How often do you ask your child about his day and receive a one word answer? Or, worse than that, a grunt on his way to the refrigerator? How can you change the course of your after-school conversation with your child? Maybe you have to change the question.

Asking about a child’s day is  bland and open-ended. It gives him a ton of wiggle room to avoid a conversation. So get specific. Ask more direct questions. Ask what he had for lunch. Ask about what he did at recess. Or make the questions funnier and more thoughtful. Give him time to contemplate his answers and truly think about his day. You will get a more complete picture of his school day. Plus, you might get some added insight into your child’s personality.

Here are some suggestions:

1 – What was the funniest thing your teacher said today?

2 – What was the nicest thing anyone said to you today?

3 – What was the nicest thing that you said to someone today?

4 – Name three new facts that you learned today. They can be about anything from your classes to something new that you learned about your classmates or teachers.

5 – What is your math teacher’s favorite color? How do you know that?

6 – What is the most ridiculous school rule? Why do you think it is ridiculous?

7 – If you were the school principal today, what three things would you have done differently today?

8 – What was the hardest rule to follow today?

9 – Who was the funniest kid in your English class today?

10 – If you were the science teacher today, what would you have done differently in class?

11 – If you could assign three of your teachers and three of your friends colors, which colors would you choose for each person? Why?

12 – What was the most inappropriate thing anyone at school did today?

13 – What song reminds you of your history teacher?

14 – Rate your day on a scale of A to F. Why did you choose that rating?

15 – What challenged you today?

Granted, your kids might still look at you and growl. But questions like these will encourage them to think outside of the “How was your day?” box. By being more specific, you can get the specifics. You might even find out about your child’s day.