QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR CHILDREN INSTEAD OF “HOW WAS SCHOOL?”
For most parents, including those whose children are neurotypical, asking “How was school today?” vary often results in “Nothing” or “Same as usual”. For parents of neurodiverse children, those kids have already given every last ounce of their energy usually in just trying to survive.
The last thing they want to talk about is school, especially after a day spent wlth either frequently being told off, misunderstood or totally masking every part of who they are, just to get by & appear “normal”.
As I read recently, that prolonged masking, which actually leads to autistic hangover, meltdown & then shut down, is like forcing a human being to be a lobster.
I have found with all 4 of my neurodiverse children as well as the literally thousands of others I have worked with for over 16 years, that there are far more engaging, fun & open ended questions to encourage them to open up about their day. Not only does this engage them but even more vitally, it’s a mental health thermometer to help you know where exactly they are “at”.
If a child doesn’t feel like talking, or is non verbal, encourage them to journal their day with similar encouraging journal prompts. If they are younger children, get them to draw & colour their day!
So often when I work in children’s homes or residential colleges, I might arrive early while they are all eating & at times the silence has said so much. As a society since Covid we have literally become so “contactless”, so separate from each other, so inside our own bubbles.
The statistics for mental health have shot up to dangerously high levels, so reach out, communicate, touch base & keep on top of feelings, including your own, with some of the ideas attached.
I really hope this helps.
See you next week!
Lots of love,
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