Ok, momma. Tell me if my home sounds at all like yours; I pick my sons up from school or practice eager to hear all about their day only to get one-word responses. Everything was good. School was fine. Oh, but they have no problem talking about Fortnight or the latest football game. UGH!!! You have been away from me for hours, and you have NOTHING to say about your day.
C’mon. I want details.
Beneath my desire for details is really a momma hoping they would tell me the good things and the hard things. A momma who is silently pleading, don’t shut me out behind her smile. A momma who knows these moments are fleeting.
But as much as I want them to talk in those moments, I have learned to create other opportunities for quality communication.
It’s important to me to ask the right questions if I want them to be open and share. When they do, my responsibility is to listen and provide space where they know their voice matters. With these three questions, I learn about the heart and desires of my fellas. These questions help our sons learn how to communicate and create a willingness to let others in.
These questions don’t guarantee they will talk in the moment. Nope. Sometimes they don’t have much to say right away, but it starts them thinking. These simple questions help our sons to feel comfortable talking with us, helps build their sense of security, and plants the seeds for open communication.
So let’s talk about those three questions.
1. How can I pray for you?
As children grow, they start to think they should be able to deal with issues on their own. They may not share how they felt anxious about their test, disappointed about not making the team, or sad for no reason. They may not understand their emotions at all. When something may be bothering them, something they may be struggling with on their own, asking how we can pray for them can be the barrier breaker needed for them to open up.
“Asking can I pray for you?” shows our children the power of prayer is not reserved only for the hard times in life. Yes, we can pray about walking through the difficult things, but we can also teach them about praying for wisdom or guidance. We can model for our children how to pray for others and encourage them to do the same for others.
2. What are you dreaming about?
Every kid has a dream about who he wants to become when he grows up. Listening to what your kid is dreaming about is a great way to learn about their interests, encourage their dreams, and how to challenge them to step outside of their comfort zones. When we talk to our kids about their dreams, we can learn about ways to encourage them to pursue their purpose in Christ. We want them to dream, but we also want to teach them about the importance of seeking God’s will in that dream.
The more I listen to what our children are dreaming; I can go to God for guidance on how to help our children move forward in their purpose. I listen to find ways to encourage their interests even if I don’t understand it or have any interest in it. I want our sons willing to dream big and do the work. Don’t let the world to miss out on the precious gift God has placed in your kid. Encourage your kid to seek ALL God has in store for him.
3. How can I help you?
When our boys were little, it was easy for me to jump in to help only to hear them say “I can do it, mommy.” As much as I want to help, teaching our sons HOW to ask for help was just as important. Knowing how to ask for help and understanding what they need is a skill they will use long after they leave our home. Using this one simple question guides them in learning how to ask for help and how to receive help. Let’s be real! Asking for help can be a challenge for us as moms, so just think of how it feels for our kids.
How I respond when our sons do ask for help is KEY!!!! Be careful not to say things like, “It’s about time you asked,” “I don’t know why you didn’t ask sooner,” or “You couldn’t do this.” Any negative response to our kids asking for help can hinder them from reaching out in the future.
Try these three questions out for yourself. See how it works and let me know what you would add to the list. I can always use more help!
Cheering you on momma,