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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.’?

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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?

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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.

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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:

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  • 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

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Published on January 30, 2019

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

In roughly 60 percent of two-parent households with children under the age of 18, both parents work full time. But who takes time off work when the kids are sick in your house? And if you are a manager, how do you react when a man says he needs time to take his baby to the pediatrician?

The sad truth is, the default in many companies and families is to value the man’s work over the woman’s—even when there is no significant difference in their professional obligations or compensation. This translates into stereotypes in the workplace that women are the primary caregivers, which can negatively impact women’s success on the job and their upward mobility.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of long-term time-use data (1965–2011), fathers in dual-income couples devote significantly less time than mothers do to child care.[1] Dads are doing more than twice as much housework as they used to (from an average of about four hours per week to about 10 hours), but there is still a significant imbalance.

This is not just an issue between spouses; it’s a workplace culture issue. In many offices, it is still taboo for dads to openly express that they have family obligations that need their attention. In contrast, the assumption that moms will be on the front lines of any family crisis is one that runs deep.

Consider an example from my company. A few years back, one of our team members joined us for an off-site meeting soon after returning from maternity leave. Not even two hours into her trip, her husband called to say that the baby had been crying nonstop. While there was little our colleague could practically do to help with the situation, this call was clearly unsettling, and the result was that her attention was divided for the rest of an important business dinner.

This was her first night away since the baby’s birth, and I know that her spouse had already been on several business trips before this event. Yet, I doubt she called him during his conferences to ask child-care questions. Like so many moms everywhere, she was expected to figure things out on her own.

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The numbers show that this story is far from the exception. In another Pew survey, 47 percent of dual-income parents agreed that the moms take on more of the work when a child gets sick.[2] In addition, 39 percent of working mothers said they had taken a significant amount of time off from work to care for their child compared to just 24 percent of working fathers. Mothers are also more likely than fathers (27 percent to 10 percent) to say they had quit their job at some point for family reasons.

Before any amazing stay-at-home-dads post an angry rebuttal comment, I want to be very clear that I am not judging how families choose to divide and conquer their personal and professional responsibilities; that’s 100 percent their prerogative. Rather, I am taking aim at the culture of inequity that persists even when spouses have similar or identical professional responsibilities. This is an important issue for all of us because we are leaving untapped business and human potential on the table.

What’s more, I think my fellow men can do a lot about this. For those out there who still privately think that being a good dad just means helping out mom, it’s time to man up. Stop expecting working partners—who have similar professional responsibilities—to bear the majority of the child-care responsibilities as well.

Consider these ways to support your working spouse:

1. Have higher expectations for yourself as a father; you are a parent, not a babysitter.

Know who your pediatrician is and how to reach him or her. Have a back-up plan for transportation and emergency coverage.

Don’t simply expect your partner to manage all these invisible tasks on her own. Parenting takes effort and preparation for the unexpected.

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As in other areas of life, the way to build confidence is to learn by doing. Moms aren’t born knowing how to do this stuff any more than dads are.

2. Treat your partner the way you’d want to be treated.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a man on a business trip say to his wife on a call something to the effect of, “I am in the middle of a meeting. What do you want me to do about it?”

However, when the tables are turned, men often make that same call at the first sign of trouble.

Distractions like this make it difficult to focus and engage with work, which perpetuates the stereotype that working moms aren’t sufficiently committed.

When you’re in charge of the kids, do what she would do: Figure it out.

3. When you need to take care of your kids, don’t make an excuse that revolves around your partner’s availability.

This implies that the children are her first priority and your second.

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I admit I have been guilty in the past of telling clients, “I have the kids today because my wife had something she could not move.” What I should have said was, “I’m taking care of my kids today.”

Why is it so hard for men to admit they have personal responsibilities? Remember that you are setting an example for your sons and daughters, and do the right thing.

4. As a manager, be supportive of both your male and female colleagues when unexpected situations arise at home.

No one likes or wants disruptions, but life happens, and everyone will face a day when the troubling phone call comes from his sitter, her school nurse, or even elderly parents.

Accommodating personal needs is not a sign of weakness as a leader. Employees will be more likely to do great work if they know that you care about their personal obligations and family—and show them that you care about your own.

5. Don’t keep score or track time.

At home, it’s juvenile to get into debates about who last changed a diaper or did the dishes; everyone needs to contribute, but the big picture is what matters. Is everyone healthy and getting enough sleep? Are you enjoying each other’s company?

In business, too, avoid the trap of punching a clock. The focus should be on outcomes and performance rather than effort and inputs. That’s the way to maintain momentum toward overall goals.

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The Bottom Line

To be clear, I recognize that a great many working dads are doing a terrific job both on the home front and in their professional lives. My concern is that these standouts often aren’t visible to their colleagues; they intentionally or inadvertently let their work as parents fly under the radar. Dads need to be open and honest about family responsibilities to change perceptions in the workplace.

The question “How do you balance it all?” should not be something that’s just asked of women. Frankly, no one can answer that question. Juggling a career and parental responsibilities is tough. At times, really tough.

But it’s something that more parents should be doing together, as a team. This can be a real bonus for the couple relationship as well, because nothing gets in the way of good partnership faster than feelings of inequity.

On the plus side, I can tell you that parenting skills really do get better with practice—and that’s great for people of both sexes. I think our cultural expectations that women are the “nurturers” and men are the “providers” needs to evolve. Expanding these definitions will open the doors to richer contributions from everyone, because women can and should be both—and so should men.

Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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