"How was your day?" Ah, that famous question at the end of any school or work day.
Is there ever a thought provoking answer to that question? "Fine" or "Good" doesn't quite cut it. Desiring to reconnect with our children, spouses, partners, and loved ones we look to signal our openness to dialogue with a meaningful attempt to catch up with each other at the end of the day. The end of a day is tough. You are tired, probably a little (or a lot) stressed, hungry, and transitioning back into the evening routine yourself.
I feel blessed and grateful to work for myself now and can prioritize those few hours at the end of my son's school day. My appointment schedule is set so that I can meet him when the bus drops him off at home. I love that! This is a new experience for me because I have always worked outside the home and my son has always been in daycare or after-school care well into the evening hours from the time he was 13-weeks old. However, it still gets frustrating to get a one word answer to sum up his experience over the last 6+ hours.
So I got excited when I came across an article on Psychology Today discussing this very thing. It's a way to give the "How was your day?" question a makeover. Here are some alternatives:
What's one word you'd use to describe today?
Did anything surprise you today?
How was today different than yesterday?
What did your teacher talk about most today?
Who did you spend the most time with today?
What made you feel proud today?
What made you happy/sad/angry/scared/worried?
These questions provide a frame of reference for which to view the experiences of the day and suddenly there is something interesting worth talking about at the dinner table or on the drive home. They are worth a try, don't you think? Let me know which ones tend to work better for you.