Featured on the Hong Kong Economic Journal (November 1, 2018)
One question that seems to pose annoyance to both the question asker and the question answerer is ‘how was school today?’. Countless children have told me how that question annoys them because they get asked it every day and when they give the answer ‘fine’, it doesn’t seem to satisfy the curiosity of their parents.
Parents of children of any age are desperate to know what happened during the 8 hours that their child was at school. My son is only 2 years old now and going to school for a little more than 2 hours and already I’m desperate to know everything that happens during that short period of time. Even more so for parents who have children in school for longer and are able to articulate what happened. What did you learn? Who did you spend time with? What did you eat for lunch? Basically all those questions are usually encompassed in the question “how was school today?”
But the problem is – children don’t have a lot to say to that question! School seems relatively similar to them each day and when asked such a generic question, it seems fitting for them to give a generic answer of ‘fine’. Then they don’t understand why their answer won’t suffice. Their teachers were the same as the day before, their classrooms were the same, their school meals probably didn’t taste much better than the day before and they played with the same friends. So all in all, the day was ‘fine’. But parents want to know so much more.
So, just this past week, I had a student share his frustration on this and so we brainstormed a list of questions that parents could ask instead. I also add to his list of ideas of what parents could ask their children and roughly arranged for children from young to old:
What did you do during recess today?
Who did you play with during break time today?
What did you have for snack? Did you like eating it?
What did you have for lunch? Was it delicious?
What was your favourite part of your day today?
Which subject did you enjoy the most today? Why?
Did anything funny happen at school today?
If you could go to school as a superhero, which one would you go as? Why?
What was the most interesting part of your week this week?
What made you most excited today?
Were you disappointed or anxious at any part of the day today?
How were you kind today?
How were you brave and courageous today?
How did you show perseverance today?
What is one area you grew in today?
What are 3 things you’re thankful for today?
How do you think you were a good friend today?
If there is one thing you could change about school, what would it be?
What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
Are you nervous about anything tomorrow?
Is there anything you’d like to tell me about your day?
Some of the questions above may seem simple and mundane but sometimes, it’s the simple questions that can trigger more sharing. For example, asking about snack time can trigger a conversation about someone else who brought a delicious snack in and what that friend is like. Start small but the daily small things, add up to being a beautiful relationship built.
你今天如何展現你的忍耐力 （毅力 ）？