25 Alternatives to the "How Was Your Day?" Parent Question

Questions with an Anti-Bias Lens

  • For Parents, Families, and Caregivers
Family eating at the table


At the end of the day, parents want to know what their child’s day was like. This is a perfectly natural feeling and request but the standard question of “How was your day?” often gets met with a one-word response, blank stare, bewilderment or even hostility. Instead of asking the typical expected question, here’s a new strategy. Ask a question that is more thought-provoking and one that starts a conversation instead of ending it. A question about the social, emotional and/or intergroup dynamics that go on in school may be closer to what’s on their mind. And it may receive a better response and lead to an engaging discussion. It also conveys the message that you value these topics. 

Below is a list of possible questions. Be sure to ask follow-up questions, listen without judgment and share your own experiences and insights where appropriate.

Alternative Questions

  1. Did you see anyone be a friend to someone when they needed it?
  2. Did you notice any mean or insulting behavior at recess?
  3. Do you think your classroom rules are fair or unfair?
  4. Was anyone disrespected in class today?
  5. Did you learn anything new today about a group of people different from you?
  6. Did you read a book or story that made you rethink your ideas about someone or a group of people?
  7. How was an aspect of your identity affirmed today?
  8. Did you see any adults being role models in treating others with respect?
  9. Did you feel like you belonged?
  10. Did anything happen today that seemed unfair?
  11. Who did you feel most connected to at school today and why?
  12. How did you help someone today? How did someone help you?
  13. Did you notice anything today that may be a problem for kids with disabilities?
  14. Did you see a teacher stop bias or bullying?
  15. Did you have a say about what happened at school today?
  16. Was anyone talking or gossiping today about mean behavior online?
  17. Did you see an adult do or say something to a student that might have embarrassed them?
  18. Did you feel excluded today?
  19. Did you hear any stereotypes and if so, what?
  20. Were there any special assemblies or celebrations today and did it include everyone?
  21. Did anyone stand up to bullying today?
  22. Did you learn about activism or standing up for something today?
  23. Did you see anything offensive on the walls or bulletin boards?
  24. Who in your class is the most different from you? Do you think you two have anything in common?
  25. If you could sum up your day with one emoji, what would it be?

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