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Mom shares 5 questions to ask your kids after school, instead of 'How was your day?'

Tired of hearing, "Good," "Fine" or "OK"?

talking with kids, yamel belen, tiktok parents

Questions to ask your kids instead of, "How was your day?"

Have you ever picked up your kid from school and asked them, “How was your day?” and they responded with a one-word answer such as “Good,” “Fine,” or “OK”? This all-too-common interaction can be disheartening because, as a parent, you want to know what your child did during the 6 hours you were apart.

Let’s be honest: not every day can be “fine.” There are probably some days that weren’t so great that got glossed over. Or, some beautiful days, but your child didn’t feel like doing the emotional or mental labor of recalling everything.

Yamel Belen, a mother of 5 kids ages 7 to 25, who lives in Tampa, Florida, was tired of hearing the same old responses from her kids, so she started asking open-ended questions to get the ball rolling. She shared her conversation starters on TikTok, and the view has really resonated with parents, earning 740,000 views.


“I really hated getting the ‘It was good’ response to my after-school questioning,” Belen, a registered nurse originally from Brooklyn, told The New York Post. “I wanted to know everything about their lives at school and felt like I was doing something wrong [as a mother].”

“So, I started asking questions that would give me better responses,” she added.

@themotherhoodkit

I really hated getting the “it was good” reaponse to my after school questionining! I wanted to know more, all of it….so I started digging for questions that would give me better responses. Try these and let me know how it goes! . . . . . #afterschoolroutine #schoolpickupfun #schoolpickipline #motherhoodseries #motherhoodkit #motherhoodlife #motherhoodunplugged #bondingwithkids #openendedquestions #motherdaughterrelationships

Here are 5 questions that Belen says will open up some conversation with your kids:

"What made you smile today?"

"Who did you sit next to at lunch?"

"Did you see any acts of kindness today? If so, what were they?"

"Did you see any acts of people being unkind, and if so, what did that look like?"

"What part of the day made you super happy?"

"Remember, these are conversation starters, so they're meant to have open-ended responses, Which leads you to better conversations with your kids,” Belen added.

Belen says that the conversations opened up the lines of conversation with her elementary school daughters, ages 7 and 9, and her 17-year-old son. “Now I’m getting all the tea,” Belen joked.

Dana Basu, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice at everGROW therapy, agrees with Belen in that asking “How was your day?” will probably cause your kids to draw a blank.

“I love asking my kids specific questions about their school day, which helps point their attention to specific moments,” Dr. Basu tells Verywell Family. “I find that this allows them to be better able to recall stories and moments from their day with me.”

Elizabeth Manly, who currently runs the website Discovery Play With Littles, adds that parents should set an example by sharing about their days, too. Parents don’t have to go on about the adult world of work, either. They can talk about what made them happy or moments of kindness they noticed.

“The more you tell them, the more they will understand how to talk about their day,” Manly said. "Oftentimes, younger kids don't know how to talk about their day. We forget this is also a skill that has to be taught.”


This article originally appeared on 10.16.23

Identity

Celebrate International Women's Day with these stunning photos of female leaders changing the world

The portraits, taken by acclaimed photographer Nigel Barker, are part of CARE's "She Leads the World" campaign.

Images provided by CARE

Kadiatu (left), Zainab (right)

True

Women are breaking down barriers every day. They are transforming the world into a more equitable place with every scientific discovery, athletic feat, social justice reform, artistic endeavor, leadership role, and community outreach project.

And while these breakthroughs are happening all the time, International Women’s Day (Mar 8) is when we can all take time to acknowledge the collective progress, and celebrate how “She Leads the World.

This year, CARE, a leading global humanitarian organization dedicated to empowering women and girls, is celebrating International Women’s Day through the power of portraiture. CARE partnered with high-profile photographer Nigel Barker, best known for his work on “America’s Next Top Model,” to capture breathtaking images of seven remarkable women who have prevailed over countless obstacles to become leaders within their communities.

“Mabinty, Isatu, Adama, and Kadiatu represent so many women around the world overcoming incredible obstacles to lead their communities,” said Michelle Nunn, President and CEO of CARE USA.

Barker’s bold portraits, as part of CARE’s “She Leads The World” campaign, not only elevate each woman’s story, but also shine a spotlight on how CARE programs helped them get to where they are today.

About the women:

Mabinty

international womens day, care.org

Mabinty is a businesswoman and a member of a CARE savings circle along with a group of other women. She buys and sells groundnuts, rice, and fuel. She and her husband have created such a successful enterprise that Mabinty volunteers her time as a teacher in the local school. She was the first woman to teach there, prompting a second woman to do so. Her fellow teachers and students look up to Mabinty as the leader and educator she is.

Kadiatu

international womens day, care.org

Kadiatu supports herself through a small business selling food. She also volunteers at a health clinic in the neighboring village where she is a nursing student. She tests for malaria, works with infants, and joins her fellow staff in dancing and singing with the women who visit the clinic. She aspires to become a full-time nurse so she can treat and cure people. Today, she leads by example and with ambition.

Isatu

international womens day, care.org

When Isatu was three months pregnant, her husband left her, seeking his fortune in the gold mines. Now Isatu makes her own way, buying and selling food to support her four children. It is a struggle, but Isatu is determined to be a part of her community and a provider for her kids. A single mother of four is nothing if not a leader.

Zainab

international womens day, care.org

Zainab is the Nurse in Charge at the Maternal Child Health Outpost in her community. She is the only nurse in the surrounding area, and so she is responsible for the pre-natal health of the community’s mothers-to-be and for the safe delivery of their babies. In a country with one of the world’s worst maternal death rates, Zainab has not lost a single mother. The community rallies around Zainab and the work she does. She describes the women who visit the clinic as sisters. That feeling is clearly mutual.

Adama

international womens day, care.org

Adama is something few women are - a kehkeh driver. A kehkeh is a three-wheeled motorcycle taxi, known elsewhere as a tuktuk. Working in the Kissy neighborhood of Freetown, Adama is the primary breadwinner for her family, including her son. She keeps her riders safe in other ways, too, by selling condoms. With HIV threatening to increase its spread, this is a vital service to the community.

Ya Yaebo

international womens day, care.org

“Ya” is a term of respect for older, accomplished women. Ya Yaebo has earned that title as head of her local farmers group. But there is much more than that. She started as a Village Savings and Loan Association member and began putting money into her business. There is the groundnut farm, her team buys and sells rice, and own their own oil processing machine. They even supply seeds to the Ministry of Agriculture. She has used her success to the benefit of people in need in her community and is a vocal advocate for educating girls, not having gone beyond grade seven herself.

On Monday, March 4, CARE will host an exhibition of photography in New York City featuring these portraits, kicking off the multi-day “She Leads the World Campaign.

Learn more, view the portraits, and join CARE’s International Women's Day "She Leads the World" celebration at CARE.org/sheleads.


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Over or under? Surprisingly, there actually is a 'correct' way to hang a toilet paper roll.

Let's settle this silly-but-surprisingly-heated debate once and for all.

Elya/Wikimedia Commons

Should you hang the toilet paper roll over or under?


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