Conversation vs Interrogation
You are picking your child up from school or daycare. He comes running into your arms and you, want to show that you are interested in what he has been doing, so you ask him lots of questions: “how was your day?”, “what did you do? “, “did you have fun?”, “who did you play with?”, “what did you have for snack?” Your child is unresponsive and may seem annoyed, and you are confused. The fact is that your child is probably overwhelmed by what seems to be an onslaught of questions.
Children’s perception of time is very different from ours. They are very much in the moment and when they move from one environment to another, their focus changes. Once you are there, your child wants to see your face light up at the pleasure of seeing her and just run into your arms. What she has just come from is way in the past for her and she wants to focus on what is happening now. If your child volunteers information on his day, that’s wonderful, but still keep the questions to a minimum.
Next time you pick up your child try not asking any questions at all. Instead, tell him how happy you are to see him, talk about your plans for the rest of the day or what you will be having for lunch/dinner. You could tell him about something that happened to you – running into a friend at the store, an incident at work, etc. Very often you will find that what you are talking about will remind him of something similar that happened to him and he’ll start telling you about it. You are now having a conversation!