After School Car Conversations

  • Child Development
  • The Aspen Difference
Jennifer Gravlee

We all know that moment. That moment, adult picks up kid, kid shuts the door. Adult says, “how was your day?” Then the one-word answer comes, “fine, good, boring, or bad.” As parents, you want to know all about your child’s day, what they learned, what activities they did, how the test went, who they played with, but we seem to think that one question will get us all of those answers. Children are still emotionally developing and socially growing, they need more specific questions to open their minds up. Try asking open-ended questions and don’t be uncomfortable with silence.

Try asking these questions instead:

  • What is one thing that made you smile today?
  • What was your favorite and least favorite part of the day?
  • What is one kind thing you did for someone today?
  • What games did everyone play at recess?
  • What happened today that made you laugh?
  • Who is the funniest kid in the class?
  • What is your favorite thing about each teacher?
  • What are you most proud of from today?
  • What goals did you set for yourself today and did you meet them?
  • What would you like to do differently tomorrow?
  • What can you learn from today?
  • What did people have for lunch?
  • If you were the teacher what would you do differently?
  • Who did you help today?
  • What activity did you do in leadership class today?

Communication is a two-way street, if we expect a connected conversation with our children we need to be open as well. Tell your student about your day, for every question you ask them trying answering it for yourself as well. It is important to be a good role model and let them know adults go through an emotional cycle during the day as well. Share with them what made you smile, what was frustrating, how you solved problems, how you were kind, the goals you set, and what you are most proud of from the day. Check out the from class to home section of the Aspen newsletter for more car conversation topics!

For more on Leadership at Aspen Academy, click here.

About the Author

Jennifer Gravlee, Aspen Leadership Institute Coach

Jennifer was born and raised in Bartlett, Tennessee and graduated from the University of Memphis with a major in Elementary Education. She brings 7 years of teaching experience to Aspen and loves helping children grow and learn. She can best be described as energetic, outgoing, passionate and optimistic.



B.S., Elementary Education & Special Education, University of Memphis