As a child, the last few weeks of summer were somewhat bittersweet. I always enjoyed the back to school season, and the rush (yes, rush) of shopping for school supplies. But as is the case for most kids, I found myself dragging my feet with a stomach full of nerves and hesitation once the first day of school rolled around. My parents, likely sensing my hesitation, always knew just what to say to calm my nerves before I left and help me process the day after I returned. The questions every mom should ask their kids after the first day of school don't have to be deep or thought provoking, but certainly, something other than "how was your day, honey?" would be helpful. As reluctant as I might have been to go back to school, knowing that I had a safe place to process it all at the end of the day was more valuable than I knew at the time.
Now that I have my own preschooler, I'm constantly thinking about ways I can make her school experience a positive one. Whether you have an anxious Kindergartener or an angst-filled middle schooler, asking them questions that go beyond surface level of their day will encourage them to think through the in's and out's of every day and give you a bit more insight into what really happens after you drop them off.