6 Questions to Ask on Your Next Kid-Date

Your kids need to talk. Sometimes, we parents are too busy to listen. We all know it is important to spend one-on-one time with each of our children. I don’t know about you, but that can be rather difficult in our loud and busy household of eight.

For this reason, I take one child out for coffee, hot chocolate or a smoothie each weekend. Saturday works best for me because my husband is home to manage the rest of the family.

Some kids talk easily. You’re there, so they talk. Others are like prying open a rusty can. It’s hard. But that doesn’t mean they don’t want to talk. They just don’t know where to start or what to say. You can help.

Here are some questions for your next date with your child:

  1. So, what are you reading these days? Do you like it? What is your favorite part so far? Does it make your “favorite books of all time” list? What is your absolute most favorite book? (The answer to this last one tells me a lot about the heart and mind of my child and how different they are from one another. At age 8, my four daughters favorite books were… A Little Princess, Redwall, Hank the Cowdog and the Little House series, respectively.)
  2. How is school going for you? What is your favorite subject? Which is your least favorite? Is your schoolwork too easy for you, too hard for you, or just right? (You might be surprised by their answers. And no, they rarely say too hard.)
  3. How is ______________ going? Fill in the blank with an activity or sport that they are pursuing. Do you like your teacher? Do you feel challenged? Who do you connect with the most there? (For us, we discuss our local theater group, ballet class, piano lessons, art class, youth group, CollegePlus, jobs, etc.)
  4. How are you getting along with the family? Are there any issues that I need to know about? Is anyone treating you poorly? Have you struggled to forgive anyone? How am I doing as a parent? (These are hard but important questions. Sometimes it takes more than one asking to get some solid answers. Don’t give up.)
  5. Do you like yourself these days? (Take some time to find out how your child feels about himself, and then follow up with affirmation. Tell him how special and talented and helpful he is to you. Use one-on-one time to BUILD UP and AFFIRM your dear child. They need to know that you like them.)
  6. If you could do anything in the next 12 months, what would it be? Would you go somewhere? Try something new? (Don’t worry about whether or not you can afford it. That’s not what this question is about. I think many times we squelch our kids’ hopes and dreams because we fear that they are out of reach or too expensive. Allow your kids to dream and to dream big. I would rather help my kids to dream and think outside of the box, then to hold them back or be the naysayer in their lives.)

Regarding the last question… my 12yo daughter wants a horse. If she could have anything in this world, it would be a horse. But no, we don’t have the right set-up, know-how or funds to have a horse at this time. But we can provide horsemanship lessons, which is what we are going to do. She starts next month. How exciting for her!

Question: What questions do you think are important to ask your kids on a regular basis?

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013 at 1:45 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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