Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Heart Probing Questions

Shepherding a Child's Heart 
If you haven't had a chance to read Tedd Tripp's book Shepherding a Child's Heart, you really should!  It is an excellent book!  The chapter we are going over in our parenting class is on communication.  And how good communication is not talking to others in a monologue sort of way (our kids in this example), but really drawing out the heart of others and entering into a dialogue with them.  Does it come naturally to you?

In regard to parenting I realized how un-natural that really is to me.  Sure I ask the question "Why did you do that?" but 9 times out of 10 that gets me a response of "I don't know!"  Am I seeking to understand what is going on in my kiddos hearts and minds if I leave it at just that question?

The other day I told Bug to do something and her response was "Got it Mama!" Which made me laugh and cringe at the same time.  I realized that I had been barking orders at my kids lately and then ending with "You got it??"  Uggh, ugliness and rushing on my part, translates to not taking the time to consider their little hearts!  Who wants to be told/ asked "Got it"???  {I am working on not saying that}

As Mr. Steady and I talked about it a little this evening, we decided we need to have a quick reference sheet of questions that get to the heart of our little ones.  Since this really does not come naturally to us, we need a little help to keep us on track.  Here are some suggested questions on our sheet...

Heart Probing Questions:
Hey love, can you tell me what just happened?
What were you feeling when you ______?
How did you respond?
Did your response get the desired outcome you were hoping for?
How else could you have responded?
Were your actions considering the feelings of the other person?
How could you have better put the other person's needs above your own?
Was your response honoring to God?
How can mommy help you in this area?

A good reminder is to ask our kids the questions and be okay with a little bit of silence.  Give them time to reflect on what you asked.  After a few minutes ask them if they remember your question and re-word it if necessary if they seem to not be understanding.  Also, don't be afraid to help them discover the answer.  You can give them multiple choice, especially when they are younger and don't fully know how to describe all that is going on in their heart.  Example: "Buddy, how were you feeling when you head-butted your sister?" (yes actual example from our home).  "Were you angry at her? Was she frustrating you?  Were you trying to ask her to give you more space?"  It is not easy and though you may ask the best questions, it won't mean that you will get the best answers : )  Don't give up on trying to understand the heart of your little one!

The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters,
   but one who has insight draws them out. 
Proverbs 20:5

1 comment:

  1. yes! thank you! i will be referring back to this list.. im sure many times!



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