We’ve got a pretty set routine most nights after work. My husband or I come home by 6pm to relieve the babysitter, who picks up our daughter from school. (We trade off nights when one of us can work late or hit the gym after work while the other gets home right on time. It’s something that allows our two-somewhat-crazy-job household to function.) When I get home, I hang with our kiddo for a bit in the kitchen, asking her about her day. Then it’s homework time, piano practice time, and if we have time left, we try to play a game or read together.
The other night I asked our daughter my usual coming-through-the-door question: “How was your day today?”
She said it was good and that they played museum on the playground (I think more adults need to play museum at work, but that’s for another post). And then she did something that startled me a little. She asked me how my day was.
My daughter is seven (and a half, but I try not to think about that). And I’m not sure whether she hasn’t ever asked me that question before but it was the first time I remembered her doing it. So I told her about my day. About my work and how I had this frustrating situation but dealt with it. About going out for lunch with my friend which was awesome. About reading this really interesting article about science and our brains.
She listened, asked me questions, and told me that when she gets upset at someone at school it helps to not talk to that person for a while so I should do that with the person who frustrated me at work. The next morning she asked me if I was going to read any other articles that day. I asked her why and she told me that she wants to know, that she liked hearing about it. And the next night when I came home from work she beat me to the punch with the “How was your day?” question.
Here’s the punchline on my latest parenting lesson:
Your kids want to hear about your life even if you don’t think they do. They want to hear about your work, things you read, people you see. I think so often we’re asking them questions about their day that we forget to share ours. And I think we should. Because that way it’s more of a two-way relationship and it’s a more honest one. Not to mention that the more I share with my kiddo the more I get out of her, which is increasingly a feat. (Have you gotten the one-word “Good,” as a frequent answer to your questions about your kids’ days?)
Do you talk to your kids about your days or do you find, like me, that most of the time you’re asking them about theirs?