How the My Story Dolls Kit Inspired Better Daily Communication with My School-Age Child
The daily doldrums of school are in full swing. Whether it has been a month or just a few weeks, the routine for after school has hopefully been smooth sailing.
Every school year I remind myself to not fall into the habit I had as a child: my mom would ask, “how is school,” and I dutifully answered, “fine.” We usually would then mumble a few more words and the subject quickly changed. It’s not like I didn’t have anything to share, I just didn’t find it significant.
Now as an adult with a 2nd grader, who bottles up her emotions until it bubbles over, I was inspired to help my 7-year-old express her moods and talk about her day. We’ve all seen the memes at back-to-school time – “Top 10 Questions to Ask your Kids About Their Day” or “Instead of 'How was your day?' ask 'What Made you Smile Today?'” The pointed questions, in theory, were amazing and thoughtful and yet they didn’t work for my situation.
I was looking at the Creativity for Kids My Story Dolls package when it dawned on me that I could create a checklist of emotions so my daughter didn’t have to answer my firing squad of questions.
Click here to view and download my checklist. Every day for about 4 weeks, my daughter would check off her emotions before I would leave the parking lot from after school care. Then I randomly selected a few emotions for her to elaborate on. I’ve learned more about her school day this year than Kindergarten and First Grade combined.
So you may ask, do I still use this tool? Yes, but not every week. We rotate this tool with other emotion tools to make it fun. On the “off” weeks, we pick from our daily fishbowl of emotions (when we sit down for dinner) and we as a family share when the randomly picked emotion. It’s been a great way to involve the whole family.
-Michelle, Mother of two, Cleveland, OH