Give us something to talk about.

You come home from work and are excited to see the kids and spend some time together. You want to know how your kid’s day was, so you ask: “How was school?” If your house is anything like ours, you get the least satisfying answer: “Good.” Or: “What did you do at school today?” and get back “Not much.”

Crap.

You can continue to ask questions, and I’m sure you have ones that work. I like “Did anyone get in trouble today?” and “What was the most fun thing that happened on the way home on the bus?” But kids are smart and they catch on quickly, so after a few times of asking those questions, you start to get short or repeat answers.

What works consistently, however, is if you have a topic to talk about. I remember when my daughter was learning about Japan, she was excited to share what she knew with us, as long as we were able to keep the conversation going. But I don’t know about everything that she learns in school, so what could I be bringing to her to pique her interest?

When I was a kid, I used to love looking in the newspaper for what happened on this day in history. I also used to like learning about history in school, but all of my classmates would wonder why we were learning about the Civil War. I mean, what does that have to do with today?

As an adult, I love listening to podcasts, particularly those that tell stories. Backstory is one of my tops, because it gives me some context into why things in America are they way they are today. At the same time, there are so few podcasts for kids. What if there were a podcast, directed at kids but that adults would also find interesting, that would put today’s events into context with what happened in the past? You could listen to 5 minutes a day with your kids, and now you have something to talk about over dinner, as well as instilling a sense of knowledge, history, and culture into your kids.