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My latest parenting lesson: Tell my kiddo about my life

Categories: Parenting & Family


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?

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4 comments so far...

  • My kids are curious about my day, too. (And my childhood, and my extended family, and, and, and…) We definitely don’t have babies anymore. ;)

    Angella  |  January 11th, 2012 at 10:37 am

  • I ask them about theirs every day, but I do tell them about mine at least a couple times a week. Usually it comes up because the feelings generated by a work crisis or triumph are still bubbling over when I pick them up from daycare. I simplify the complex, but I try to be pretty honest, so they can see that adults have all kinds of feelings and how we approach problems. My kids are interested, and my youngest started asking (occasionally) how my day was when she was 4 if not younger. Sometimes she will ask for a follow-up on an issue I was trying to resolve. She also has decided she does not like Client X at __ bank, since he gave us a hard time about something last year, LOL. Every time I mention that someone’s being obnoxious, she’ll say “like Client X?” Funny and a little scary at times.

    Call me weird, but I also take my kids to some work-oriented / professional events. I’m a single mom, meaning my other two options are hiring a babysitter or staying home, so I take them with me if feasible. I think it is good for them, as long as it is only occasional. After all, I’m not raising children; I’m raising adults.

    SKL  |  January 12th, 2012 at 11:19 am

  • You are absolutely right. My 4 year old has started a routine of asking me how my day was and what I did. It is always in that order. If I change the order he corrects me but it is really a bonding time. During this short time I tell him about my day and he asks all sorts of questions and then he tells me about his and I learn so many amazing things! Example: He tells me, “My day was bad because Zach (2 year old brother) pooped in the bathtub when I was in it!”. I just treasure our little ‘how was your day’ time.

    Katie Saint  |  January 14th, 2012 at 11:13 pm

  • I think you must be doing a great job if your daughter is not all about her. I feel many more children are like that! I love your blog… it helps in so many ways!

    Sharron  |  January 16th, 2012 at 7:07 pm