Parents play a huge role in helping their kids become good thinkers. It begins by helping them process what they have experienced. This in turn helps children learn what it means to think about what they have done or will do. Questions to help children process is crucial for both young kids as well as teenagers and young adults.
In his book, Thinking Like Successful People Think, John C. Maxwell tells briefly about two questions he used to ask his kids. I took note to ask these questions to my two kids. Every time you have been some where, experienced something or have a shared trip or event, here are two simple questions to help them process and think about what they have done:
- “What did you like best?”
- “What did you learn?”
These two simple questions are easy to remember and can open up to great conversation. The process builds a practice for life – to reflect on things. Too often, our schedules are so full, they don’t allow us to reflect on what we’ve done or plan for what we’re going to do!
WHEN ARE SOME GOOD TIMES TO ASK THESE QUESTIONS:
There are three critical times to ask questions and have conversations with your kids – meal time, drive time, and bed time. [read more about this]
HOW CAN PARENTS LISTEN:
Put down your phone or device, shut off the TV, look your child in the eye and listen to what they have to say. You may also want to schedule a regular time for you and your child / teen to sit and talk. One thing we instituted was “take out Tuesdays” where once a month, I take one kid to breakfast before work and school. It’s a regularly scheduled, one on one time with them – for the sake of connection and listening. [more about the importance of eye contact in today’s world]
WHAT KINDS OF THINGS CAN YOU ASK ABOUT:
The last school field trip, the last family vacation, the last concert or sporting event, the last church service or special event at the church, the last movie, the last outdoor game, the last book they read, the last activity they did, a recent birthday party they attended, etc. [here are 54 ways to intentionally spend time with your children all of which will give you great experiences about which to ask them]