“What Did You Do Today?” How We Can Help Our Children Talk About their Days

As parents, we want to know details about our children’s days but how do we get that information from them? The questions we choose to ask, can impact the information we get.

The most common question we fire off without thinking are, “how was your day?” followed by, “what did you do?” For adults this is even too broad of a question sometimes. Imagine yourself at 8AM on a Monday morning staring into your cup for coffee when a coworker approaches and asks, “So what did you do this weekend?” Cue the blank stare and “umm, well” fillers. Now imagine what it’s like for a typically developing child or a child with a language delay.

So how can we learn more about our children’s days?

o   Talk to their teachers and find out their school schedules so you have specific activities to ask about. Rather than the daunting question, “what did you do today?” specifically ask, ‘What did you sing during circle time?’ ‘Who did you play with at recess?’ ‘Where did you learn about in Geography class?’

o   When it comes to your time with your child during the weekend, take pictures of your activities, talk about them as you do them (e.g. We’re going to the grocery store. We’ll buy bananas, milk, and cereal.), talk about them after you’ve done them (Where did we go? What did we get?), and at the end of the day look back through your pictures to help them remember what happened (Let’s think about what we did today. Here are some pictures…).

With our busy lives away from our children, we just want to know how they’re spending their days. Hopefully by re-framing the question and helping them practice thinking about their activities, we can get a little more insight.