My daughter is only four years old, and I’m already starting to get push back when I ask how her day was at preschool.
“Mooooooom, stop asking so many questions!” she begs as I pepper her about the day.
I soon realized that I wasn’t going to get much out of her post-school pick up. So, I bide my time until she is ready to chat about what happened at school that day, whenever that time may come. One mom noticed the same thing happening with her kids, and soon developed a parenting hack to get her own kids to open up.
During a podcast with her mom, The Facts Of Life star Lisa Whelchel, Haven Cauble asked her mom about a time during their childhood when Whelchel would have special one-on-one time with her and her siblings where she would get her kids to open up.
Whelchel expanded on her parenting hack, calling it “window time,” and how she came about the tactic.
“Life was very busy with three children so close together. So, I really wanted to make sure that I had one on one time with each of you,” Whelchel explained on the Haven! Podcast.
She went on to explain that she noticed bedtime was the best time to bond, noting that the kids don’t want to go to bed, leading to any kinds of stalling including chatting with mom about their day. She took the stall tactics as a chance to get some true insight into her children’s lives.
“I discovered that the nighttime is when the kids are stalling. They don’t want to go to bed. And so I decided I will take advantage of that. And so after bath and teeth brushing and pajamas, each child was able to lay in their bed and read a book while I spent at least 15 minutes when you were little, longer as you got older with each child. I called it ‘window time’ because it really was the most possibility for the window of your soul,” she continued.
“The day was done. You were open. You didn’t want to go to sleep and you were looking forward to this time. And because it was every night you knew that you could count on having one on one time with me.”
Window time was also an opportunity for Whelchel’s children to reveal anything they wanted to get off their chest with no judgement from her or interruptions from other siblings.
“You would save up something that you wanted to talk to me about if it was exciting and you didn’t want your siblings in the middle of it or if it was something that was a little scary or confusing,” she said to Whelchel.
“So, I would ask what was your high of the day? What was your low of the day? Was there any questions that came up that you wanted to ask? Was there anything you wanted to confess?”
Whelchel said that window time was an opportunity to get everything and anything off her kids’ chests, ending the day on a good clean note.
“And I wanted to teach you that confession felt good and it’s actually better because you knew I wasn’t going to punish you. I was going to celebrate your confession and it was another way of just kind of staying clean from the day,” she concluded.
Several moms applauded Whelchel’s parenting move, sharing their own versions of “window time.”
“I do this, my son spills his entire life to me before bed ,” one mom wrote.
Another said, “Yes! We just call it ‘cuddles’ and as someone whose mother never had the time of day for me, it’s been so healing”
One user echoed, “I do something similar with my kids, but I love the questions she asked! Especially the confession part. Another way of ✨STAYING CLEAN✨.”
“I started at 7 pm and finished at 8:30 pm, 30 min per child, we called it ‘our time.’ Older kids get later time. I’m glad I did this, no regrets now!” another TikTok user said.