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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.”

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In exchange for donating a portion of unspoiled, forested land to the Área de Conservación Guanacaste — a nature preserve in the country's northwest — the park would allow the company to dump its discarded orange peels and pulp, free of charge, in a heavily grazed, largely deforested area nearby.

One year later, one thousand trucks poured into the national park, offloading over 12,000 metric tons of sticky, mealy, orange compost onto the worn-out plot.

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Parents are debating over whether to give children "adult" or "baby" names.

The names we choose to give our children can significantly impact their lives. Multiple studies from across the globe have found that a person’s name can influence their employment, social and economic outcomes.

Unfortunately, humans make snap judgments about one another, and having an unusual name can lead people to make unflattering assumptions. “We’re hardwired to try to figure out in a heartbeat whether or not we want to trust somebody, whether we want to run from somebody,” Northwestern University researcher David Figlio said, according to Live Science.

However, an increasing number of parents are giving their children non-traditional names to help them stand out. “Parents are trying to be original, almost branding their kids in an era where names are viewed on the same level as Twitter handles or a website URL,” writer Sabrina Rogers-Anderson said.

Ruby, a mother on TikTok, took a hard stance on parents giving their children names that sound childish in a post that’s received over 11 million views. Ruby says she named her kids as “adults, not babies” hoping they would never “outgrow” their names.

@rubyyvillarreal

#stitch with @nikkiruble love having nicknames as they are younger and it doesnt mean they will perfer it over their name as they get older. Just gives them options 🤷🏻‍♀️ #nicknames #babynames #babytok #adultnames #pregnancytiktok #toddlersoftiktok #momtok #momlife #babynames #babyname

“The whole concept when I was trying to look for a name and choose a name for her is I did not want her to outgrow her name,” she said in the viral video. “I wanted the name to fit her as a baby, as a toddler, as a child, and into adulthood. So, it's like I really am happy with what I ended up with naming her and it just fits her so well.”

She captioned the video, “love having nicknames as they are younger and it doesn’t mean they will prefer it over their name as they get older. Just gives them options.”

People in the comments responded with modern names they think that kids will outgrow.

"My name is Koazy and I’m here for a job interview," Stalker joked. "Hello sir, I am Bluey Mason Garrison! I was called in for a job interview last Tuesday," Pastel Purr added.

"I can’t imagine knowing [a] 30-year-old named Emma or Posie," Mikey wrote.

However, a lot of people commented that names that seem like they’ll be outgrown will sound fine in the future when those names are popular with the new generation. “Kids grow up with their generation having their own names on trend. They will be normal adult names when they are grown,” Kerry wrote.

“Names grow with the generation,” Lauren added. “The name Dennis sounded like a baby name once too. Names grow up just like generations.”

@rubyyvillarreal

Replying to @19eighty_5 my kids name and the process 😬 #babynames #nicknames #babytok #adultnames #momsoftiktok #momlife #momtok #pregnancytiktok #toddlersoftiktok #babyname #babyfever

In a follow-up video, Ruby shared the names she gave her children. Her girl is named Karla Esmerelda and her boy is called Deluca.

“I just really liked how simple, how bold, and strong that the name by itself just really kind of is. Doing some research names with the letter K tend to be like very bold and powerful names, so I really wanted it with a K and not with a C,” she said.

She named her son Deluca, after a doctor on “Grey’s Anatomy.” She said she chose the name because there was nothing to connect it to, and it sounded “nice.”


This article originally appeared on 4.26.23

All GIFs and images via Exposure Labs.


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