I love this time of year.
I love the energy and buzz in the air during Back to School season. As I write this, I'm sitting on my front porch. We live across from a high school sports complex and the soccer team is warming up for their first game of the season. The music is blaring and you can feel their energy and excitement.
But, the reality is that, for many, school is not an enjoyable thing and this is not a time of year that they love. And, as our kids get older, it is hard to get them to talk about their day and what has happened.
We have talked a lot about positivity and gratitude. One way to help our kids is to find ways to model this ourselves and have them participate in conversations that promote positive thinking.
If you have younger kids, begin a routine of asking questions at certain times of the day (during a meal or at bedtime) that have them thinking about good things that have happened and things for which they can be grateful. If you instill this routine early, you might be able to keep it going as they get older.
These same types of questions can also be asked of older kids (who are often more reluctant to share too much information). Take advantage of moments alone to foster these conversations. I used to love time alone with them in the car. Being a taxi can become tiring, but it can also become a time to build relationships with your teens.
While you are asking questions, maybe share your answers. This might help make them feel less like they are being drilled for information. 😊 I know that some kids, older kids especially, might have a limit on how many questions you are allowed in a day. You don't need to ask a lot of them. One or two will get them thinking about positive things and build their belief that you care.
Here are a few examples of questions you can ask:
- What is one thing you learned today?
- Who did you talk to in class today?
- Did you talk to anyone new today?
- What are you most proud of today?
- What is one thing that made you smile?
- Can you tell me one thing you are grateful for today?
- What random thing could you do today to be kind to someone else?
- What are you looking forward to today?
There are so many other options, but I hope this list helps give you a starting spot to promote positivity in yourself and others.