Posted on May 16, 2014 · Posted in Communication, Parenting, Teenagers

Young children ask their parents questions. They do this, in part, because parents are the center of their world. There is no one that means more to them than mom and dad. Asking questions is a sign of respect and appreciation. Be thankful. As a parent, you want to keep the questions coming.  If  you become get exasperated with the questions of young children will eventually diminish the type and frequency of the questions asked.  While this may bring short-term relief, it will also result in a diminished relationship with older children and teenagers. How does this happen?

By being annoyed with or detached from the questions of younger children will result in only hearing logistical questions from your teenagers.  If your teenagers are primarily asking logistical questions, such as can I have the car, or when is dinner, this should alert you that the important questions are going to someone else.  Your goal is to have your kids ask you about the hard things in life. But like you, your older children and teenagers will reserve those questions for the people whom they respect and trust; people who have time for all of their questions.

You goal is to create a relational climate in which your teenagers want to come to you. Listen carefully to your children and observe the things that they struggle with. Take an interest in the things they are interested in. Ask them genuine questions about their interests. Patience is key here. If you have not been a good listener, you can become one. Even if you do, it may take time for older children and teenagers to begin to seek you out again. Pursue your teenagers not so much for what they have done, but for who they are – your children given to you by God.

As you practice this biblical model of aggressively listening and showing genuine interest in your children, the questions will come, once again.


Jay Younts
Jay Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is the author of Everyday Talk and other materials on parenting. He has been teaching and speaking on parenting issues for 30 years. Jay and his wife, Ruth, live in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. He serves as a ruling elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and Ruth have five adult children.