When your children are young and talk a mile a minute, with never ending questions, parents crave a few moments of silence.
When your children are older, preteen and teenagers, you crave for your kid to have a real conversation with you.
There’s something to that saying, “The days are long, but the years are short.”
I’m always interested hear how my 14 and 11 year olds day went; it’s the first question I ask when I set eyes on them. I remember a time when asking how their day went had me bracing myself for a literal step by step account of their every move. The conversation would easily last the entire 20 minute ride home and resume in the house. This school year; however, I get some small variation of “It was fine.”
But Momma don’t play that.
That is not an acceptable answer.
I have a Freshman who is in her first year of public school. I need all the details, child. ALL. OF. THEM.
My 5th Grader has a tendency to be chatty, so the shorter his response, the more I’m convinced that he probably got in trouble for something.
After getting a solid “Good” from both children, in response, I was reminded of something I used to ask back in the day when we all actually sat at the table to eat dinner together. (No judgement here, folks. You don’t know our lives. Yet). Once we were at seated, I’d look at my husband and ask this:
“What was your best and worst, today?”
Each of us would share the worst thing that happened to us that day, followed by the best. The order of answering was strategic, as most people like to get the bad news out of the way first. The question seems really simple, but helps steep you in gratitude. There’s something about going over your day and intentionally looking for the good. It’s always music to my ears when someone couldn’t come up with a Worst. Or recognizing that if you did have one, it was usually not that bad. Not to mention, on bad days, talking about it allowed us the opportunity to problem solve together, formulating a plan so whatever “it” was didn’t happen again. For the Bests, it is great when the best parts of their day were small pleasures. Hearing that your child did something nice for others, or vice versa.
But most of all, it kept us connected as a family.
With me starting a new business from home, our youngest’s therapy sessions, the older kids school workload and my husband’s work and coaching football; sit down family meals have been few and far in between. But, our car rides to and from school are just as good, just as special and we feel just as connected. After all, the point is to get the quality time by any means necessary. So what, that ours isn’t happening over dinner these days. As long as they still happen, that’s whats most important.
While I am usually full of amazing ideas, I will come clean about one thing, if you promise not to judge. This little ritual is one I learned thanks to my love for trashy reality TV. It’s courtesy of the good old Kardashians. They shared that their father (Robert) used to ask them what was the High and Low of their day. Who says they’re good for nothing?
Do you have a similar ritual with your kiddos? If not, ask them this question tomorrow and tell us how it went in the comments!