Being a parent is a life long commitment that begins with the birth of your child and lasts through all phases of life. But as our children change and grow, what do we do as parents to evolve with them?
As any parent knows, we wear many ‘hats’ and the majority of these hats sit traditionally in the ‘telling’ space. However, our default communication style of making suggestions, telling and advising may not be as helpful for our children as you might think! Asking the ‘right’ questions instead, can be much more helpful in a way that teaches your kids how to problem solve, increase creativity and build their resilience.
Questions are far more than just a few words jumbled together with a question mark at the end! They can influence your child’s thoughts, habits, decisions and actions in every aspect of their lives.
When you are in the ‘asking’ space you believe that your kids are resourceful and that you don’t need to come up with all the answers!
Albert Einstein said ‘If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes’!
Imagine that! Your children solving their problems in less than 5 minutes!!!
The difference between asking your child ‘Did you have a good day at school?’ as opposed to ‘Tell me what was good about your day at school?’ – is enormous – and all we really changed was ‘Did you’ to ‘tell me what’! This is the difference between creating a conversation and not!
So whether you are dealing with the ‘Terrible Two’s’ or a ‘Troubled Teenager’, when you start to recognize your unconscious patterns of advice-giving and telling, and learn when and how to use questions that can lead to positive change in your child’s behavior, you will be amazed at the results!
When we change our response, our children will change theirs! This is demonstrated in this beautiful poem below, written by a teenager to parents –
A Message to Parents
If you RESPECT me,
I will hear you.
If you LISTEN to me,
I will feel understood.
If you UNDERSTAND me,
I will feel appreciated.
If you APPRECIATE me,
I will know your support.
If you SUPPORT me as I try new things,
I will become responsible.
When I am RESPONSIBLE,
I will grow to be independent.
In my INDEPENDENCE,
I will respect you and love you all my life.
Thank you, Your Teenager
A ‘Better Parents Ask Better Questions Workshop’ is being held at the Robina Community Centre on Thursday February 23, 2017 from 10am – 1pm. The workshop is aimed to be a ‘Highly Effictive’ and ‘Simple to Apply’ Parenting Communication tool that can help you to raise Confident, Resilient, Resourceful and happy kids! Whether you have toddlers or teens, the Better Questions program will help you to improve your relationship with your children, with less conflict and more harmonious interactions.
Tickets are $49 and you can click here to purchase your ticket to attend this parenting event.