Positive parenting: Kristen Bell has a pretty genius trick to get her kids to talk about their day
If you have ever struggled to get your kids to talk about their day once they arrive home from school (or creche), I feel you.
You're all set for a big conversation about how they got on and who they played with and what was good and bad about their day, only to be met with a very non-descriptive "fiiine." Or "I can't remember."
However, parenting is all about learning from each other, we think – it takes a village, and all that – and this week, we are all over Kristen Bell's very nifty little hack for getting some chat out of your kids after a day at school or creche.
The actress and mum-of-two explains to Popsugar how she would pick her girls up from preschool, curious about what they did that day, only to get one-word responses to every question she asked.
Then, she explained, she decided to try something different.
"Kids don't naturally want to tell you about their day because they want to live in the moment – they don't want to live in the past," the 38-year-old explains. "So I figured out a solution that works for our family."
Bell, who is mum to Delta, 4, and Lincoln, 6, decided to revert back to one of her key parenting philosophies: "Everything I ask my children to do in life, I explain to them why."
So along with husband Dax Shepard, Bell sat her daughters down and said, "Do you know why we ask you about your day? I ask you about your day and I ask Daddy about his day because we've been separated for a few hours and I wonder how you're feeling . . . if you experienced something today you want to talk about. Also because I'm interested and it gives us a chance to reconnect with each other. That's why people ask one another about their day. It also makes the other person that's being asked feel very good and valued. It's a nice way to show you love someone.'"
And it seems explaining why she wants to know about their day worked a charm for the Bell/Sherpardfamily.
"They understand that it's not just an obligatory, annoying question, that there's meaning behind it."
Now, she says, they "do really well" with the after-school Q&A session. "My kids don't brush me off. They say, 'It was really good, how was your day?'" she said. "They actually ask me how my day was."