“How was your day, sweetie?”
“What did you think of that (insert incredible field trip experience- or wildly cool, themed day)?”
“What did you think of your joke I drew in your lunch today?”
GOOD?! OMG. CAN YOU PLEASE STOP USING THE WORD GOOD FOR GOODNESS SAKE?! Which comes out passive aggressively as in “Good? Really? Can we use another word?”
Is this how other people’s family dinners or carpool pick ups go? Is anyone else HATING the word “good” lately? I don’t even have teenagers yet, so is this just going to get worse as we approach 13 and 15? Will we going to graduate to mere grunts by then?
Although I can be cheeky and Pinteresty and try out questions like “what was your favorite part of the day?” Or “How did you fail today?”… a lot of the time I still get “good” as my answer even if it doesn’t make a lick of sense as a response. So, like a good little researcher, I scoured the internet this week looking for conversation starters. I believe I did something similar while in the phase of going on blind dates while I was 24. But here I am at 38 and fully aware that if one of our kids says “good” again to me I’m gonna lose it.
Maybe I’m asking too much at the end of a tiresome day for these little ones (they are 6 and 9 after all), but all I want us to have some semblance of real conversations around our table. And maybe, just maybe, these wild-haired, creative, interesting little humans I’m helping guide through life might delight us with a new word beyond “gooooood”.
One of the suggestions I read requires a little bit of homework, something that might sound tedious but could really be something my kids get into- the question jar. I remember seeing this on Pinterest years ago and I thought I was SO clever for pinning it. That was it though, I felt accomplished just clicking “pin”. Did I do it? Nope. Alas, we’re here now and this is now one of our Spring Break projects. Hooray for art projects!
Here are some sample questions, in case you want to join us in this endeavor to get good intel from our littles…
- What made you smile today?
- Can you tell me an example of kindness you saw/showed?
- Was there an example of unkindness? How did you respond?
- Does everyone have a friend at recess?
- What was the book about that your teacher read?
- What’s the word of the week?
- Did anyone do anything silly to make you laugh?
- Did anyone cry?
- What did you do that was creative?
- What is the most popular game at recess?
- What was the best thing that happened today?
- Did you help anyone today?
- Did you tell anyone “thank you?”
- Who did you sit with at lunch?
- What made you laugh?
- Did you learn something you didn’t understand?
- Who inspired you today?
- What was the peak and the pit?
- What was your least favorite part of the day?
- Was anyone in your class gone today?
- Did you ever feel unsafe?
- What is something you heard that surprised you?
- What is something you saw that made you think?
- Who did you play with today?
- Tell me something you know today that you didn’t know yesterday.
- What is something that challenged you?
- How did someone fill your bucket today? Whose bucket did you fill?
- Did you like your lunch?
- Rate your day on a scale from 1-10.
- Did anyone get in trouble today?
- How were you brave today?
- What questions did you ask at school today?
- Tell us your top two things from the day (before you can be excused from the dinner table!).
- What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
- What are you reading?
- What was the hardest rule to follow today?
- Teach me something I don’t know.
- If you could change one thing about your day, what would it be?
- (For older kids): Do you feel prepared for your history test?” or, “Is there anything on your mind that you’d like to talk about?” (In my opinion, the key is not only the way a question is phrased, but responding in a supportive way.)
- Who did you share your snacks with at lunch?
- What made your teacher smile? What made her frown?
- What kind of person were you today?
- What made you feel happy?
- What made you feel proud?
- What made you feel loved?
- Did you learn any new words today?
- What do you hope to do before school is out for the year?
- If you could switch seats with anyone in class, who would it be? And why?
- What is your least favorite part of the school building? And favorite?
- If you switched places with your teacher tomorrow, what would you teach the class?
My plan is also to ask them to write down their questions- whatever they might be. Landon hit me with this one the other month… “How does God stay up all day and all night… that’s impossible.” Whoa….
I’ll share our progress as we get this going! What works and is still simply “good”. Sending y’all love and hope for beautiful and relaxing weekends.