Beyond 'How Was Your Day?': 6 Ways to Get the News from Your Tweens an – Satsuma Designs

Beyond 'How Was Your Day?': 6 Ways to Get the News from Your Tweens and Teens

Beyond 'How Was Your Day?': 6 Ways to Get the News from Your Tweens and Teens

Holiday break was an inspiration this year as I started AND finished a wonderful parenting book called How to Raise an Adult by former Dean of Freshmen at Stanford University, Julie Lythcott-Haims.

I'm sharing my 6 Ways to Get the News from Your Tweens and Teens as an actionable response to some of what I learned in the book.

Lythcott-Haims writes honestly and concisely about the shortcomings she saw in her Stanford students raised by us Helicopter Parents, myself one, indeed!

My interest in reading the book was as much about self-reflection as it was about internalizing the nuggets of parenting gold that I've since been employing.

As the parent of a tween and teen, I've spend literally thousands of afternoons trying to elicit the meaty information that many of us crave, 'what happened at school today?'

Until recently, every afternoon my question was met with lively responses, which turned into both fun and sometimes thoughtful conversations with my children.

But as my chatterboxes have turned more silent, I've had to get creative to extract the information I find vital. 

Inspired by Lythcott-Haims' recommendation to let the conversations grow organically, I'm sharing what I find are some successful ways to get our family talking when it seems the dog would be better company!

 

6 easy ways to talk to your tweens and teens about how their day went. If your teens and tweens are silent when they get home from school, here are some tested methods to get the conversation flowing. #parenting #talktokids #schoollife #parentlife #teenlife #tweenlife #family #familytime #humor #satsumadesigns

The Gift of Gab(by)

Whether or not your child is a chatty Cathy or Charles, every kiddo is well served by sharing what's going on in her or his world with a trusted adult.

These ideas are not to be hoarded by parents, but shared with families, care givers, teachers, counselors, faith leaders and youth organization heads. Anyone who works with youth can try these homegrown tactics.

Flip the Script

Instead of barraging your student with questions about their schoolwork during the day, inquire about their personal and emotional world.

Try asking, "what was the funniest thing that happened in class today?" on the playground, in the cafeteria, etc.

Showing a genuine interest and appreciation for humor can lead to fun and funny stories from the day.

It's also important to make sure that a student's amusement isn't at the expense of another's feelings, but that's another conversation.

6 easy ways to talk to your tweens and teens about how their day went. If your teens and tweens are silent when they get home from school, here are some tested methods to get the conversation flowing. #parenting #talktokids #schoollife #parentlife #teenlife #tweenlife #family #familytime #humor #satsumadesigns

Plan for Fun

If your kids are like mine, they love something to look forward to during the school week. Usually their after school calendars are full of homework, sports practice and activities, but it's nice to slide in something fun to do at the end of the school week.

I like to plan an outing to the frozen yogurt shop with a couple of friends as a treat at the end of the week.

It's a fun and natural way to talk about who's hanging out with whom at school and who they might like to invite. It may sound a little manipulative to take this round about way of determining the social standings, but it's highly effective and non-invasive!

Create a Moment of Zen

Sometimes after a long day of school and work, we all find ourselves with little to say and that's perfectly okay.

One of my tips is that hearing what is going on is not always necessary when you can feel what's going on.

Practice welcoming your children home or into the pick-up car with a gentle, 'Hello' and leave it at that. Ask no questions, offer no suggestions, and make no demands of their time in the moment or upon returning home.

Instead, be together silently and share the moment. When I ask myself for this calm moment, I'm able to share some of my best self with my kids and they notice. 

I'm showing them that I have the capacity to be still and I can appreciate their need to be still and quiet too.

If on the other hand, this feels too quiet for your family, adjust the tempo, but do try to limit the demands of time or energy from your hardworking student. 

Share First

Instead of asking them questions about their day, I often share a little highlight or lowlight from my own day. I'll describe how it made me feel - happy, insecure, proud, embarrassed, hopeful and ask whether they felt that same emotion during their day.

I love connecting through our hearts this way. Showing the kids that I have such a full range of emotions during the day, just like they are, is a great way to model emotional intelligence and empathy. 

6 easy ways to talk to your tweens and teens about how their day went. If your teens and tweens are silent when they get home from school, here are some tested methods to get the conversation flowing. #parenting #talktokids #schoollife #parentlife #teenlife #tweenlife #family #familytime #humor #satsumadesigns

Morning Question and Afternoon Answer

Pose a question or riddle and see if the kids can figure out the answer by the end of the day. Google searches are not allowed, but conversations with friends, classmates, teachers and school staff are encouraged.

Ask your students, "How did you find the answer and did it relate in any way to what you studied and learned today?" My kids LOVE this little game we play and I always get VERY interesting results!

Finally, try to listen more than you talk. I'm very guilty of the opposite, but try so hard to do well. My tween and teen have to remind me and I'm glad they do and can!

Care to Mingle?

Let’s connect over social media. Follow the fun on Pinterest and Instagram. Tag #satsumasmiles to share your creativity and I'll share back. 

6 easy ways to talk to your tweens and teens about how their day went. If your teens and tweens are silent when they get home from school, here are some tested methods to get the conversation flowing. #parenting #talktokids #schoollife #parentlife #teenlife #tweenlife #family #familytime #humor #satsumadesigns

 

6 easy ways to talk to your tweens and teens about how their day went. If your teens and tweens are silent when they get home from school, here are some tested methods to get the conversation flowing. #parenting #talktokids #schoollife #parentlife #teenlife #tweenlife #family #familytime #humor #satsumadesigns

 

6 easy ways to talk to your tweens and teens about how their day went. If your teens and tweens are silent when they get home from school, here are some tested methods to get the conversation flowing. #parenting #talktokids #schoollife #parentlife #teenlife #tweenlife #family #familytime #humor #satsumadesigns

Photos courtesy of Unsplash

HELLO THERE!

Today is a gift. Let's put a bow on it!
Find creative and sustainable ways to make family life a delight! Sharing modern etiquette that kids will enjoy.
💕 jennifer

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