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5 After School Conversation Starters

From the Parent Cue.
Us parents long to have a deep connection with our kids, but it’s difficult when the majority of their answers to questions are simply, “Fine.” But we can’t let their short responses keep us from creating a meaningful bond with them—deep down, our kids want to connect with us, too.
Here are five questions that can help you kickstart meaningful conversations with your kids. And remember: timing is everything. Sometimes, your kid may need some time to decompress from their day. Read their cues and find the right time to have these conversations. 
1. What are you most excited about right now?
This might just be the best (and easiest) jumping off point for connection. Ask the question and be prepared to listen…for a while. After all, kids are often bursting with excitement about one thing or another. To have an adult’s willing ear is a treat like no other. 
2. What do you and your friends laugh about these days?
Take advantage of your access to youth—ahem, your kids—to learn more about what’s funny to this generation. Then, look for ways to incorporate more laughter in your home. 
3. What are you wanting to happen on your birthday or for Christmas?
Special occasions give kids an opportunity to dream big. And the occasion doesn't even have to be right around the corner—kids can tell you their birthday dessert and activity of choice, the item they want most in the world, and who they’d love pretending to be with just a few minutes of consideration. Consider it a window into your kid’s imagination.
4. What’s making you mad lately?
Kids are happy-go-lucky creatures, but they also have things they’re affected by. Asking this question gives credibility to your concerns and helps your kid work through their emotions in a safe environment. 
5. What’s something cool you heard or learned about recently?
Kids like to feel knowledgeable, especially if it’s about a topic you don’t know about. Give your kid’s brain a chance to shine and look for ways to learn more about their interests together.
These questions are just a starting point that will hopefully break through the distracted exterior and help us to get to the heart of the matter: helping our kids feel seen and loved exactly as they are.