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"How Was Your Day, Mommy?"

You love getting the lowdown on what your child did while you were apart. But have you ever stopped to think that she might like hearing about your adventures, too? Even very young children can relate to some of the emotions you experience on the job, like enthusiasm or frustration, says Rachel Harris, Ph.D., a psychotherapist and coauthor of Children Learn What They Live: Parenting to Inspire Values.

Some easy ways to share:

Blow off a bad day Explain, "My boss was crabby. I'm going to 'shake it off.'" (Tell her what that phrase means, and even imitate a duck shaking water off its back for some laughs, suggests Harris.)

Talk about job satisfaction "I was happy today because I know I helped people."

Explain how you tackle challenges For instance, say, "I've got a speech to make and I'm a little scared, so I'm going to practice." (Older kids can make the connection between practice and performance.)

Invite some input Say, "I need to come up with some ideas for a project: How can I start?" Your child will be excited to help.

Celebrate triumphs Say, "I just got a promotion because I've been trying so hard. Let's do something fun!"

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