We never thought of this before — but it's so true.

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
April 08, 2019
Kid at Home After School
Credit: Caiaimage/Tom Merton/Getty Images

Parents: Nine times out of 10, what's the first question you ask when you see your kids after school?

We're guessing it's something along the lines of "did you have a good day at school?" Are we right? We're right! (Shoot, we should have bet a batch of buttermilk biscuits on it.)

Well, you may want to rethink that popular inquiry, as you could subconsciously be steering the answer your young student gives you. "When you ask your child if things are fine or good, you're giving them the message that you want everything to be OK," says Kristin Wilson, MA, licensed professional counselor and Vice President of Clinical Outreach at Newport Academy, a therapy program for teenagers."Kids don't want to disappoint or disturb their parents, so they're more likely to say 'sure' or just nod in response and let you believe that everything's fine — even if it isn't."

WATCH: Here's Why Older Moms Might Be Better Parents

In lieu of asking if your child had a good day Wilson advises parents focus on a specific aspect of their son or daughter's day in a way that won't yield only a "yes" or "no" answer. For instance, try asking your child something like "what was piano practice after school like?" or "can you tell me how your science presentation went?" This way, your child can open up to you about a certain part of their day (and you can custom-tailor your questions to zoom in on an area of concern or particular interest) and they won't give a perfunctory yes-or-no headshake and retreat to their bedroom.

As for how to help your youngster on their physics homework? We're afraid you're on your own for that one.