Sunday, December 30, 2012

Curiosity Questions

Curiosity Questions are yet another way we can empower our children.  The Tool Card says, "Asking instead of telling invites children to think and choose."

Although this might not be the first thing way you go about addressing your children, it is a pretty easy thing to implement.  While teaching Positive Discipline Parenting classes, I often find that parents respond well to this tool.  They often ask me for copies of the examples that we use during the class.  While I am happy to send out copies of my questions, I think they are pretty easy to come up with when you practice a little.  Right before you tell your child to do something, pause and rephrase what you would like them to do into a question.  For example: You see your child's shoes laying in the middle of the kitchen floor and you say, "What could you do with these shoes to make sure that nobody trips over them?"

Instead of constantly telling then what to do, you invite them to take responsibility for themselves and to come up with the plan to do it.  Instead of telling them what to wear, ask them "It is going to be cold and rainy today, what could you wear to make sure you are warm?"  You empower them to be in charge of themselves.  Sometimes they might not make the same decision that you would.  This is an opportunity for you to allow them to learn from their mistakes.

At our home we really like to ask our daughter what her plan is to get specific things done.  When she comes home from school and spreads her homework out on the dining room table,  often ask her what her plan is to get the table ready for dinner.  Sometimes she will just start picking up, and other times she will tell me when and how she plans to take care of it.  It really works!

However, you have to be careful with this as with all tools, nothing works all the time.  This last week I explained this tool to my husband so that he could work with it too.  He started using it A LOT.  Yesterday, after hearing him ask yet another curiosity question, my daughter said, "Why do you keep asking me all these crazy questions? Can't you just tell me what you want me to do!"  Hahaha!  I had to laugh, then I thought about it, and realized that when we are trying too hard and not being genuin our children can tell.

I invite you to try this tool, just don't use it too much.  Like I always say, "too much of anything, even a good thing, is bad."

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