I remember coming home from school camp to a barrage of questions from my mum.
“What did you do?”
“What did you have for dinner? Dessert? Breakfast? Lunch?”
“Who did you play with?”
“What time did you go to bed?”
Luckily for Mum, I was an obliging, open kid who wanted to tell her every detail that she was so eager to know. And that’s me. Open and happy to share.
I remember the same situation occurring five years later, but this time it was my sister – and unlike me – she was not all that eager to share. And that’s her. Private and ready to share in her own time.
Does this make either one of us right or wrong? No! Everyone is different and that includes kids.
Asking too many questions can make kids feel under pressure, cornered and panicked. And believe it or not, sometimes they have no idea what the answer is.
Asking a child ‘what were you thinking when you drew on that wall?’ can be a waste of your breath, especially if you or your child are highly emotive (not a great time to try and solve problems). And it can be perfectly reasonable that the child was thinking NOTHING at this time and cannot explain this to themselves or anyone else for that matter.
In the case of the school camp, there was no problem to be solved – just Mum showing her interest and contentment that we were once again home and together. But that ‘contentment’ is displayed in different ways by different people.
I have a ‘sharer’ and a ‘non-sharer’, and as difficult as it is not to ask a million questions at school pick up (How was school? What did you do? Did you eat your lunch? Did you hand in your homework?) I do my best to say… “It’s GREAT to see you!”
And usually, whether immediately or later that afternoon, the rest comes out in the wash… even from the ‘non-sharer’.