Don’t Ask Questions

Do you know those posters in pediatricians’ offices suggesting that you shouldn’t pelt small children with rapid-fire questions? “What happened at school today? What did you learn? How much outdoor time did you get? What was for lunch? Who did you play with?” A kid clams up and answers “I don’t know” in the best-case scenario, and throws a tantrum in the worst.

But you still want to know! Here’s a trick I invented to find everything out without asking.

On the way from school, Klara and I play Little Penguin. There’s a little penguin who wants to go to her school but he’s scared and confused and thinks all sorts of funny things about how school works.

“Little Penguin says that during lunch everybody puts lunch boxes on their heads! And that at math you learn to play basketball!”

Klara laughs and is eager to explain to the Little Penguin what actually happens during the math lesson, at choir practice, or at lunch. And I don’t ask a single question.

6 thoughts on “Don’t Ask Questions

    1. Ah, teens are tricky. The key is just spending a lot of unstructured time with them (driving to sports etc.) and they eventually spontaneously share stuff when they feel ready. My middle son (14) also likes to come hang out with me for 15-20 min or so right before he goes to bed. We google stupid stuff online, look at memes and videos, and just joke around. This is also when he’ll share stuff that might bother him. So yeah, just be around and ready to listen when they’re ready to talk.

      Liked by 2 people

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