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15 Questions To Ask Your Kids To Help Them Have Good Mindsets

15 Questions To Ask Your Kids To Help Them Have Good Mindsets

As a loving parent, it is important to instill in your kids the right mindset and attitude. Both determine how your child interprets the world. And asking the right questions encourage behavior that brings positive change and also allows for the best use of available resources.

As the saying goes, where your mind goes, energy flows.

One of the ways to encourage children to develop a positive mindset and practice it is to talk to them honestly and ask them leading questions. It’s not about telling them what to do; it’s about explaining to them the value of living positively and making the best of what they already have.

Ask your kids these thoughtful questions to encourage conversation and help them develop a healthy mindset. Some of these questions will also help you to enhance your relationship with your children and bond with them, while learning to better understand them.

1. What five words do you think best describe you?

This question points children in the direction where they know themselves and have an idea of what other people think of them. It gives your child a good frame of reference on where she stands in her small world, which is important for molding the right self-image.

2. What do you love doing that makes you feel happiest?

Some children will say playing video games makes them feel happiest, which is actually fine. Recent studies show that there are actually many psychological benefits of gaming. Gaming even brings spouses closer together if they participate together.

The point of this question is to direct your child’s attention to the things that makes him feel happy and open his eyes to the fact that he can actively choose to increase time spent in those activities that bring him joy. Hopefully, this will teach him to pursue activities, hobbies and even careers that make him happiest later on in life.

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3. What do you know how to do that you can teach others?

This question is about teaching kids that life is not all about you, your own interests and what you can get from others. Life is about us all and what we can do to help each other.

The question helps your child feel empowered and valued. It reminds her that she is special and she has something to offer. When your child feels special and knows she has something to offer, it builds self-confidence and self-worth, and also encourages learning.

4. What is the most wonderful/worst thing that ever happened to you?

Life is not all sunshine and rainbows, but neither is it all gloom and doom. Life is a mix of good and bad experiences, and that’s what makes it so exciting.

Kids need to understand this fact early so they are mentally prepared for life. The question is about directing that awareness. It helps your child realize (from her own experience) that bad things don’t last forever.

The sun always shines after the storm, and the sunshine feels good. You also gain valuable insight into areas you can help your child get past.

5. What did you learn from the best/worst thing that’s happened to you?

An old adage says experience is the best teacher, which is true. It is important that kids extract lessons from their own experiences (both good and bad) and also from the experiences of others, including their parents.

That’s one of the best ways to make progress and also the way to make the best of every situation. When your child learns from her experiences, it means she is unlikely to repeat the same or similar mistakes in the future.

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6. Of all the things you are learning, what do you think will be the most useful when you are an adult?

This question is about reminding children that they will be adults one day and that they need to start living purposely. It is also about sensitizing your kids to where their conscience is calling them and what they should be doing right now to get there.

When your child understands the value of what he is learning and how it can help him in the future, it can motivate him to truly enjoy things like reading, studying and learning.

7. If you could travel back in time three years and visit your younger self, what advice would you give yourself?

This question can make for a fun conversation that helps you learn about (and address) past issues that hurt your child, in addition to instilling in them the habit of learning from their mistakes. The question opens up exciting avenues to talk to your kids about how to deal with disappointments and frustrations in life, while also teaching them the meaning of the expression, “making lemonade out of lemons.”

8. What are you most grateful for?

This question encourages kids to count their blessings and look at the brighter side of life. It is about teaching kids to put things into perspective, look around and appreciate what they have in life no matter how small, including family, friends, a good school and food.

This, is turn, can contribute to your child’s overall happiness, as there is a strong correlation between gratitude and happiness.

9. What do you think that person feels?

It’s easy for kids to focus solely on their own feelings and neglect to consider what other people feel. However, to build stronger relationships and avoid unnecessary conflicts in life, it is important for your child to consider what other people feel and show empathy.

Help her to develop empathy by asking her to wonder about what someone else feels. Your child will become a more compassionate, helpful and happy person just by being more considerate and empathetic. She will lead a richer, fuller life of meaning by thinking of (and often helping) others.

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10. What do you think your life will be like in the future?

This question also directs children to think about the future and plan for it. It will help your child to ponder on what he wants to be when he grows up and how he’d like the world to be like when he’s older.

You will in turn discover what your child is moving toward and see how you can help him realize that dream from the conversation you have around this question.

11. Which of your friends do you think I’d like the most? Why?

The company you keep has a big impact on your mindset and attitude. If you keep negative people around you all the time, your attitude is likely to shift and become negative. If you keep positive friends, you will become positive-minded yourself.

Ask your kids this question to figure out who among their circle of friends holds the greatest influence in their life. Help your child see that everybody is the average of the five people they spend the most time with, as Jim Rohn famously said.

12. If you could grow up to be famous, what would you want to be famous for?

This question directs children to think about the true meaning of success and the legacy they’d like to leave. Is success about accumulating the most money, or is it more than that?

What would you like people to remember you for? As your child ponders and responds to these questions, you will find out the type of character your child is moving toward and discover who influences your child as a role model. That is vital information for overseeing your child’s character development.

13. How would you change the world if you could?

Research shows that anticipation of positive experiences brings more happiness than the experiences themselves. Once your child is old enough to realize that tomorrow is not today and every new day is an opportunity to make a positive change, start instilling in her the habit of striving to relieve ills and improving things in her own small way for the betterment of tomorrow and the world in general.

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Happy people are those who think of problems as surmountable and themselves as effective problem solvers.

14. How can you help someone today?

As life in general constitutes much pain in the form of disease, poverty, ignorance and emotional anguish, it is important to give ourselves to one another as brothers and sisters.

Edwin Markham rightly said, “The crest and crowning of all good, life’s final star, is Brotherhood.”

And brotherhood and sisterhood means being there for each other. Ask your kids this question regularly to incorporate a spirit of generosity into their daily life. Studies show that giving releases oxytocin and endorphins, which produce a good kind of “high” that your child can become addicted to.

15. If you could make one rule that everyone in the world had to follow, what rule would you make? Why?

This question brings to the attention of children the fact that we live in a world with rules and regulations, which we are obliged to follow to ensure order and everything runs smoothly. Rules are not meant to punish us, but to help us live and interact with others in a better way.

Your child will appreciate this fact more and be more receptive to following properly laid down rules and regulations when he has his own personal rule that he believes in. That personal rule or motto can be the key to raising respectful, law abiding citizens who are also valuable members of society.

More by this author

David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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Published on November 14, 2018

Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

Symptoms of Fatigue

Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

  • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
  • mental blocks
  • lack of motivation
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • muscle weakness
  • slowed reflexes and responses
  • impaired decision-making and judgement
  • moodiness, such as irritability
  • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
  • reduced immune system function
  • blurry vision
  • short-term memory problems
  • poor concentration
  • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

Causes of Fatigue

The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

  • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
  • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
  • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
  • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

Medical Causes of Fatigue

If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

Anemia

Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

Diabetes

Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

Thyroid disease

An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Too much sleep 
  • Alcohol and drugs 
  • Sleep disturbances 
  • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
  • Poor diet 

Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

  • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
  • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
  • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
  • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

Psychological Causes of Fatigue

Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

  • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
  • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
  • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

1. Tell The Truth

Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

  • How you feel
  • What time of day it is
  • What may have contributed to your fatigue
  • How your mind and body reacts

This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

2. Reduce Your Commitments

When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

4. Express More Gratitude

Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

5. Focus On Yourself

Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

7. Take a Power Nap

When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

8. Take More Exercise

The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

9. Get More Quality Sleep

To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

10. Improve Your Diet

Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

11. Manage Your Stress Levels

Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

12. Get Hydrated

Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

The Bottom Line

These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
[2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
[3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
[4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
[5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
[6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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