Is it just me or is it harder to get your children and/or spouse to talk about their day than it is to fold a week’s worth of laundry? I swear, I can get more information out of the grocery store clerk than my own sons. Nothing is more useless than asking, “how was your day?” I may as well be begging them to play the silent game.
Finding a good conversation starter for kids is tricky. Maybe it’s just the hover parent in me but I want to know every single detail of their day. Who they sat by at lunch, what book they read at reading time, if they had an extra curricular that day… heck, I even want to know how many times they went to the bathroom!
If you struggle with the same absence of verbal exchange then read more to learn about the one question you can ask your kids to spark genuine discussion about the day.
How to Play Sweet & Sour
This is really more of a game than a question. We call it Sweets & Sours. The first thing we do as we gather around the dinner table is discuss our daily sweets and sours. I ask each person (and take a turn myself) to share the day’s sweet & sour. The sweet is the best moment of the day and the sour is the worst moment of the day. Some days are really great (like birthdays) and it is tough to pick just one sweet and it is hard to identify a sour. Then there are low days and it’s challenging to narrow down one sour or find a bright moment to highlight. This simple conversation starter will get your family talking about the day.
You can use this conversation starter anywhere. Somedays we are rushing from school, to practices, to stores & don’t have dinner around the table. Some days I notice my son is coming home in a bit of funk & resistant to talk. Because this game is so flexible you can use it anytime you need to open that door to expression. You can get more specific by asking for sweets & sours about a specific event, like a performance, school day, or playdate.
Why Sweets & Sours is a Winning Conversation Starter
These discussions have added benefits beyond the opportunity to connect and converse. This little nightly dialogue has also added emotional health benefits. Every day has a high point and a low point. Getting your child to understand the constant emotional roller coaster life puts us through will make him more resilient to the lows that inevitably hit. He will be able to recognize that sours are only temporary and sweets are always around the corner.
These daily discussions also give your child the opportunity to self-reflect. They encourage analysis of one’s behaviors and choices. Talking about sweets and sours allows your child the chance to consider how the day could have been better. It also offers you the opportunity to add additional input. That my friends, is a win-win.
The next time you want to learn more about your family’s day ask them to share their sweets and sours. Do you have a way to crack the silence code with your children and/or spouse? I’d love to hear about it!
For more helps on getting those kids talking, check out these printable conversation starters which are perfect for around the dinner table: