It's Not What You're Asking Tweens & Teens; It's How You Ask It! by Holly Budde
As kids grow up, they are supposed to separate from their moms. If you're like me and have preteens, then you may be realizing this is the time all of this begins. To avoid the shrugging of shoulders and other non-engaged responses, speak their language.
Don't ask questions like, "How was your day?" Ask specific questions on their level such as, "What was the weirdest thing that happened today?" or "Got any good drama going on?" or "Anyone acting crazy today?" Kids will open up to you before they realize it.
Listen to how they talk to friends, and tweak your questions accordingly!