“What did you do at school today?” is the first question I ask my son when I pick him up from school, and when the nanny picks him up it’s the question I normally ask during dinner. The second one is “What did you eat at school today?” (Which obviously doesn’t apply to the majority of schoolchildren all over the world who get their lunch packed by their mums.) What I invariably get as an answer is a blank stare followed by something in the line of “I don’t know/I can’t remember/I’m not sure”.
How come the extremely reliable memory of my son fails so spectacularly?
Now, I can’t remember where I read it but apparently the best way to get the information you want is to pose the question differently and ask “What is the best thing you did at school today?”. I tried it a couple of times last week and the reply, maybe just out of surprise for the new question, was way more satisfying than average.
Unfortunately, given the quality of the state school’s canteen service, I cannot apply the same trick to my second question. Somehow “What was the yummiest thing you had for lunch today?” would still get no answer.