Back to School: Going beyond “How was your day?”

As September is behind us, the new school year is likely beginning to settle in.  A new school year may bring many different things for both students and caregivers: excitement, anxiety, frustration, curiosity, hope, eagerness, or fear.  No matter what the experience, it’s important to make a point to encourage open communication and support to talk about feelings and promote feeling heard and understood.  As we adjust to being back in the routine of the school year, we’ve been thinking about a few things… 


Questions to increase understanding about a child’s experience at school this year so far:

  • How are you feeling so far about this year?
  • Is there anything you are excited about? Worried about?
  • What’s the biggest difference between this year and last year?
  • What is one thing you’re hoping to do during the school year?


We are all adjusting to a new school year. 

How can we remind ourselves to be compassionate with yourself and your loved ones? 

  • Speak with kindness
  • Listen carefully and without judgment
  • Offer to help someone with a task
  • Forgive people for making mistakes
  • Express gratitude and appreciation
  • Be patient
  • Apologize when you’ve made a mistake
  • Validate feelings
  • Focus on strengths

What other ways can we show compassion?

Going beyond “How was your day?”

  • What was the best/worst thing that happened at school today?
  • What was the hardest thing you had to do today?
  • What is something that made you laugh today. 
  • If you could choose, who would you like to sit by in class? Who would you not want to sit by in class? 
  • What is something that you learned today. 
  • What are you looking forward to at school tomorrow?
    Did you get frustrated with anything at school today?
  • Is there anything on your mind you want to talk about?
  • What is hard for others to understand about you?

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