How many parents ask the same boring questions for kids?
You know, like, “How was school?”
“Great” [door slams]
Dr. Lisa Damour shared with us, “Parents want to understand and get to know their kids and often we do that by asking them questions about how their day was. I think that parents are often disappointed by what they get over the dinner table when they say, ‘So how was school?’ and their kid says ‘fine,’ and then you say, ‘Well, what did you do?’ And they say, ‘Nothing.’
I think that we need to remember that for kids the day is long.
There is a lot of the day that’s very boring possibly for them and when they’ve come to the end of it, they’re often very glad to have it in the rearview mirror.
Detailing for us or walking us through something that they feel isn’t that interesting is probably not the best way to get a conversation started and to learn more about what’s going on with them.
But imagine if there were questions for kids that a parent could ask that turns into an hour-long conversation!
Questions for kids that not only helps you connect more with your child, but that can, at the same time, help empower your child to win at life.
I promise, it is possible.
In fact, we made a list of 31 Questions You’ll Love Asking Your Kids.
Click the image below to download:
Dr. Jess Shatkin says, “My kids know, we sit at the dinner table, it’s at least an hour, hour-and-a-half sometimes. We’re sitting there because we just get into these rich conversations and no one wants to get up.”
You see, sometimes it’s not the questions we ask, but the way we ask that question.
For instance, instead of asking “How Was Your Day,” what if you asked something different, that could create more meaningful dialogue?
Asking questions that can be answered in one word, like great or terrible, doesn’t open up meaningful conversation. And many times we know the answer that will be given before we even ask the question.
How to ask questions for kids that get responses:
- Use great questions that make another person think for a moment
- Questions that are meant to invoke discussion, should rarely be asked in a closed-ended way
- Be direct with your questions and keep them brief: 1-2 sentences that can lead to follow-up questions or dialogue
- Try to ask forward-leaning questions vs. ones about the past. Forward-leaning helps you understand more about that person’s thought process versus their opinion on something that happened in the past, which could be framed by what someone has told them or they read about
And, as Dr. Damour points out, getting your kids to engage in conversation is also about finding the right time to talk to them.
“You’ve got to be ready to have conversations when our kids want to have conversations. I think sometimes we feel like okay, we are at the dinner table, this is when the conversation is going to happen. But they may be tired and hungry and just want to eat and be quiet.
Sometimes it happens around bedtime, they open up later on in the evening… I think we have to be ready to meet them where they are and when they’re ready to talk.”
Dr. Damour adds, “There are really some very smart things that I’ve picked up along the way from other people like saying, ‘What was the high point and the low point of the day? Or, ‘What would you like to do this weekend? Or, ‘Did anything really funny happen today?’ or things like that that are much more specific, less broad than ‘How was your day?'”
But what if you want to do more than just ask general questions? What if you want to get into the same rich conversations that Dr. Shatkin was describing?
Say if you want to make your kids really think?
Well, we’re here to help!
This is a list of 31 questions, one for each day of the month, that you can share with your kids.
Also, we created printable cards with the questions and a relevant quote with a life lesson to inspire your child and their friends.
For YOU, we created talking points that you can use along with the questions along with a relevant ‘Master of Being Awesome’ (MBA) story to help your kids see the life lesson in action (since some kids learn better and retain the information when it’s in a story format).
Print the cards out on cardstock and put them with your kids’ lunches, chat with them in the car on the way to or from school, or draw a card for your family to chat about over dinner.
Then use the MBA stories and talking points to get the conversation going!
Family dinners are becoming more and more rare and, yet, research has proven that kids who spend time with their family around the dinner table:
- Are less likely to be overweight
- Children are more likely to eat healthy food
- Kids will perform better academically
- They’re less likely to engage in risky behaviors (drugs, alcohol, sexual activity)
- Have better relationships with their parents
So I would invite you to join our movement and share with your friends and family that you’re living the #DTMBALife!