Help Your Family Reunite After School

The after-school or after day-care greeting between parents and children is crucial. Handled well, children quickly re-bond with parents after time apart and are eager to enjoy family time. Handled poorly, children can become uncooperative and add stress to parents’ already challenging lives.

“Certain questions are irresistible to children and help families reunite at the end of the day,” says Dr. Cindy Dormer, mother of three and author of Hold That Thought for Kids: Capturing Precious Memories through Fun Questions, Images, and Conversations (The BrightSide Company). “With questions that let children know you’ve been thinking of them and that invite them to recognize their small daily victories, you help your kids transition from being with friends and teachers to being with you.”

Dormer worked closely with many child and family specialists, as well as more than 100 children, to develop Hold That Thought, a journal designed to help parents capture their child’s thoughts and ideas and to build a more powerful connection. She offers the free report “Fun Questions to Curb Backseat Battles” at

“After a while, children start to anticipate ‘I’m your fan’ questions and they begin looking for upbeat things to share with their parents.” says Dormer. With that in mind, she suggests some questions you can ask your child to help foster family closeness:

· I thought of something you did that made me smile. Guess what it was!
· How did the ______ (math test, show and tell, sandbox playtime, etc) go today?
· What is one thing you did today that you’re proud about?
· What are you most looking forward to tomorrow?

Coming back together at the end of the day marks an important changeover. With a little encouragement, you can set the stage for rewarding afternoon and evening family time.

Dr. Cindy Dormer is a mother, former scientist, author, speaker, and family relationship specialist. For related family relationship tips, please read Dr. Dormer’s book, Hold That Thought for Kids or visit her site

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