How I got MF to talk about school

Recently my friend shared an article called 25 Ways To Ask Your Kids “So how was school today?” Without Asking them “So how was school today?” on Facebook.  It caught my attention because MF was exactly the type of boy who refused to tell me ANYTHING about school.  Everyday when he came home, our conversation would go something like:

Me: What did you do in school today?
MF: Nothing
Me: What did you eat in school?
MF: Nothing
Me: What did you learn? Did you do any art? Sing any song?
MF: NO. *starting to get irritated*

So I decided to read that article, hoping to get some inspiration.  Frankly, I read the first 10 questions and wanted to close my browser because they all seemed so BORING.  That was until I reached #12.

“#12.  If an alien spaceship came to your class and beamed up someone who would you want them to take?”

Now THAT is a good one, I thought.  But I decided to improvise. MF was a huge fan of Transformers, and one thing I learned from my days as a teacher was to start with topics that would interest the student.

Me: If Decepticon went to your school and wanted to capture one naughter boy, who would he capture?
MF: XXX (name changed to protect the identity of the student)
Me: What did XXX do that made Decepticon decide to capture him?
MF: He always push the friends. Then the friends would say, “Ouch XXX! Very painful!”
Me: Oh dear.. so did the teacher do anything?
MF: The teacher would scold XXX.

Okay, it was working.  Hubby decided to join in, and MF had a ‘kids-say-the-darnest-thing’ reply waiting.

Hubby: What if Decepticon wanted to catch a GIRL? Who would he capture?
MF: There are no girl Decepticons.  You need girl Decepticon but there are no girl Decepticons.

I have NO idea where that came from. Maybe from watching TV and observing female police officers arresting women?

female decepticon

Anyway since he was finally opening up about school, I wanted to keep the momentum going rather than question his idea of female Decepticons.

Me: What if Optimus Prime goes to your school now and wants to bring a GOOD boy with him.  Who would he choose?
Me:  Why you? What did you do in school that would make Optimus Prime choose you?
MF: Err… I sit properly in class!
Me: Okay… That’s good! Anything else?
MF: I didn’t shout in class.
Me: Wow, that’s excellent!

After this, MF got a bit distracted by his cousin who was next to us who started to talk about asking for permission to go to the toilet and the two boys started chatting about passing motion. *roll eyes.. boys.*

Cousin: When I want to go toilet, I will raise my hand and say, “I want to pass motion!”
MF: You should say, “May I go and pass motion PLEASE?”

I decided to take the cue and try asking MF something more serious about school and see if he would continue talking.

Me: Then if the teacher said something in class and you didn’t understand, what would you say?
MF: I would say, “Teacher, I don’t know.”
Me: Yes, that’s right.
MF: Or “Can I have some help please?”
Me: Wow, that’s very good.
MF: Or “Can I do it another time please?”

I was speechless by now.  All the times I tried to make him talk about school and he would seem so annoyed and tell me ‘nothing’, I thought he really hated school and didn’t learn anything from school.  But I was so WRONG! I got to admit, when I tried to ask him to write A – Z and he couldn’t write them, or when I asked him if he could spell any word and he couldn’t, I was getting a little concerned.  But it sounded like he was picking up excellent values, correct behaviours and manners from school. Which is what matters the most, isn’t it?

So after I finally got MF to talk about school, I just want to shout out to MF’s teachers (I know one of his teachers read my blog before, so maybe she would stumble across this post): I THINK YOU ALL DESERVE A PAY RAISE!

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