Parents are always asking their children questions.
Most of the time, due to hectic schedules and multi-tasking,
we are pre-occupied with the practical aspects of our lives.
Sometimes we are so focused on the things that need to
get done, we forget how to ask questions that actually
encourage and inspire deeper connections with our children.
Children always hear, "Did you finish your homework?",
"Did you clean up your room?", "Did you finish your chores?",
"What is the problem here?". There is nothing wrong with these
kinds of questions, unless there is nothing more substantial
to balance them out.
Creating connections with your child is a great practice
that you can easily do everyday in a variety of ways.
What I propose is that you communicate in a light
hearted way that also is rich with depth.
For example, when things are going great, ask
questions that inspire your child, questions that
belong to the reality of his world. If you can make
a habit of eating dinner together, as a family, on
a regular basis, how about you step away from the
typical, "Did you have a good day?" and ask questions
not only for the fun of it, but to share your thoughts
about things that bring forth responses that help
you see deeper into the world of your child.
With young children I ask the question, much to their
delight, "If you were a tree what kind of tree would you be?"
and "If you could do any activity imaginable in the world
right now where would you be and what would you do?"
Children love these questions because they belong in
the world of limitless possibility and engage creativity.
With older children you can try, "What is the biggest
goal you have?" and "If you could make all fear
disappear what would you love to do?"
Use your inner guidance and awareness of your
child to help inspire you to formulate questions
that move deeply into the creative energy of your child.
If you start to sound like you are interrogating or
judging, your child will SHUT OFF. This is a process
that requires authentic inquiry and non judgemental listening.
Do not fall into the midset of providing solutions to what
you see as problems, when your child is sharing his thoughts.
Just be there.
Encourage your child to ask you questions or answer
the very same question that you asked your child.
Have fun with it. You may be surprised at what you will
discover about your child. Becoming authentically interested
makes you more interesting because you opening up to
creating deeper connections. You will find that somehow
your mind shifts out of your practical day to day experience
with your child, to an experience that is more focused on
being and less on doing.
As your child grows and expands, your questions will
deepen, grounded in trust and rooted in authenticity.