Why You Should Ask Your Child These 3 Questions Every Day


Why You Should Ask Your Child These 3 Questions Every Day

Between school, work, sports, extra-curricular activities and family obligations, it seems that the moments we have in meaningful conversations are sometimes few and far between. Gone are the days when we come home from work and talk as a family while the newborn lies peacefully on my chest. Gone are the days when we gather around the living room and watch a toddler scoot and grunt. We have entered a new season of life - and it is busy, and packed, and intense.

In the limited amount of time where we are all together and there's no immediately pressing need, I try to ask three meaningful questions. They're quick questions, so my children have no idea the inferring that can occur or the subtle hints I can pick up on. I never make them go into detail if they don’t want to, but I’m happy to listen when they do. I try not to probe for more information, and I am slowly becoming a master at waiting silently to see if more will come.

Let me first start with what I do not ask. I rarely ever ask about a test score, a quiz, or anything academic. I assume my child or their teacher will keep me up-to-date on anything I need to know in that realm. It isn’t that I don’t care about grades and education. It is that I am their Dad. When I am at home with my children, it is my job to be their Dad.

The three questions that I ask each of my children every day are:

  1. Who did you play with today?
  2. What did you talk about at lunch today?
  3. What was the bravest thing you did today?

 

1. Who did you play with today?

What you can learn from asking this question:

  • Are they playing at recess?
  • Do they feel like they are a part of a group with friends, or are they by themselves?
  • Do they consistently play with the same friends, or are they meeting new friends?
  • Are they running around and getting large motor exercise, or are they doing activities that don’t expend a great deal of energy?
  • Are they happy?

 

2. What did you talk about at lunch today?

What you can learn from asking this question:

  • Are they sitting with someone?
  • Are they having conversations?
  • Do they smile while recounting the conversations?
  • If they aren’t sitting next to someone, how do they feel about that?
  • Are they scared in the chaos of lunch time?
  • Are they happy?

 

3. What was the bravest thing you did today?

What you can learn from asking this question:

  • Did they try something new?
  • Do they take risks?
  • Is kindness in their bravery?
  • Is compassion in their bravery?
  • Are they proud of their bravery?
  • Are they happy?

 

Being a parent has easily been the most difficult job I’ve ever had. The sleepless nights, the constant worry, the anxiety of how it will all turn out in the end. But these three questions serve a purpose. They let me know when we’re “on track” and when we need to redirect. And most importantly, they are often a starting point to a bigger conversation.


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