Getting Three-Year-Olds to Answer

Dear Dr. Rene,
Everytime I ask my three-year-old what he did in preschool, he says, “nothing.” How can I get him engaged in a conversation about this?
Hope, Mother of One

Dear Hope,
This is a common complaint. You might use the class weekly or monthly plans to ask more specific questions like, “I see you made collages today, was that fun?” or, “what did you do at movement class today?” If the teacher sends daily reports, use that as your jump off. You might ask more specific questions like, “who did you sit with at snack?” or “who was the line leader?” You might ask funny questions like, “what was the worst thing about preschool today?” or, “did you go to the bathroom by yourself or with friends today?” You might also ask future plans, “what do you think you’ll do at school tomorrow?” If he has a favorite thing like the car mat, you might start there, “did you get to drive cars on the mat today?” It may be that he just needs a break from being social after a day at school, so you might wait until after snack or a bit of playtime before you ask.
Dr. Rene

Author: Dr. Rene Hackney

With a MA in school psychology and a PhD in developmental psychology, I founded and work as a parent educator at Parenting Playgroups. Somewhere in there I trained in the Developmental Clinic at Children's NMC and in the public schools. I have two beautiful, funny children who make me practice what I preach most everyday.

One thought on “Getting Three-Year-Olds to Answer”

  1. >I always get good feedback from my 3 year old with "What was your favorite thing that you did at school today?". Something interesting always comes from that one!

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