struggling for answers? try asking new questions.
Do you ever get stuck in that rut where all of your parenting tricks feel stale, and you feel like you’re talking in the same circles? I feel that way more often than I care to admit. No one has all the answers, but sometimes asking the right questions gets us back where we need to be.
These ten questions to re-frame parenting issues by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller always stop me in my tracks and help me change my approach. Feel free to adapt for your student/spouse/partner/friend as you see fit.
Next time you’re frustrated with your child’s behavior, try asking yourself:
1. What if you saw your child as wounded or confused instead of wrong?
2. What if you saw the mistakes your child makes today as a learning opportunity?
3. What if you saw the behavior your child is exhibiting as age appropriate?
4. What if you saw your child today as unfinished and simply on the road to becoming who he or she is going to become?
5. What if you saw your child’s behavior as a cry for help?
6. What if you saw your child today as a child of God?
7. What if you saw your child as a teacher who is offering you a lesson?
8. What if you saw your child’s behavior as perfect for helping him learn what he needs to learn right now?
9. What if you saw your child for who she is rather than who you want her to be?
10. What if you saw your child as being in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing, right now?
If we’re struggling to find the answers. . . have we asked the right questions?
Soak up more of Thomas and Chick’s wisdom at Uncommon Parenting and check out more “works for me” ideas at We are THAT Family. If you’re curious about my parent coaching business, please visit Practical Parenting Workshops.
**A version of this post was run in spring 2009. I’m recovering from a lovely trip to Chicago and will share fresh news with you soon!**