A few days ago I was talking Paige, who is an energetic little girl who lives on my street.  As Paige ran over to my dog, Coco she could not understand why Coco was acting so shy around her.  After asking Paige a series of questions, she discovered that Coco needed to feel safe and secure before she allowed people to pet her.  That experience reminded me that asking the right questions changes everything!

Asking a series of thought provoking questions can help children solve problems and learn responsibility quicker and easier than any other method of parenting. In fact, the entire Socratic method (a way of teaching that dates back to the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates) is based upon the teacher doing nothing but asking a series of strategic and thought-provoking questions.  As soon as we ask a series of quality questions, a child’s brain go to work to constructing answers and creating new possibilities.  (This is just one of the powerful tools that we will cover in my next live parenting seminar)  Best of all, thought-provoking questions help kids think independently.

Asking the right questions makes kids think!

Thinking questions are powerful developmental tools because they help children:

Learn responsibility:  “What did mommy ask you to do?”
Learn how to manage intense emotion. “Do you want a hug?”
Grow familiar with deciding their fate. “Is that the result you want?”
Think and problem solve more independently. “How can you solve this problem?”
Realize that you are emotionally engaged in their development. “Do you want some help?”

Asking the right questions can help you raise children who:

Feel respected.
Tend to be calmer and happier.
Experience you as warm and connected to them.
Know how to figure out what they need to succeed in daily life.

Asking the right questions helps you:

Relate to your youngster’s emotional, physical, and social needs. “Are you upset right now?”
Promote your needs without warnings, lectures, or a raised voice.  “What can you do to be mommy’s helper?”
Gain a greater sense of certainty that things will get done.  “When do I want you to finish your homework?”
Develop confidence in your child’s ability to problem-solve independently.  “What’s another way to do this?”

For your convenience, here are a few more thinking questions to help you on your journey.

“Sweetie, what do you need in order to calm yourself?”
“Do you want to wear shorts or long pants to school?”
“Would you like to do your homework now or in thirty minutes?”
“Do you have everything you need before we leave the house?”
“Would you like to brush your teeth before or after you put on your pajamas?”

Notice how each question helps youngsters reflect on and discover what they need physically, emotionally, and socially to accomplish a goal.  Notice how these questions help you avoid barking orders and reminders at your kids.  Even more, notice how these strategic questions help nurture a more involved and intimate parent/child relationship.

A Point To Ponder

If you asked thinking questions on a routine basis, how might that impact your child’s level of responsibility?  How would that impact your energy, peace, and joy?

The doors are about to close…

If you want to learn more about how to raise your kids without having to raise your voice at my next live seminar on Saturday 11/12, then check out all the details here.

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Steve Cuffari

Author: Steve Cuffari For many, Steve Cuffari is the mentor that parents call on to make their parenting style warmer, easier and more affective. He is the founder of inTouch Parenting, a company devoted to helping today's parents calm the chaos, raise emotionally intelligent kids, and nurture families that thrive. read more about Steve Cuffari here...

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