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Posts tagged ‘conversation’

20 Questions To Ask Your Child

Source:  Patti Ghezzi/School Family

One day your child tells you everything, from the consistency of the macaroni and cheese in the cafeteria to the hard words on the spelling test to the funny conversation she had with her best friend.

The next day…poof.

Parent: “So, what’s going on at school?”

Child: “Nothing.”

For many parents, the information they receive about what’s happening at school ebbs and flows, especially once their kids hit 10 or 11 years of age. Even younger children may be reluctant sometimes to share the details of school life.

It doesn’t mean that something’s wrong or that you’re somehow missing a key piece of the parenting puzzle. It may simply be that your child is asserting independence and craving a little privacy. “No one tells parents this,” says Peter Sheras, a clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Virginia who specializes in adolescent relationships, family relationships, and stress. “Parents feel they are not very good at parenting.”

Of course, that’s not the case. You might just need to tweak your approach. Don’t interrogate, Sheras says. Kids don’t want to be grilled. Be subtle; be patient. Learn to listen intently to the words your child does offer. Watch your child’s body language and demeanor. Avoid yes-or-no questions if possible, and be specific. Try escalating—starting with simple questions and gradually delving into more sensitive topics.

If all else fails, wait it out. Try again later with a different approach, such as choosing a different time of day to start a conversation or taking your child out for a burger before asking questions. In a place where she’s comfortable, she might feel more talkative.

Don’t start the conversation with “We need to have a talk,” Sheras says: “That’s when a child dives under the table.”

Here are some questions that can help you get started.

  1. “I know you were stressed out about that math test. How did it go?”
  2. “I’m really proud of how well you’re doing in school. What are you studying these days that really interests you?”
  3. “You seem to have some good teachers this year. Which one is your favorite?”
  4. “If you could make up a teacher from scratch, a perfect teacher, what would he or she be like?”
  5. “When I was your age, I really didn’t like social studies. I just didn’t see the point in studying how people in Russia lived or what kind of languages Native Americans spoke. What subject are you really not liking these days?”
  6. “What’s your favorite time of day at school?”
  7. “What do you think about your grades? How does your report card compare with what you were expecting?”
  8. “We used to have the meanest boy in my class when I was your age. I still remember what a bully he was. Do you have anyone like that in your class?”
  9. “I’ve been reading a lot in the news about kids picking on other kids. What about at your school? Is that happening?”
  10. “I’m hearing a lot about bullying on the Internet. It sounds a little scary, but I really don’t know what it’s all about. Can you tell me about it?”
  11. “I noticed a few new kids in your class. Which ones have you been able to get to know? What are they like?”
  12. “I know it was hard for you when Kenny transferred to a different school. How’s it going without your best friend around?”
  13. “Who did you sit with at lunch today?”
  14. “I’m sorry you didn’t get invited to Sarah’s birthday party. I know you’re disappointed. How have things changed between you and Sarah now that you’re not in the same class?”
  15. “I really like the way you choose such nice friends. What qualities do you look for in a friend?”
  16. “I know you really like your new friend Caroline, but whenever I see her she’s being disrespectful to adults. Why don’t you tell me what I’m missing? What do you like about her that I’m not seeing?”
  17. “I can tell it embarrasses you when I insist on meeting your friends’ parents before letting you go to their house, but it’s something I need to do as your mom. Is there a way I could do it that would make you feel more comfortable?”
  18. “How’s it going with your activities and schoolwork? What would make it easier for you to manage your schedule and responsibilities?”
  19. “I feel like I haven’t talked to you in ages. How about we go for a walk and catch up?”
  20. “I’m sure I do things that embarrass you. What do I do that embarrasses you the most?”

Talking with your child should be an ongoing process. Keep the dialogue open, and be available so your child can find you when she feels like chatting.

One final piece of advice from Sheras: “Keep talking even when you think your kids aren’t listening,” he says. “Your children are listening whether they act like it or not.”

QUESTIONS FOR EXPLORING YOUR CHILD’S WORLD

SOURCE:  Bill Bellican

Below are some examples of questions you might use in building your relationship with your child/teen.  Prayerfully consider how the Lord might have you work these into conversations at different times.  Don’t use these questions like a project where you ask your child to answer all the questions as though it was a homework assignment.  Weave them throughout your interactions with your child.  Get to know them better.  Enter their world.  Explore what is of interest to them.  This is not a time to fix things or pass judgement.  Make it about them as opposed to you.  Listen.  Learn.  Proverbs 1:5 admonishes us: “Let the wise listen and add to their learning.”  Seek the grace and ability from the Lord to really listen and add to your learning about your child.  Then, you will become wiser with your parenting.  Plus, you will be building a great relationship.  Finally, ask the Lord to give you the insight and creativity to add more of your own questions to this list.

1.  Who is your best friend?

2.  What color would you like for the walls in your bedroom?

3.  Who is your greatest hero?

4.  What embarrasses you the most?

5.  What is your biggest fear?

6.  What is your favorite type of music?

7.  What person outside the immediate family has most influenced your life?

8.  What is your favorite school subject?

9.  What is your least favorite school subject?

10. What have you done you feel most proud of?

11. What is your biggest complaint about the family?

12. What sport do you most enjoy?

13. What is your favorite TV program?

14. What really makes you angry?

15. What would you like to be when you get older?

16. What chore do you like least?

17. What three foods do you like most?

18. What is your most prized possession?

19. What is your favorite family occasion?

20. What activity did you most recently enjoy?

10 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR WIFE

Source:  Family Life Today

The following are specific questions to ask your wife to learn from her, to acquire meaningful information that you can use in the marriage in your role as a husband, to develop more relational intimacy and emotional depth in the marriage, and to engage in needed conversations about important matters affecting the marriage.

1.  What could I do to make you feel more loved?

2.  What could I do to make you feel more respected?

3.  What could I do to make you feel more understood?

4.  What could I do to make you feel more secure?

5.  What can I do to make you feel more confident in our future direction?

6.  What attribute would you like me to develop?

7.  What attribute would you like me to help you develop?

8.  What achievement in my life would bring you greatest joy?

9.  What would indicate to you that I really desire to be more Christlike?

10.  What mutual goal would you like to see us accomplish?

10 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR HUSBAND

SOURCE:  Family Life Ministry

The following are specific questions to ask your husband to learn from him, to acquire meaningful information that you can use in the marriage in your role as a wife, to develop more relational intimacy and emotional depth in the marriage, and to engage in needed conversations about important matters affecting the marriage.

1.  What one thing could I do that would make it easier for you to be the leader in our home?

2.  What is one thing I can do to make our home a more inviting place for you?

3.  What goals do you have at work or for our family, and how can I help you achieve them?

4.  What would indicate to you that I really desire to be more Christ-like?

5.  In what ways could I show you more that I understand, appreciate, encourage, and respect you?

6.  What are ways that I can let you know that I respect and desire you sexually?

7.  How would it be obvious to you that I am depending on the Holy Spirit to help me guard my tongue, avoid critical words or a complaining attitude?

8.  What attribute would you like me to develop?

9.  What attribute would you like me to help you develop?

10.  What mutual goal would you like to see us accomplish?

God Speaking To You

Source:  Jan Johnson

If the Bible is merely words on a page, you are missing out on God’s primary way of speaking to you and me.  Try taking a passage of Scripture from that viewpoint: God wants to speak it to you.  As you read it, speak those words aloud to yourself from God’s (or Jesus’) point of view.  Better yet, write them down; best yet, do both.  Paraphrase the words and pull in phrases from elsewhere in Scripture if they fit.

Here are two examples (please read these aloud and insert your name):

“_____ (your name), don’t worry.  Just keep trusting me.  I will never leave you isolated; I am your constant companion, always at your side.  You are in me and I am in you.  You really can live in union with me.  The Counselor—the Holy Spirit—is eager to teach you everything you need to know and remind you when you forget.  Doing the things I’ve told you will bond you to me even more and give you a rich life in God.  My companionship will provide you with a peace that the world cannot give, cannot experience, and cannot even understand.  You really don’t need to be troubled or afraid of anything ever again” (John 14:1, 18, 20, 23, 26-27).

And,

“___ I want you to truly know me.  I want to give you spiritual power—resurrection sort of power.  This will mean you have to let go of quite a bit, especially those things you regard as success.  But you won’t be sorry because you’ll bask in the surpassing richness of knowing me as your all in all. You’ll need to lay aside certain things that look good (and you’ll see how silly it was to hold on to them) so that you can gain more of me and make me your own.  It will gradually become clear to you and others that you are mine—not because you do good things—but because you radiate a self-forgetful unassuming goodness that can come only from me.”

“Now, _____, you aren’t there yet, but press in—don’t give up—because I’ve got a hold of you and I am doing this in you.  You’re going to have to forget, to let go of, and to lay aside the glories (and faults) of yesterday, last year and ten years ago, and then turn your attention and energy toward me and the with-God life I’m drawing you into.  Trust me more than ever before” (Philippians 3:7-14, beginning with the theme verse: 10).

You may think, I can’t do it like that.  Try it anyway.  You’ll probably do it better because the Holy Spirit knows you so well and will provide the words you need.  Try not to use churchy language.  Jesus spoke in everyday Aramaic and the New Testament was written in koine (common, not classical) Greek so today God speaks to you in everyday language.  In this way, you can hear Jesus speak these words to you today.

 

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