While our children are the naturally curious ones, we should be asking questions, too. There is, of course, the normal “how was your day at school?” But that has become a tired old query. Kids tend to answer that with a one-off answer of an “okay,” or “good.” There are far better questions that we can be asking our children. Here are three questions you should ask your child every day.
1What Do You Like Most About Yourself?
By asking this question, you are opening up a dialogue between you and your child about many things. What is their answer? By giving children this chance, you are allowing them to express how they feel about themselves. They can list off their good attributes and be confident in doing so. A lot like us adults, children do compare themselves to others, so asking them what they like most about themselves gives them the chance to identify within themselves what they like. This also helps them to focus on their strengths and abilities.
Okay, but what happens if they say there isn’t anything that they like? This gives you a chance to tell your child that they most certainly do have likable qualities. Sit with them and help them to identify them. Make a list together of those aspects; perhaps even hang it up in your child’s room so that they remember these qualities about themselves. They can even add to it, so that when you ask this question every day, they will have something new to say to you.
This is a question that your child does not have to answer immediately, and you can even encourage them to sit down and make a list every day when you ask them what they like most about themselves. If they want, maybe even have them draw a picture to go with their list – depending on their age, of course. Perhaps the traits that they come up with will change from day to day, and that’s okay. This exercise is all about positive reinforcement.
2How Did/How Can You Help Someone Today?
Just like the famed storyteller Aesop said so many years ago, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” This sentiment still rings true. We are teaching our children all about the world and how to be kind and caring individuals. That is why one crucial question that we can ask our children each day is “How did you help someone today?” Perhaps it was during school, and they were helping another student, or maybe they held open a door for a teacher. It could be that they picked up trash around their school campus, or contributed to comforting another child who was being picked on. It can be anything.
If they haven’t helped anyone yet today, the day is still young! Ask them what they think they could do to help another person that day. There are plenty of things that they could do, like help a neighbor with their lawn maintenance, assisting mom or dad cook dinner (again, depending on age range). If they have younger siblings, they could help them with their homework: there is a lot that they can do. But before you offer up these suggestions, let them sit for a few minutes and try to think about it themselves to see what they can come up with.
3What Are You Most Grateful For Today?
We don’t have to save our thankfulness just for Thanksgiving. This is a question that should be asked often of our little ones. It is a question for them to ponder. Again, no need for them to give an immediate answer, they can sit with the question for a few minutes, and if you’d like them to, encourage them to make a list of the things that they are grateful for.
This question is meant for children to dig deeper and to think beyond just the typical things that kids would be thankful for, such as video games and toys. Sure, they will more than likely put those things on their list, but encourage them to think about the question a little bit more, and maybe they will find a few more things that they are grateful for. Likely it will be Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, sister and brother and other similar answers along those lines. Those are great answers! Ask every day and you may get a different answer each time!
It is important to ask your children questions, especially ones that make them think. These three questions you should ask your child every day will do that!