There isnt one right way， one perfect question， or one right time to have these conversations. Here are some suggestions to try：
Greet your child with an cheerful hello. Try saying “great to see you！” or “I missed you！” or simply， “I hope you had a good day！” instead of “How was school？” These statements communicate what you really feel without instantly putting your child on the spot with a question. As a result， your child is more likely to speak about his/her day.
Allow your child not to talk right after school. Many kids dont want to talk the minute they walk in the door. They want to have a snack， call a friend， or just get relaxed. （Think about how you feel when you walk in after a long day at work. Wouldnt you rather put your feet up and talk later？）
Learn about your childs life at school. The more details you know about your childs school experience， the more valuable your questions will be. If you know the teacher reads a story every day， ask “What story did Mrs. Younger read today？” If you know the teachers newsletter comes home on Wednesday， set up a ritual to read it together at dinner. If you visit your childs classroom， make note of new things you might want to discuss with your child later.
Say whats on your mind. If what you really need to know is “How did you do on the math test？” just ask. If you fish around， your child will feel bitter or angry about it more. “But keep in mind that if you frequently ask questions about tests， thats all kids will think you care about，” notes Lawrence Cohen， Ph.D.
Avoid face-to-face interrogations. You might do better in situations where youre not face-to-face like the car， when your child takes a bath， or when you are cooking. In this way， your child wont feel put on the spot.
Let the talk come out naturally. Discuss the day while you cook dinner， read together， or check homework. But try not to use dinner as a time to talk about problems like homework or tests. Everybody needs a break！
Listen before you talk. Let your child lead you into conversations on his/her own. Sometimes your child will drop hints without your asking， like “We planted seeds today！” or “Wheres the atlas？ I need to find Antarctica.” These are perfect openings to talk together about school.
Dont jump in to fix your childs problem immediately. If your child brings up a problem like “I hate my teacher！” take it in a long step. First， find out what else your child has to say and what he wants to do about it by asking， “What do you think you want to do about this？” and “Is there something youd like me to do？” Follow up later with “How did your new strategies work？” or “You havent mentioned math class lately， does that mean its going better？” If the problem is serious， discuss it with the school.
instantly adv. 馬上，立刻
ritual n. 仪式
interrogation n. 审问
hint n. 暗示