Creating Space for Meaningful Conversations with your children
“Did you finish your homework?” “Yes.” Instead of such generic questions that lead to no engagement and no sense of connection you could ask, “What was the most difficult part of your homework today? How did you manage that?” It is definitely going to be the start of a significant conversation with your child. Asking questions that empower children to have insightful conversations with you, over the generic questions makes space for a better bond between the parent & child. It also helps you understand the needs and behaviour patterns of your child. Parents must make time frequently for such deep conversations and create a space for your kids where they feel heard, encouraged and acknowledged.
Here are some examples of such questions you can ask your child-
1. What is it that you wish to experience in life?
2. Apart from painting (or any other hobby they are exploring) what new things would you like to learn and why?
3. Why do you love having sandwiches as your breakfast?
4. What gives you energy to do so many things everyday?
5. What are the top 5 things in your bucket list? (tip-Be specific about details, it makes a child think deeper)
6. What is something that you did last week that makes you feel highly proud about yourself?
7. Which subject did you enjoy the most while studying today, why did you enjoy?
8. If you got 3 hours of free time what would you do?
9. What is the best quality you love about your friend whom you hangout with after tuitions?
When kids come across such questions, they engage themselves in a deeper thought process, reflect on their own thoughts, strengths, actions and achieve a positive perspective of themselves. It is very easy to help your child understand their strengths & areas of improvement. Kids are reminded of their own strengths they possess to address various situations. Your child’s self-esteem shall be enhanced. Over time it makes your child strong & bold to find their resources, bounce back, focus on finding solutions and continue with a positive perspective. Also, your child’s social intelligence will be enhanced. Restore your child’s confidence time and again with such powerful conversations.
Added bonuses are:
1. Positive engagement with your child.
2. Deep connection with your child.
3. Development of a close parent-child bond.
It is not just questioning where these insightful conversations begin, you could select one of their strengths and build a story around it to start with!
Here are some examples-
1. I know you wanted to play more at your friend’s house but you chose to come home and finish your homework. I am happy that you are becoming responsible.
2. Though you were busy with your project work, you took some time off to teach your sister those gaming moves; I was so happy to see you teach your sister!
3. I know your younger brother is mischievous and he scribbled on your important notes, but I was very proud when I saw you forgive him and help him understand the gravity of the situation.
These conversations are not about flowery words and false praises. It is your observation & assessment of your child’s mindfulness as their strength. It is about making your child understand that their strengths make them unique, not special.
Lastly, your child will find it very fascinating to talk to you and would look forward to more such conversations.