“How was your day?” Fine
“What did you learn at school?” Nothing.
We ask our kids questions all the time, “How much homework do you have?” “Can you take out the trash?” “Did you have fun at the birthday party?” but to show your kids they can talk to you about anything, try asking them “discover questions” and see if you can get them to open up more. “Discover Questions” are for the purpose of simply exploring. There is no right or wrong, good or bad answer, or hidden agenda. This helps them trust that you will accept, and be interested in, whatever they say. Plus, they are questions everyone in the family can answer taking the pressure off kids and modeling for them what polite conversation can look like.
As kids listen to your answers, it reminds them that you are human, and not just Mom or Dad, which helps set the stage for a closer relationship as they grow into adolescence. Here are some of my favorite discover questions:
What chore do you secretly enjoy doing?
What is your favorite possession?
Would you rather live in a tree or on a boat?
Do you think you are a good leader? why or why not?
When is the hardest you have ever worked?
These are great conversation topics for the dinner table, or those times when you scream “no more technology” and you all sit in a room together with nothing to say (or maybe that’s just my family).
Do you find it easy to apologize or difficult? Why?
Have you ever given someone the silent treatment? How long did it last?
If you could choose a new first name, what would it be?
If you opened a retail store, what would you want to sell?
What’s the longest you’ve gone without technology?
Have you ever played a practical joke or fooled someone on April Fool’s Day?
If you HAD to spend $500. by tomorrow, what would you spend it on? $5,000.? $500,000.?
What are your favorite smells?
If someone asked you to design the perfect school, what would it be like?
What is your spirit animal?
What’s one problem you would love to solve?
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
What’s something you’ve tried that you’ll never try again?
What do you love the sound of?
If you’ve got some discover questions that you like, I’d love to hear them, share them our Facebook Page here. Let us know which one’s spark the greatest conversations at your house? Just because technology is everywhere, doesn’t mean we have to let it take over our lives. Conversation leads to connection and in helping us feel seen, heard and felt. The basic needs we all crave.