Want to know more about what your kids do at school each day, only to be greeted with "eh, stuff...?" style responses? Here's a simple way to find out more and make your kids feel good at the same time.
If your kids are anything like mine, a lot of the time when I ask them what's happened at school today, you'll be met with "umm.. stuff?" style responses. Or possibly things that only happened at lunchtime in a game of handball. Not that handball can't be fascinating, but sometimes a little more information would be nice.
I can't lay claim to this particular method, which I was introduced to by an awesome friend of mine who I will call Matthew, largely because that's his name. He started a small ritual kicking off each day with his kids at school stating simply
"Have an awesome day, do awesome things, and be awesome! And remember Dad loves you!"
All nicely positive stuff that helps to build up self-confidence, obviously. Interestingly, he found that doing this at the school gates led to other kids joining in on the chant, which he rather liked, although he was a little concerned.
I *hope* their dads love them, but without knowing their family backgrounds, that might be an insensitive thing to assume.
That aside, at the end of each day he then greets his kids by asking
"Did you have an awesome day? Did you do awesome things? Were you awesome?"
Which then leads into a discussion of the things that have happened each day; he notes that
Generally, they each manage to find one thing each day that they considered awesome to tell me about.
He's also found, as with the morning chant, that other kids are now joining in and telling them about awesome things in their day.
I'm like Hans Christian Andersen in reverse — children flock to me to tell me stories.
Since being told about the idea, I've been using it with my own kids, and the difference is remarkable; not only is it solid positive reinforcement for them, but it's also opened them up to talking a lot more about their school experiences, both good and bad. It's genuinely awesome.