Parents ask their children all kinds of questions:
“Are you ready to go?”
“What do you want to eat?”
“Have you done your homework?”
“Who are you going with?”
There is one question that parents love more than any other. We love this question so much, many of it ask it every day. It is:
“How was your day?”
Let’s be honest here.
“How was your day?” is the worst question in the history of mankind.
Somebody along the way told us to ask it.
It’s easy to say.
It’s a go-to.
We sincerely want to know how our kids’ day was.
All too often our kids respond to this question with a shrug and a “fine.” We adults feel disappointed and shut out.
And we parents are surprised that our children don’t open up to us?
Parenting Action #2. Ask Engaging, Personal and Emotional Questions!
They need us to craft questions that:
1) Invite more than one word answers, beyond “Fine” or “OK.”
2) Show we want a real conversation!
3) Create connection with us.
4) Help them get in touch with their feelings.
Here are some examples:
“What strong emotion did you feel today?”
Say your child’s name when you ask them questions. There’s nothing better, at any age, than to hear our names said with love.
Well crafted questions invite your children into a world of reflection, emotion, and connection with you. Good questions motivate our kids to reflect on their social, their personal and their inner lives.
Dialoguing over a good question will help our kids to laugh, to de-stress and to grow as connected communicators. It will show them that we care. We will be modeling that mature human connection involves thought, love and articulation.
Want to be closer to your teen/child? Start asking better questions!
Here are some others you can try:
“What is your favorite app right now?”
“What were you proud of yourself for today?”
If your teen blows your questions off, don’t give up! The more you grow as a listener and a safe person, the more they will open up and desire to connect.
Stay tuned for #3-7 Parenting Actions coming soon!
How can Sean help?
Being a parent is the most difficult thing most of us will ever do. Our children will challenge us, stretch us, cause us pain and bring out the worst in us. They will also bring us much joy, laughter, goodness, memories and love.
If your family is hurting or struggling with communication or defiance, we would love to partner with you and help you to restore love and communication to your home. We come to you. We don’t want or need “an office.” We connect with teens doing activities they enjoy doing, and meet with families in their homes.
Sean Donohue and Associates Family Coaching provides in-home mentoring, adventure and local outings to hurting teenagers who need help to become mature, focused, independent, young adults; and we show parents how to restore love, order and communication to their family.