Advertising
Advertising

30 Questions to Investigate Your Child’s Beliefs

30 Questions to Investigate Your Child’s Beliefs

How many times have you looked into your child’s eyes and said “I love you”?

How many times have you watched your child disappear behind those big school doors and thought to yourself, ‘I hope they will survive the challenges that life has in store for them.’?

Advertising

How many times have you cuddled your child to sleep, hoping he or she will have a happy and purposeful life lived to their full potential?

I am convinced the answer is an infinite amount of times! But, what gives us permission to make those choices that allow us to live life passionately or indifferently, purposefully or without direction, actively or inactively? What gives us permission to make the choices that allow us to experience happiness or sadness, face challenges or flee, grow or languish?

Advertising

The answer lies in one powerful word: beliefs.

Empowering Beliefs Vs. Self-Limiting Beliefs

Our beliefs stem from ideas and opinions we have about ourselves, people, and the world that surrounds us. Those very beliefs are what we use to create our experiences and, therefore, they create our reality. Empowering beliefs help us live life happily, confidently, courageously, and compassionately while helping us with reaching our full potential. Self-limiting beliefs don’t.

Advertising

So how do we as parents arm our children with beliefs that actually empower them? But most importantly, how do we, first and foremost, spot self-limiting beliefs in our children before they grow too deeply into the subconscious mind and hold tight with clinging roots?

If you are looking to give your child the tools he or she needs to live a more empowered life, I have complied a list of 30 questions to ask your child that will:

Advertising

  • locate areas of self-limiting beliefs,
  • give you the chance to weaken those self-limiting beliefs,
  • replace them with empowering beliefs, and
  • help you bond with your child.

30 Questions To Ask Your Child To Investigate Their Beliefs

  1. Can you guess three things about you that makes mother proud?
  2. If a genie in a bottle granted you three wishes, what would they be?
  3. Which of your talents would you lend a friend for a day?
  4. What can you do now that you couldn’t do before? (e.g. You couldn’t walk, but now you can run very fast!)
  5. What five things are you grateful for in your life?
  6. If you met an alien from Mars, what skills would you teach him?
  7. If you could have any job in the world, what would it be? Why?
  8. What skills will you have to work on to be good at that job?
  9. What will you have to do to get that job?
  10. What does it mean to be successful? Give examples of successful people you know of. (You can research with your child for more examples.)
  11. What do all successful people have in common? (This is a chance to show your child how important it is to research things they aren’t sure of).
  12. Aside from your grades, what else is equally important to be successful?
  13. Which child from your class could be a future President? Why?
  14. What are you most passionate about?
  15. How could you turn your passion into a living?
  16. Can you find examples of people who turned their passion into a living? (With your support, you child is finding new evidence that weakens any self-limiting beliefs in order to support a new empowering belief.)
  17. What kind of character must a footballer have to eventually score a goal? (Your child realizes that determination and resilience are important to get what you want in life.)
  18. Can a footballer score a goal without any help? Why? (Your child realizes cooperation with others is important.)
  19. Should people leave their jobs if it doesn’t make them happy?
  20. Can money always buy you happiness? Why?
  21. If you woke up the next morning and you were 20 years older (an adult), what would your life look like? (The answer will project how he or she currently sees themselves.)
  22. If you were President for the day, what would you change in the world? Why?
  23. Do you think people are automatically good or automatically bad at something?
  24. Have you always been good at the things you can do now, e.g. football, swimming, dancing, reading? (Your child realizes that they have the ability to learn new skills and get better at it. They have done it before and can do it again.)
  25. What does it mean to fail at something?
  26. What can you learn from failure?
  27. Is it okay to fail at something? Why?
  28. What would you tell a friend who failed at something they tried to do?
  29. If there was a zombie attack at your school, name three classmates who would survive? Why?
  30. If you could be any dish in the world, what would you be? Why?

How would you like to take a walk into your child’s mind, dig out those weeds, and be given the chance to plant seeds of confidence, courage, compassion, and resilience? Asking your child these questions will help you do exactly that and more. Which questions are your favourite and gave the best results? I would love to read your comments!

More by this author

Veronica Owusu-Byczkowska

Educator, Motivational Blogger and Speaker

Which Animal Matches Your Personal Belief System? 30 Questions to Investigate Your Child’s Beliefs

Trending in Child Behavior

1 5 Tips For Teaching Money Management To Children 2 7 Effective Tips for Your Child’s Positive Growth 3 When Should Your Teenager Start Dating? 4 Ten Things To Remember If You Have A Child With ADHD 5 Four Tips to Building Your Child’s Confidence

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on November 12, 2020

How to Identify And Play to Your Child’s Strengths

How to Identify And Play to Your Child’s Strengths

As you sit there, perhaps on a sofa, maybe a lounge chair, or while you’re sharing a meal at the table, you glance over to the pride and joy you are happy each day to call your child. They smile back, running around the table they learned to stand up using or kiss you on the cheek as they snatch your car keys for their first (or second, but what feels like hopefully the last) errand using your car. You watch as they take their plate from the table, ask if anyone needs anything on their way to the sink, and then finally meander towards the living room saying to you, “Bed fort after dinner?”

How respectful! How creative! Such initiative!

What you may not realize is that because we don’t often think about this in the day-to-day of parenting, your child’s strengths—the initiative, creativity, drive, passion, and introspective nature that turns other people off—are cultivated daily!

If you’ve never given thoughts to your child’s inherent strengths, that’s okay. As is all too common, you’re conditioned to only look at what they need to fix.[1]

Turns out, identifying, cultivating, and managing your child’s strengths isn’t very difficult. In fact, much of those three steps can occur during a visit to the park. Let’s discover simple and effective ways to highlight your child’s strengths.

Identifying Strengths

Now, I know what you may be thinking: between office meetings, Zoom sessions, laundry, and grocery shopping, when exactly do I have time to become a psychologist?

I get it. But really, identifying your child’s strengths is not difficult. In fact, a simple exercise usually suffices—participate in their play!

Advertising

Participate in Their Play

Play can take many forms and is usually defined as an activity that does not bring extrinsic value to be enjoyed—us adults typically refer to these activities as “hobbies.” Whether your child is two or thirteen, children are children, after all, and play is essential.

According to a report from the University of Utah, play is a way for children to practice “problem-solving, self-control, and learning how to share.”[2] Aren’t those powerful strengths that we should identify and cultivate in our supportive role of helping children thrive as adults?

When children engage in play, they naturally show how they lead, how they empathize with others, and how they work with others (or not) to solve problems. If you spend time being present with your children during play, you will be able to see how your child’s strengths manifest in the simplest of activities. Seeing your children play allows you to see how they make mistakes, too, which is a powerful indicator of their sense of self.

Allow (Supported) Mistakes—and Often!

Identifying your child’s strengths has nothing to do with demanding them to be perfect. Far from it, actually. Remember—you are guiding them to becoming a self-sufficient and nurturing adult, and there aren’t many of us out there that are perfect!

Highlighting moments when your child has made some mistakes and working through how to bounce back or fix that mistake can be wondrous when they are working towards understanding their effect on others, themselves, and the world.

Just like parents that tend to focus too much on the negative, children too often learn more from their mistakes than their successes. Catch your child softly during a mistake, and work through a plan to get themselves out of it. Your goal is not to fix their issue, of course, but to build within them the capacity to make a better choice next time.

When you take on this mindset of an engaging and present parent that is looking for ways to build your child’s strengths, you’ll be surprised at what you see them able to do.

Advertising

Some solid examples of inherent child strengths to look for include:

These are the soft skills that are being developed as young as preschool and even before. In today’s global workplace environment, ensuring that your child is developing in these (and other) areas will set them up for success.

Okay, great. You’ve watched your children at the park or tag along with your teenager to a volunteer event and notice how gracious they are. How do we keep that going?

As is normally the case, you’ll see that cultivating strengths is no more difficult than identifying them.

Cultivating Your Child’s Identified Strengths

Imagine this scenario: Thursday evening, and you’ve worked your fourth ten-hour day. Your partner is late getting home from work, and your three kids are all wanting different things for dinner that should have been made yesterday.

At the exact moment you’re about to snap from the pressure, your middle child says, “Hey, maybe we can all act like chefs tonight and make our own dinners? Might be fun!”

Um, yes, please?

Advertising

As you settle in bed later that evening and reflect on that exchange in the kitchen, you start to highlight other times that child—and, as you doze, your other children in their own ways—stepping up and leading. You know this cannot be by accident, so what’s going on here?

Provide Many At-Bats

Just because a child can take their plate to the sink doesn’t mean they are responsible enough with Grandma’s China set. But when you provide the “at-bats” for children to build capacity using their strengths, you see the road to them handling more difficult scenarios becoming less and less cluttered with obstacles.

There will come a day, and perhaps soon, that your child will be able to navigate that China with extreme grace. Today just ain’t that day, but with some work, it’ll come!

Providing opportunities for your child to build on their strengths is a great idea. Everyone likes to feel competent, and your child is no different! Setting up scaffolded opportunities for them to showcase their budding personalities decreases the stress and increases the chance that, next time, they will perform even better.

Teach Them to Trust but Verify

Good leaders don’t have all the answers. Neither should you and of course, we don’t expect our children to know everything. But we should build within them the capacity for understanding what they don’t know and figuring out ways to get the information they need to work through their situations.

You cannot always have the answers, either. So, what should you do?

Exposing them to the world of information that exists is a good start. Great, you’ve identified your child is empathetic, but must they assist and provide supportive care to everyone they encounter? Or should there be some healthy boundaries established?

Advertising

Working with your children to mold and curate these more nuanced approaches to their strengths will provide them with a good road map to use when they ultimately leave you and lead their own lives.

Turning Weaknesses Into Opportunities

While not exactly the elephant in the room, I can’t possibly write an article about child strengths without also addressing the fact that our children aren’t possibly capable of being good at everything.

Perhaps one of your most important roles as a parent is to decide what strengths your child has and to inspire them to cultivate those strengths using the tips and suggestions in this article. However, there will be a wide variety of opportunities for you to work through the challenges your child experiences.

I don’t want this to sound too harsh but the fact is, everyone has competencies on a spectrum: you can work, hustle, and grind to develop parts of your personality or skill set to whatever gain you set for yourself. Allowing children to operate with a mindset of progress, not perfection, will help their journey. You cannot be weak, after all, if you are constantly striving for improvement.

So, the next time you take your kiddo out to the park, attend a professional sporting event, or perhaps when you’re playing cards in the living room on a cold winter night, pay attention to how they maneuver around.

How are they asking for what they need? How are they offering support? How are they handling conflict? How are they bouncing back from missed opportunities or mess-ups?

In each of those moments—and many more—the opportunity to cultivate strength in your child is just around the corner!

More Tips on Developing Your Child’s Strengths

Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next