I think I just discovered a really genius way to get my kids to tell me about their day 4 months ago

I think I just discovered a really genius way to get my kids to tell me about their day

Ever picked your kids up from school or sat down for dinner and asked the age-old question: "How was your day?"

I know I'm always badgering my kids to get her to fill me in on how school was and who they played with and what the funniest/best/saddest thing was that happened to them that day.

The problem? More often than not, their answers to my many questions are often something along the lines of "I can't remember" or "good." Which, we all know, does little to tell us parents how our kids' day really went.

Well, it looks like I might just have stumbled across a more effective tactic.

Because according to a recent article in The Washington Post getting your kids to tell you about their day is actually as simple as asking the question “Do you want to hear about my day?” first.

And guess what? In most cases, your kids will be perplexed and fascinated and, according to the mum who tested it out, they’ll pretty much never say no.

I was intrigued – so I decided to test it on my kids yesterday afternoon, as we sat down to have dinner. As I was adding vegetable lasagne to their plates, I simply said:

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"Who wants to hear what I got up while you guys were in school?"

And low and behold, they both wanted to know. And so on I went, telling them about first bumping into a mum from one of their classes and how we had coffee, and how a funny dog ended up trying to snatch my handbag outside the coffee shop. I told them about rushing home to do some writing, and then about how our cats had knocked over a whole basket of hair bobbins that I had to tidy up. And then I told them about how I almost was late picking them up from school because I went grocery shopping – really non-revolutionary stuff, literally just little snippets of my day.

And the thing is – once I had finished ("Wow, mummy, you do A LOT when we are in school!"), my 11-year-old started talking about how her class had been doing a dance class, and how much fun it was, and how silly the teacher had looked, and before I knew it, my seven-year-old chimed in about little nuggets of information about his day.

I was pretty amazed at how well that worked. Now, my kids are generally pretty chatty, and I know them well enough to know that if something big or bad or really good had happened to them, they would indeed tell me, without needing any prompt first. But still – it was interesting to see how me just chatting about my very normal day made them more chatty about their too.

I am a firm believer in the power of conversation and communication, and that often, these little chats we have with our kids are more important than we think. Knowing they can tell us and talk to us about the small things, fills them with the knowledge that they can also do so when it comes to the bigger things. And that is good to know.

And chatting about my own day, well, what it also does, is give my kids an example that they will probably (hopefully) want to replicate.