I know as a parent, I am guilty of not always asking my children questions about their day, how they’re feeling, etc. When they were going to public school, I would always ask how their day went, but now that they’re homeschooled; I know how their day went. I don’t feel the need to ask.
I am home with them seven days a week. I don’t really feel the need to ask them about their day or how they are feeling on a regular basis. I see how their day went. I can tell what they are feeling most of the time.
I listen when they talk (and they talk a lot), but I don’t specifically ask them a question every night.
An article on Babble suggested a question that you should ask your child every night – “How can I help you feel loved?”
Holly from As Cute as a Bug’s Ear asks her kids “What was your favorite part of your day?”
I recently tried the Babble question and frankly, my oldest left me feeling pretty crappy. B, our 7 year old, said that he knows we love him because we take them places, but K, our 10 year old, said she didn’t know if we loved her because she gets yelled at a lot. (Although she didn’t note her bad attitude and the battle we go through daily for her to get her chores done.)
I tried Holly’s question over the holidays and was shocked to find the answers, but I was asking trying to figure out what they thought of our unusual holiday. It created a dialog, but once the holidays ended; so did the dialog. We don’t always do something every day, so asking what their favorite part of the day seemed… redundant.
Now that we are back to our ‘normal’ routine; I see how important it is to ask my kids questions and engage in a conversation with them on a daily basis. To see how they are feeling. To make them feel loved.
Realizing that we need to have a more consistent dialog, I have been asking them how their day was and if there was a favorite part of their day. It prevents a one word answer of “good” or “bad”, but then let’s us discuss what their favorite part of the day was. Even if we didn’t do anything and they didn’t have a “favorite” we keep the conversation going by asking what they would like to do the next day to make it a favorite.
We don’t always have the means to go out do things, but we have become creative…
* Go to the library.
* Go hiking.
* Play a game.
* Read together.
* Watch a movie together (in bed and with popcorn makes it even more fun!)
* Go to the park.
* Bake together.
I have learned that my kids don’t need big or expensive or fancy. They need me and their dad. They need to be with us. To feel loved. To be heard. To be seen.
What question do you ask your child daily?