Asking Better Questions

Many of us have had the experience of asking our kids "How are you?" or "How was your day?" and gotten a simple "Fine" or "I don't know."

It's a question that doesn't usually get much of a response, and if I am being honest, I don't really like it when others ask me that question either.

This seemingly, innocuous question is a socially accepted way to greet people, but it can get tricky. Sometimes it’s hard to identify “the legitimately want to know,” “the sort of want to know,” “the want to know, but tell me later,” and the “I really don’t care to know.”

Even when I can tell the difference, I can’t always decide which crazy part of my life to talk about. And, I am guessing many of you experience similar quandaries.

What if it didn’t have to be this way? So glad you asked…read on.

It may take a bit of effort, but what if we practiced asking more specific questions to friends and family members?

Here are some goods ones for kids you know (and adults too):

  • What has been the best part of your day so far?
  • When did you feel most loved today?
  • When did you feel most appreciated this morning?
  • Is there anything I can help you with right now?
  • How did your mid-terms go?
  • How was your grandmother’s surgery?
  • What did you say to the new girl at school (or work, etc.)?
  • What has been one of your proudest accomplishments today?
  • Have you watched any new movies this week?
  • Have you read any new books you recommend?
  • How did you enjoy your Bible story this morning?
  • Is there anything I could do to make your day better?

I can almost certainly guarantee that when we care enough to ask more specific questions, it will make someone’s day.

Sarah is the author of Bathsheba’s Responsibility in Light of Narrative Analysis, contributor to Vindicating the Vixens, and contributing editor for The Evangelism Study Bible. Some of her previous ministry experiences have included teaching and mentoring of adults and children in a wide variety of settings. Her small claim to fame is that she has worked with children of every age range from birth through high school over the past 20 years. She and her husband Ben reside in Richardson, Texas with their four children.

One Comment