Goodbye one-word answers; hello living inspired!
This is probably the most common response kids give when asked how their day at school was- and that’s even on the first day!
So how, after a summer of buses and teachers and students hibernating, can we create the space where our young people share more honestly and expansively their experiences, their thoughts, and their feelings? How can we connect more closely with the little ones that matter most to us, and in doing so reinforce within them the priceless value of their life?
Instead of asking how their day was, consider a nightly routine of asking these four questions:
- What was the best part of your day? By starting the conversation on a positive note, you open the door for them to celebrate achievements, share moments of happiness, and express their passions. Their answer sparks optimism and joy for the day.
- What was the worst part of your day? It’s essential to encourage children to discuss challenges or difficulties they encountered during their day. Asking about the worst part lets them know that you’re there to support them through tough times. You can offer guidance, comfort, and solutions. But perhaps most importantly, you show them their feelings are valid.
- What was one kind thing someone did for you? My friends, what we focus on, grows. Knowing this question is coming each night focuses our kids each day to search for evidence of it during the day. Acts of kindness promotes appreciation for the people around them. This question helps them recognize, despite what the media promotes, that there are pockets of goodness and kindness everywhere. We just need to train our eyes to see it. And then report on it.
- What was one kind thing you did for someone else? By asking about a kind act your child performed for someone else, you instill the importance of considering others’ feelings and needs. You inspire them to seek opportunities to be of service to others. Little things done in life for others are never insignificant. Knowing this question awaits them each night challenges them to seek opportunities to do kind things for others each day.
These four simple questions were taught to me by a successful business owner I met years ago. What impressed me most about her, though, wasn’t her employee headcount, her top-line revenue or her bottom-line profitability. It was her three children.
Humble. Kind. Grateful. Sincere. They were just super wonderful kids. In asking how she raised such elite young people who were interested in others and interesting to speak with, she credited the nightly asking of these four simple questions. This busy executive and mom shared it created open dialogue as a family, a chance to be honest about personal feelings, and a focus to seek opportunities to be of service.
My friends, I’ve been asking these questions of our kids for years and have experienced how it creates a space where a child feels valued and understood. In sharing their experiences, joys, and challenges, we empower them to lay the foundation for a lifelong pattern of open communication, empathy, and service to others.
Don’t believe me?
Try it with your family this week. No longer able to escape with one-word answers, they’ll not only be more expansive in telling you about their day, but they’ll be empowered to be even more excited about the days to come.
This is your day. Live Inspired.