new ways to ask “How was your day?”
We’ve written quite a bit over the years about the one-word-answer phenomenon. This school year, we’re committed to helping families get past this hurdle. Here’s how you can overcome the end-of-day conversation struggle:
Just to make sure everyone has the help they need, we’ve also got this set of questions specifically for preschoolers, and this article from our archives on how to get past one-word answers with our adult partners. Here’s to ditching “How was your day?” for good!
As another hectic school year begins, remember that family dinners aren’t the only way to gather! Try our quick family breakfast ideas for a shared meal alternative.
Did you know that family dinners can improve literacy skills? Learn more – including how to make it fun with special dinner games.
Print our big list of 100 Alternatives to “How Was Your Day?” and cut the squares apart to make a conversation jar you can keep at the table.