The 2 best questions. . . conversations that matter!
As parents, what is it we are ultimately wanting to accomplish in regards to raising our children? I believe the following points describe most parents
- We want them to feel loved, valued, and know they are good enough!
- We want to equip with them with the life skills they need, so that we feel they have some kind of “bulletproof body armour” that will protect them when we release them to the world, and we are not around to take the bullets for them!
If this is true, then I believe the 2 most important questions we can ask our children at the end of their day are these:
What was the best part of your day today? – We want to train their minds to extract the good ‘parts’ of their day first and foremost, and to use them as a focus point so that they can never believe in a “bad day“. Days ARE NOT bad unless you make them that way.
Some moments can feel ‘bad’, but these moments don’t have to represent, or determine, the entire day. So we want them to be able to pull out something positive to focus on, regardless of how they feel the overall day has been.
Conversations about challenges help develop a child’s ‘life skills’, teach them how to deal with their emotions, as well as helping them to feel comfortable with challenges. Personally, I talk about this as plainly as I talk about good things… I make sure my children know challenges are normal. In fact, they’re not just normal, they are NECESSARY.
My children know, challenges are what grow us, and the whole point of life is to GROW! So, talking about what challenges us is almost more important than talking about “good” things, because these are the conversations that expand our spirit.
To read more detail on the importance of handling these conversations in a way that empowers your children, click here.
So, I’m always interested to know what challenged my children each day, what kind of things they seen as a challenge (that perhaps I wouldn’t, but this is where I learn about them!). Then, as a ‘sub-question’ to this one, I then ask THE MOST IMPORTANT question, and I listen INTENTLY!!! Once they describe their challenge to me, I ask them this…
How did you handle that? Sometimes I then follow on with questions like, what did you say to yourself inside your own brain when that happened? What did you decide to do about it once you had that conversation with yourself? What action did you decide on?
This helps to give me insight to the ‘internal dialogue’ of my children, and what they are saying when they talk to themselves, which is more important to me than anything!!!
This internal conversation they have with themselves is THE conversation that either builds or destroys their self worth, self esteem and sense of who they are. So, I decided as their parent that I am going to stand guard at the door to their minds while I am raising them, and help them decipher between the thoughts they let in, and the thoughts they reject and kick straight out!!!
At the end of these short conversations, the child feels loved, valued, supported, and they’ve had a chance to ’empty their emotional bucket’ if they needed to. As a parent, I know what’s going on inside the mind of my child, and therefore I feel empowered to know what to do next to either re-direct to reinforce their current thought processes. It’s a total win, win for everyone!
Here is a 90 second video on why we should use the word “challenge” and not “problem” in these conversations- there is a big difference!
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Let’s make a difference, and create a ripple effect of empowerment that is immeasurable!