Your children’s questions are good things!

Posted on May 21, 2015 · Posted in Communication

Young children ask their parents questions. Be thankful. As a parent, you want to keep the questions coming. No doubt someone is saying, are you crazy, all I do is answer questions.

However, if  you become exasperated with these questions, eventually they will diminish.  While this may bring short-term relief, it will also result in a diminished relationship with your children as they become move towards the teenage years. Why is this true?

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 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.

As you practice this biblical model of aggressively listening and showing genuine interest in your children, the questions will come, once again. Be glad for questions. use them to build a bridge to your child’s heart. As Proverbs 18:15 says, the ears of the wise seek out knowledge. The questions your children ask are a blessing!
Everyday Talk

For more on this topic, check out chapter 3 of Everyday Talk.

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.