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  • Writer's pictureGail The Parenting Coach

Reflective Questions to Find a Solution Instead of Focusing on the Problem


Why on earth did you just interrupt me?

Why aren’t you listening?

Why are you still asking?

Why are you still hungry?

Why are you running instead of walking?

Why are you bothering your brother?

Why are you not asleep yet?

Instead of asking your child why, ask yourself a different question that focuses on the solution rather than the problem.

How might my child possibly be feeling right now?

Wonder what could be going on with him?

Is he hungry, angry, lonely, or tired?

Who owns this problem? Who needs to solve it?

What skill is missing and how do I teach it?

What does he need right now?

What would help him learn a valuable lesson?

Do I fully understand the problem?

How would I want to be treated?

What is he trying to say?

What emotion is driving this behavior?

How can I connect with my child before I correct his behavior?

How can I be the leader my child wants to listen to?

Asking ourselves these type of questions will help us be more self-reflective, more empathic, and better listeners and problem solvers which will help our children be that way, too.

Instead of reacting, yelling, commanding or shaming them for being a problem try seeing them as having a problem.

Growing up takes time, and that includes you and me.

Learning to be self-regulated takes time.

Learning necessary social and emotional skills takes time.

I heard a seven year old say on television,

“Screaming at a caterpillar won’t make it fly.”

Perhaps their mess can help us grow up from the inside out and then our message will teach valuable lessons to ourselves and to them.



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