10 Questions to Ask Your Kid After School (That’s NOT How Was Your Day)


I’m about to embark on my 7th year in education, and I still get butterflies on the first day of school. There’s so much to be excited about, nervous for, and anxiously anticipating – but the first day of school exhaustion? I know that will be coming. By the time the dismissal bell rings, I will be fresh out of words and will drive home in the silence of my car.

And this made me wonder: if this is how I feel after the first day of school, how must our kiddos be feeling?

I don’t know about you, but I hate the “how was your day?” question. How was my day? When? The beginning part, the middle part, or the end? How do I tell you about the 2,583 things that happened today, and the many Big Feelings I felt in the first 30 minutes alone after the bell rang? Do you only want to hear about the good stuff, or can I tell you about the uncomfortable, nervous, other stuff?

boy going to school

To help us all out, I asked some other Memphis Mom Collective contributors about the questions they like to ask their kids, especially after a fun, wild, exhausting, and terrifying (?) first day of school.

Here’s our list of 10 questions to ask, we would love to hear what your kid(s) responses are!

  1. “On a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being the least tired and 5 being the most tired, how tired are you feeling right now?” (Great gauge to see how many other questions you ask on the first day of school!)
  2. “Would you like to answer some questions about how school was or would you like to draw a picture of it?” Not all kids are talkers. Not all kids process with words. Let them draw a picture of their favorite moment! Let them draw a picture of their classroom for you! Let them draw you a picture of their teacher! Why not!
  3. “Who made you smile today?”
  4. “What’s one thing you learned about your teacher that surprised you?”
  5. “If you could relive 5 minutes of your day today, which 5 minutes would you pick and why?” (It’s okay if it’s lunch or recess – those are my adult-in-the-school-building favorites too.)
  6. “What was the silliest thing that happened today?”
  7. “Was there anything you did that was harder than you expected it would be?” (It’s hard to be a school-aged human; give them all A’s for showing up today!)
  8. “What’s one thing you did today at school that you would like to do again tomorrow?”
  9. “If you could change one thing about today, what would it be, and why?”
  10. And finally – join in on the fun – have everyone share their high(s) and low(s) of the day, including your own! If you already do highs and lows, how about doing the “Rose, Thorn and Bud” activity?

And don’t forget mamas – order pizza to go on Friday and set it out with no words, rules, or expectations. Like my friend Jen Hatmaker astutely described, we are overdone, overbaked, out of words, and out of cares on Friday. We will devour the pizza and fall into the deepest slumber in our school clothes on the couch with the TV blasting.

pizza the first week of school

Happy new school year!


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Jocelyn moved to Memphis in 2015 with her husband, not knowing a soul. Now, it’s as if she has always lived here! Jocelyn is a first generation Asian-American who was born in California, grew up overseas (Thailand), and moved back to the States in middle school. After leaving home (Maryland) for college in the south (Georgia), Jocelyn hasn’t left the south and her childhood friends claim she has a southern accent. Currently, Jocelyn is a School Social Worker who spends most of her time helping little + big humans navigate how to be healthy humans in this world (and all the highs and lows that come with it). She is also on her own journey of discovering what it means to be an introvert and a mom. Jocelyn and her husband welcomed Charlotte (2018) to their family and are in awe of how much fun it is and how crazy it can be to raise a little human. When she’s not working, Jocelyn can be found in fuzzy socks doing a puzzle, enjoying alone time at a coffee shop, scouring Target’s Dollar Spot for things she definitely doesn’t need, and cheering on the Memphis Grizzlies.


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