The old parenting trick that's bringing me new delight

The old parenting trick that's bringing me new delight

I confess that I got out of the habit of asking my daughter about the best part of her day but I’ve recently started doing so again. After a particularly rough day, as I was telling her goodnight I asked her to share something good that had happened, no matter how small.

I was pleasantly surprised that she came up with something quickly, and very pleased to see the smallest of smiles pass her lips.

It was enough to motivate me to ask again. And again the following day. Sometimes I ask about favorite part of the day, or something that made her smile, anything along those lines.

The recent responses have been alternately touching and hilarious. (And sometimes a little gross or silly, because middle school.)

Now that we’re back in the routine, I realize that hearing her response to the question is often a highlight of my day.

I feel like asking encourages her to find the good and focus on the positive.

The warm fuzzy feelings are reason enough to ask, but I’ve also found that I learn a lot. Her answers usually include something new to me and are an additional peek into her world.

The random moments that make her happy, and the details surrounding them, aren’t usually offered up in response to “How was your day?” and in the other conversations we have about homework, activities, events of the day.

I know asking your kid this question isn’t rocket science. It’s an old parenting trick. But in the bleak midwinter, as it is here in the Midwest, it’s been an unexpected bright spot for me, and I thought sharing my experience might encourage other parents to ask their kids the same.

And if your kid stonewalls, stay patient, both in the short and long term. Give them time and silence to think of an answer. Ask again the next day. And the day after. They may roll their eyes. That’s okay. And some days you might not get any insight into anything, but that doesn’t mean that over time they won’t share a few good nuggets and maybe even start to look for the positive themselves.

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