It can be hard to find quality time to spend with our kids when we’re driving them to and from soccer practice, helping with homework and trying to find some time for ourselves. But it is possible to connect with your child when you’re short on time or if you have some free time to spend together. Even if you only have a few minutes on your way home from school, get to know your child a little better by asking them these 10 questions.
“What did you do today?”
It’s habit for us to ask “how was your day?” — a question that can be answered with one word. Instead, try a more open-ended question to fuel conversation, such as “what did you do in school today?” or “what did your teacher think of your presentation?”
“Describe yourself in one word.”
This is a great way to get a sense of how your child views himself. Once he answers, ask why he picked that word—this should open up a conversation about his insecurities, strengths and potential.
“What are you grateful for?”
It’s important to teach our kids to be grateful from an early age. We all have hurdles we must jump over in life, so teach your child that those are blessings in disguise. Ask them regularly what they are grateful for, and don’t expect them to say “you” or receive praise. The goal of this question is to encourage your child to be grateful and thankful for the relationships, trials, tribulations and victories that happen in his life.
“What is the nicest thing someone has ever done for you and you’ve done for someone else?”
This question can be a tough one to answer depending on who the people in our life are. If your child has a hard time answering the question, perhaps it will help them realize they need to hang around nicer friends or be more selfless, even if it means volunteering once a week.
“What are three things you’ve learned today?”
You can restructure this question to include only things they learned in or outside school, depending on their extracurricular activities. But it can provide insight into whether or not your child is focusing in school and how curious their mind is. It is helpful to have a curious mind and ask questions even when we’re not in school, and it is important for your child to know that asking questions and loving to learn aren’t wrong.
Image Credit: State Farm
“What can you teach others?”
Everyone has different talents and teaching abilities, so ask your child what skill he has that he could teach and share with others. This will help him recognize his potential and interests and provide a platform for him to give back to his community, which is a bigger privilege than most people recognize.
“Who can you not live without?”
As kids get older, change schools and join new teams and clubs, their social circles (and priorities) change. But the people who matter most to them are important recognize and appreciate. By asking your teen who the most important and influential people are in their life, they might realize they are hanging with the wrong crowd or not prioritizing their closest friends and family like they want to.
“How are you feeling?”
Our society teaches us to hide our emotions and feelings, even if they are positive. But there isn’t anything inherently wrong with being sad, angry or happy, so let your kid know that. Support their emotional state by asking them how they are feeling or doing—and not just when you notice something is wrong. This will also set a foundation for them to discuss problems or triumphs with you in the future.
“What are your goals?”
It is important to talk to our kids and teens about their goals, even if it is something simple like winning their hockey game on Saturday or spending an extra hour studying for that upcoming quiz. Showing and interest in your child’s goals lets them know that you support them, care for them and that their goals are worth pursuing.
“What is the one question you wish someone would ask you?”
You’ve been focusing on the questions you want to ask your kid, but have you thought about the questions they want to be asked? There’s no better way to connect with your child than to ask them what questions they want to be asked. It may be something simple or it may be something complex but you will never know until you ask.
Change the questions you ask your child so you’re not repeating the process over and over again. Sometimes it is good to ask the same questions, but recognize the benefit to asking new questions. Building this relationship will help you stay in touch with your teen through their tough adolescent years.
Feature Image: anton petukhov