The way that you connect with your children on a daily basis is so important for their social and cognitive development. What do you do when you ask your children a question about their day and they say nothing or cannot tell you anything new?
First and foremost, understand that very few preschoolers are able to answer such open-ended questions. Preschoolers are concrete thinkers, unable to verbalize past events unless there is something available (such as a picture or toy) to help them remember, or the activity or event was so fun/exciting/memorable to them that they prioritize it in their thoughts.
Here are a few “conversation starters” for helping your child:
- Look around the classroom, hallways and/or in book bags for pictures, art activities or classwork. Then comment on what you see (e.g., “Look at all of these dots. You made the letter _____.”). Let your child fill in the answer. Don’t forget to use the information from your child’s classroom plans as a way to stimulate conversation about the day.
- Be specific about an activity and give choices (e.g., “Did you have apple juice or water at snack?” or “It’s a sunny day today. Did you go outside? What was your favorite thing to do outside?”).
- Ask “who” questions to stimulate naming a specific friend or teacher (e.g., “Who did you sit next to at Circle today?”).
- Affirm all of your child’s answers and comments.
Don’t shy away from asking your child about their day, but instead just change the way you ask! Good luck!
-Nicole Reynolds, M.S. CCC-SLP
**If you have any concerns with your child’s speech, language, and/or feeding development, please contact Deborah L. Curlee Communication Consultants at (865) 693-5622. We have a team of experienced speech-language pathologists that would love to meet with you and discuss options for your child. **