A “question” is among the most important elements of human communication. Through questions; people interact, transfer knowledge and arrive at common perceptions. Questions play a fundamental role in the process of requesting information and exchanging them.
This equally applies to children and adolescents. However, it is essential to mention that this process also represents a platform for learning, verifying and rooting information, in addition to forming a child’s belief system, his self-image and his perception of others. This can be most effectively done when parents and children are engaged in a regular exchange of questions, as this process contributes to the establishment of various concepts in the minds and hearts of the children. This is not to be mistaken for a simple process of exchanging information, but rather, a practice that plants trust, boosts personalities and enhances relationships.
As parents, it is important to focus on questions put forward by children. Further, it is critical that parents address them taking into consideration the child’s age and level of maturity. Parents should avoid lying to children and proceeding with misconceptions. It is also important not to undervalue questions posed by a child even if they were successive or childish as welcoming questions regarding all matters even those that seem trivial will encourage children to seek advice from their parents when faced with challenges, dangers or abusive relations.
Parents who underestimate questions posed by their children or allocate less than sufficient time to motivate them to seek answers from them, in fact; unknowingly endanger their children. These questions and curiosities will not fade away; rather, they will drive children to seek others to answer them. Often, a child will choose a friend or seek company on the Internet to fulfill this need; both are rapid but risky sources of answers. There is a substantial risk that the answer will be incorrect, harmful, or one that sends faulty messages to the child.
The way in which parents direct questions to their children is equally important,children often pose questions to acquire certain information. However, the drives and motives behind posing a question and the alternate ways in which parents can put it are often not as simple. It is vital to understand that the motive behind asking a question and the way the parents choose to present it will affect the learning acquired by children and the strength of their future relationship with their parents. At times, parents mean to communicate a specific point but due to the communication inefficiencies, children receive a completely different message.
Occasionally parents pose vague and indirect questions aimed at luring children into a corner to confirm their wrongdoings or to prove their incompetency or failure in one area or another, this may lead the child to conclude that his parents distrust his abilities to thrive and succeed, and would prefer to focus on his flaws and limitations instead. At other times parents pose questions in a way that induces feelings of insecurity within children, they might feel that they cannot be honest with their parents who are “waiting for a definitive confession” which they know, dislike and condemn in advance. The child feels that he only runs the risk of being scolded or punished when being truthful. Parents also tend to ask questions that imply cynicism and sarcasm or ones that depict the child as incompetent, thinking that by doing so they are serving as a catalyst for the child to develop himself. In reality, such questions do not inspire children but rather they drive the child to project the sense of inferiority on himself and consequently, compromise his self-confidence and his faith in his parents, In addition to substantially reducing his ability to be inspired and strive for growth and success.
Regardless of how deeply a child is at fault. Parents must always remember that the core intention remains to help him progress in the right direction as appose to concentrating on his mistake or associating it inherently with his personality. Types of questions asked affect such an end deeply. It is most important to avoid posing questions in provocative manners. Parents should attempt to shape them as directly and as clearly as possible to render them understandable to children, thus, avoiding both sides the potential consequences of misunderstanding.
This, however, is understandably impracticable at times. If such was the case for any reason an indirect question may be put forward to achieve a specific piece of information. Although, it is well-advised to do so in a way that would help the child discover his ability to transform matters to the best. Parents can use questions as motivation means to help children realize that; they can accomplish whatever they want; as parents are well equipped to position their children on the road to development and success.
Taking the preceding points into consideration when posing questions will inevitably lead to communicating trust and confidence to children; it is a sentiment essential for them to receive from their parents. Children crave for their parents trust in their abilities to overcome difficulties and achieve desired results that would contribute towards their development and growth. More importantly, such a process establishes trust between children and their parents and consequently works towards sound communications. Further, it will motivate children to view their parents differently and consider them; a good source of information. Children may position their parents as an option or a “go-to” person to ask for help and support when faced with a problem, a challenge or a dilemma. Questions always capture children’s attention. Therefore, it is important to invest in building their personalities through exchanging them. Further, parents can use questions to strengthen their relationship with their children and to send them messages about their competencies and abilities in addition to motivating them to aim for the best and strive to achieve it.