Just because you're a parent, that doesn't always mean you know your child. In fact, kids may show one side to you and another side to someone else like other family members, friends, or teachers. As a parent, I understand how frustrating it can be to think you're missing out on a part of your kid's life.
So, what's the solution then? Ask.
Yes, you can simply just ask and talk to your kid to get a better understanding of them. If you're unsure where to begin, and you don't want to come across like you're interrogating them, here are 50 example questions you can ask your child to get to know them more.
If you’re looking for more variety or you eventually run out, you can find tons more online. There are hundreds of questions to ask kids readily available for you. Enjoy getting to know kids better, you’ll be amazed at how they open up.
50 Questions to Ask to Open up Communication
The key to asking your child questions about themselves is to not overwhelm them. It's important to develop positive communication with your child as this helps their development in numerous ways. They can understand how to talk to people, the right and wrong ways to express their feelings, and more.
The problem here is that many kids respond to our questions with short, one-word answers like "yes", "no", or "fine". Worst, some don't answer at all or may even just give a grunt.
Where do we go from here then if we want to get to know them? It starts with open-ended questions that allow you and your child to keep the conversation going. The following offers some suggestions that you can use. I've divided them into different categories so you can better broaden your approach.
10 Fun Questions to Ask Kids
Sometimes it's best to take a lighthearted approach to better communicating with your child. So, here are some fun questions you can ask.
Fun Questions for Toddlers/Preschoolers
1. What makes you feel happy?
2. If you could run outside and do anything, what would you do?
3. If you could change all your toys’ names, what would call them?
Fun Questions for School-Aged Kids
4. If you had $100, what’s the first toy you’d buy?
5. If you could be invisible for the whole day, what would you do?
6. If you and your friends joined the circus, what talents would you all have?
7. If you got turned into an animal right now, what animal would you want to be?
*alternatively, you can follow this up by asking them which animal they wouldn’t want to be*
Fun Questions for Older Kids/Teenagers
8. How would you design your own personal treehouse and who would be allowed in?
9. Out of you, your friends, and our family, who do you think would do best in a zombie apocalypse?
10. If you could have a sitcom about your life, who would play you and what would it be called?
10 School-Related Questions to Ask Kids
Plenty of things can happen at school that our kids may keep from us whether purposely or accidentally. In any case, here are some ways that you can address their school days and also leave the conversation open to learn more about what goes on there.
School-Related Questions for Toddlers/Preschoolers
1. What’s the coolest thing you learned today?
2. Did you play any new games on the playground?
*this can lead into talking about who they played with*
3. Did you help your teacher with anything today?
School-Related Questions for School-Aged Kids
4. Did you learn anything hard today or was everything easy for you?
5. If you could take your teacher’s place, how would you make your class more fun?
6. Are there any parts of school that you don’t like?
School-Related Questions for Older Kids/Teenagers
7. Do you like working on group projects or do you think you do better by yourself?
8. What’s your favorite/least favorite subject to learn about?
9. What’s the strangest thing that ever happened at school?
10. If you could throw a party at the house, are there any kids in your classes that absolutely must come?
10 Imaginative Questions to Ask Kids
Getting to know your kid can sometimes happen if you take a step away from the real world for a while. Asking imaginative questions allows your child to stretch their creativity and let you in on how they see the world or would like to see the world.
Imaginative Questions for Toddlers/Preschoolers
1. If your favorite toy could talk, what would it say to you?
2. If you could make anything in the snow/sand/mud, what would you create?
3. What would our house look like if you could put anything you wanted inside?
Imaginative Questions for School-Aged Kids
4. If you could have any super power, what would you want?
5. If you can make up your own class in school, what would it be about?
6. What do you think exists on other planets in space?
7. How do you think the world would look if everyone had flying cars?
Imaginative Questions for Older Kids/Teenagers
8. If you could pick a different point in history to travel to, where would you go?
9. What’s your favorite book and what would happen if you got transported inside of the story?
10. What would be your perfect place to vacation to if you could leave right now?
15 Serious Questions to Ask Kids
There's always a place for fun questions that may get a laugh, but sometimes, you need to address your child on a deeper level to understand them better. These questions may help you get there.
Serious Questions for Toddlers/Preschoolers
1. What do you think love means?
2. What do you think of that makes you feel sad?
3. Is there anything that makes you feel brave or scared?
Serious Questions for School-Aged Kids
4. What does a friend do that makes you laugh or upsets you?
5. Do you wish anything would change about our family?
6. What makes our family special?
7. What do you think is the best way to show people you care about them?
8. What’s your favorite/happiest/saddest memory?
Serious Questions for Older Kids/Teenagers
9. If you were told to keep a secret that made you uncomfortable, would you do it?
10. If there was anything about yourself you would change, what would it be?
11. What do you think the biggest problem in the world is today and how would you fix it if you could?
12. What would be your dream job when you grow up?
13. Are your friends fun to hang around, or is there someone else you wish you were friends with at school?
14. Do you have any resolution you want to work on this year?
15. If you could make the rules at home, what would you make?
5 Silly and Random Questions to Ask Kids
Even the silliest, most out-there questions can have their place and teach you a thing or two about your child. These questions are random enough that you may find a way to ask them to any kid regardless of their age.
1. What do you think aliens look like and could you draw them?
2. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve either done or saw someone do?
3. What’s your favorite and least favorite smell?
4. Would you rather be stuck in a zoo or an amusement park?
5. What voices would animals have if they could talk?
It's important to have open communication with your child regardless of their age. This helps not just in their development, but also in building a solid parent-child relationship. Remember not to badger them or they're more likely to shut down. Give them room to express themselves without judgment and actually listen to what they have to say.
You never know: you may have more in common with each other than either of you once thought.