How are your kids doing… really?

How do you find out how your kids are doing… I mean really doing? A startling number of our kids will go to college some day and completely reject the faith and values we’re trying to instill in them. For many parents it’s a complete surprise. It shouldn’t be.

Did you know that most parents spend more time getting ready in the morning than they do talking with their children? How can we discover what’s going on in our kids heads and hearts if we’re not talking with them? For many, conversations that go beyond, “How was your day?” and “Did you clean your room?” are few, if not non-existent.

(By the way, just because a child comes home from school and shares every detail of the day doesn’t mean you know how they’re doing. Knowing the details of the day doesn’t necessarily expose the feelings, thoughts and life altering experiences of the day.)

Asking a few simple questions (and being diligent to actively listen) will go a long way in helping you to know what’s really going on in your child’s heart and mind. Here are some questions to help facilitate conversations that count with your kids:

• What was the best part of the day? Why?
• Did anything happen today you wish you could erase or undo?
• How did that make you feel?
• When ________ happened, what did you do? Why? Would you do it differently if you could press a ‘redo’ button? Why/why not? What would you do differently?
• Since God is everywhere, He was with you all day. What happened today that you think made Him smile? Did anything happen that might have made Him sad or mad?

The key is to ask one or two questions, listen to the response and then follow up with a question that takes the subject to a deeper level. Few of the conversations will be serious and deep… after all, we are talking to kids! But if we consistently make the effort to engage them in conversation about their life, when the serious issues arise they will be much more likely to talk about them with us.

The Table Talk Questions on the dg4kids website calendar provide great suggestions for conversation starters around the table. The questions for this week are: Who’s easy for you to love? Why? Who’s hard for you to love? Why? Who does God love? Why?

When we asked these questions of our kids it sparked a very interesting discussion. I hope you find the questions helpful as you strive to know your kids and point them toward a life long journey with the Lord.