by Mrs. May Gruia
CHA Social Worker (Grades K-8)
Mrs. Gruia has a heart for the social and emotional development of children of all ages, and we are excited as she shares helpful insights for our parents. Look for her articles here and in CHA’s Parents’ Page newsletter.
QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS…
Where did the dinosaurs go?
Why are planets round?
Why is the sun in my eyes?
Why can’t I play with Johnny today?
Why can’t I stay up as late as you?
Do I have to invite Sally to my party?
Children ask many questions every day. Answering all these questions can be exhausting. However, it does not need to be. Questions allow children to develop problem-solving skills and creativity.
“Asking the question back” is a very helpful technique that encourages children to think about things for themselves – but with your guidance. A simple and gentle “what do you think?” or “why do you think”…and restate the child’s question back to them, is all that’s needed. Children will soon start to try and answer the question for themselves and seek confirmation from you. You can gently correct them, offer your own views, and/or commend them for their correct answer.
This technique works very well when our children start to come to us with the problems they are facing. Encouraging them to think about possible solutions and work through scenarios will help them mature and encourage their critical thinking skills (read more here).
While it is tempting to answer every question and try to solve our children’s every problem, studies have shown that it is more effective for them to figure out things for themselves with parental guidance, if needed. Letting a child make a mistake, or even fail, is also an important life-skill that will help build resilience and dependence upon God. As parents, we are called to guide our children and be there for them, but not necessarily give them all the answers.
Read more about helping your child problem-solve here. This article from Focus on the Family is a great resource for understanding how we can prepare our children for the road ahead.