Kristen Bell's Trick To Get Kids To Talk About Their Day Is Simple -- And Genius

by Valerie Williams
Originally Published: 
Image via Leon Bennett/Getty Images

Kristen Bell has the best way to get kids to tell you what happened at school today

Kristen Bell is one of those down-to-earth celebrity moms who is very much “one of us.” That’s why when she shares parenting advice, we tend to sit up and listen. Her latest tidbit is a great one for parents with kids in school — because getting information out of those little buggers can be like pulling teeth.

Ever ask your kids “how was school?” only to be met with either silence or a shouted, “GOOD” before they run to the PS4? Oh, only every day? Join the club. Bell gets it and told PopSugar her extremely easy method for getting her daughters Lincoln and Delta, ages five and three, to chat.

“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,” she says. “So I figured out a solution that works for our family.”

“Everything I ask my children to do in life, I explain to them why.”

Huh. Sounds simple enough. As parents, it often feels like we’re yelling out commands without any context or explanation. I’ve even delved into my mother’s greatest hit — “Because I said so.” Which I swore I’d never do, but like most “I never’s,” we know how that went.

Bell and husband Dax Shepard go about getting daily info from their daughters in a very sweet way. “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 to 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.”

OK, well that’s simply the cutest thing on the planet and I’m going to use it in my mom life immediately. Sometimes kids hear so much from us grown-ups that it all becomes white noise. Brush your teeth. Tie your shoes. Finish your chicken. Go to bed, for the love of god. It’s easy to see why they’d feel fine with tuning us out, and as Bell says, it’s not like they’re eager to give a full oral report on how their day went anyway. Us asking them without giving the real reason behind the request is kind of lame, now that I think about it.

The result? Bell says, “they understand that it’s not just an obligatory, annoying question, that there’s meaning behind it.”

Her two little girls are now acing the after-school report and even gaining an interest in what Mommy does all day. Because Mommies are people with lives too, which kids often tend to forget. “My kids don’t brush me off. They say, ‘It was really good, how was your day?. They actually ask me how my day was.”

Thanks to Bell’s on-point advice, maybe some of us will report the same this school year.

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