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Flipped: Powerful Questions To Ask Your Child



Recently, educator Recebba Alber shared a thoughtful blog post on Edutopia.com called “5 Powerful Questions Teachers Can Ask Students”. The post was the learning curve she experienced as a teacher who wanted to ask thoughtful questions of her students.

Her post got us thinking about what would happen if you flipped those 5 questions around at home, asking them in conversations with your kids.

Below are Alber’s questions, paired with hypothetical times and ways when you could use the same questions while talking with your son or daughter. If you try any of these out, let us know how it goes. We’d love to hear from you.

1. “What do you think?”

  • When discussing a current event.
  • After watching the news together.
  • When your child tells you about a social situation at school.
  • When you talk about the differences between how a friend’s family does things (meals, curfews, homework time) and how yours does.

2. “Why do you think that?”

  • As a follow-up question to “What do you think?” to help your child verbally communicate his or her logic.
  • When your child shares his or her opinion with you about something at school or in extra-curricular/after school activities.
  • When your child expresses a strong opinion about a peer’s attitude, perspective, or personality.

3. “How do you know this?”

  • When your child makes an assumption about a situation (at school, socially, or in extra-curricular/after school activities).
  • When your child states a fact about a current event.
  • When your child talks about social situations at school (example: “Johnny did this” or “Susie said that”).

4. “Can you tell me more?”

  • When your child shows enthusiasm about a subject, whether that “subject” is an academic one, a hobby, or even a professional a sports team.
  • As a follow-up to any of the above questions.

5. “What questions do you still have?”

  • As a follow-up to a conversation when you’ve helped explain something to your son or daughter.
  • As you’re helping your child with homework.
  • In conversations you’re helping your child have with other adults (examples: in a conference with a teacher, questions you’re asking of a healthcare provider, or interactions with a coach or other mentor). You’ll encourage your son or daughter to assert himself or herself in order to gather information.

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