“What was the best thing about school today?”, “What games did you play today?”, “Do the kids at school ever talk about boyfriends and girlfriends?” “Who did you sit with at lunch today?” or “How did the soccer game go at recess?” will get you a lot further than “How was school today?”
Questions that begin with “Why” often make kids defensive; “Why did you wear that?” won’t work nearly as well as “What do you think most of the kids will be wearing to the bbq?”
What questions are conversation openers. Why questions are a challenge. You want relating, not conflict.
Remember that to build a good relationship takes time. It is made up of small things. Using leading questions will slowly open up those lines of communication with your kids.