The start of another school year is quickly approaching, and with it comes a slew of challenges for parents, including back-to-school shopping, adjusting to a new schedule and squeezing in that last-minute annual checkup. And with the children at school for a significant chunk of the day, parents also have to figure out the best way to maintain open lines of communication with everyone in the family. It's stressful to think about, right? Thankfully, actor Kristen Bell has a simple communication hack that can make things run much smoother at home.
As a mother of two preschool-age children, Lincoln and Delta, Bell understands how hard it can be to get kids to open up about their day. But instead of accepting the brush-off from her kids, she's taken a much more hands-on approach.
"Everything I ask my children to do in life, I explain to them why," Bell told PopSugar.
"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," she explained. "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."
Her approach seems to have made a huge difference at home.
"My kids don't brush me off," she said. "They say, 'It was really good, how was your day?' They actually ask me how my day was."
Bell also recognizes that she's fortunate enough to have a "family-friendly" career that allows her the time to have these important evening conversations with her kids.
"You can bring your children to work, or I could nurse the baby when I was working early on," she told E! News in March. "I hope to see more businesses — not just the acting world — allow that kind of stuff."
We hope so too. In the meantime, you can catch us putting Bell's parenting hacks to good use just in time for back-to-school season.