6 Important Questions to Ask Your Child
As I sit back and look at my son who turns 9 very soon, I reminiscence the mistakes I had made as a parent. To facilitate the right conversations with my son, I knew I had to ask the right questions else the conversation would have headed nowhere. Questions that involved asking a “yes” or “no” answer did not take me far. One technique that helped me was the art of using the Socratic Method. For those who are unaware, the Socratic Method involved using cooperative dialogue (but argumentative) between individuals. It is a style of education that promotes open ended enquiry between the student and the teacher in order to get a deeper understanding of a subject or topic. There are six basic questions that every parent needs to ask,
You ask the “what” questions in order to get them to open up their souls. It is about getting the details.
The minute you ask your child “why”, you open up the possibility of looking at a situation from many angles. This is a key point of the Socratic Method.
Asking “when” associates certain behaviour with a “trigger” that had caused the behaviour. Certain habits (the bad ones) can lead to utter destruction if you leave it open for a long time. So, asking “when” identifies the “trigger” and you can work with your child to explain to them on how they can cope with.
The “How” question helps in identifying the steps that ended up creating certain challenges. For example, How did your friends get perturbed with you?
Asking the “Who” questions in a crucial situation is necessary to sort out a dire issue. Who should we ask for help? Who should seek forgiveness?
After you have helped your child lay the cards on the table, you need to ask them the penultimate “where” question. This will help them to think and identify the next steps in finding a solution. “Where do you think we should go with this situation”?
As a parent, it is natural to try and “fix” broken issues. But by asking the right questions you are essentially helping your child to think for themselves. It is important that as a parent you realize that LISTENING to your child is a critical aspect of parenting. Not everything can be addressed by lecturing our children.