Getting information about school out of your child is a pretty typical parenting challenge. “What did you do in school today?” is often met with a shoulder shrug or a report about a recess game.
Encouraging children to talk about school is a good thing. Such discussions encourage meta-cognition, which is a way to evaluate learning. Carol Dweck is a Psychology researcher and she has found that particular questions encourage children to think about effort and personal improvement rather than worrying about comparison.
Children who think about stretching themselves develop thinking skills that help them to overcome obstacles and solve-problems. Growth mindset thinking not only builds a healthy self-efficacy, but it also reduces anxiety since in focuses on the hope found in learning and improving.
Try some of these questions on your next car ride home:
- What did you do today that made you think hard?
- What mistake did you make that taught you something?
- How did you think about your work and improve it today?
- What problem did you work on today?
These questions also work for faith thinking:
- What happened today that made you think about Jesus?
- Did you apologize or forgive someone today?
- Did you find someone who needed your kindness today?
- What mistake did God help you learn from today?