What Did You Work On Today?

You just picked your kid up from volleyball practice or your teen is home from an early morning football scrimmage. With the beginning of a new school year just around the corner, practice for fall sports is already in full swing.

You’re curious about how things are going but Cassie is texting a friend or Jonathon is ready for a shower and nap. What’s a parent to do? How can you be supportive but not overly involved?

Most kids need a little down time after a practice or game. Then over a snack or meal, you can initiate a conversation. There’s a great question I found useful with my daughters and I now use with the grandkids.

“What did you work on today?” This question requires more than a “yes, no, or okay.” Let’s say Cassie answers with, “We worked on serving the ball.” Then you can follow up with, “Are you serving better than last year?” And even, “Do you want to practice some after supper? I should be pretty good at serving.”

Encouraging – helpful – appropriate. What great adjectives to describe a sports mom or dad.

What have you found that’s a good conversation starter with your child when it comes to sports practices and games?

Donna Donald

Donna Donald is a Human Sciences specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach who has spent her career working with families across the lifespan. She believes families are defined by function as well as form. Donna entered parenthood as a stepmother to three daughters and loves being a grandmother of seven young adults.

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