Step back. Trust the process to play out. It is all part of a Hero’s Journey. And yet, stepping back is not akin to passivity.
Successful Heroes often have active parents who do step in. They step in by asking really great questions. Here are the top 5 questions that you, as a parent, should feel empowered to ask (and ask often!)
- What were you excited about today? What was most challenging for you? All parents want to know, “How was school?” and often receive an automatic response. Try a question that requires a specific answer.
- What is your goal for the end of the year? Step 1- show that you are willing to walk alongside your Hero. Usually, he/she will open up with problems to solve or need your help to breaking the goal into manageable steps.
- Does (insert subject here) get harder if you don’t practice? A parent recently checked in with their Hero and noticed he wasn’t doing any math. Asking this question, they were able to have a conversation relating math to a muscle: muscles atrophy if you don’t work them, but they get stronger if you practice every day. There was a natural conclusion from both parent and hero that 30 minutes a day of Khan would be beneficial. To keep the Hero on track, if he didn’t finish the 30 minutes in school, he would do the 30 minutes at home before anything else.
- What did you discover this week? Emphasize the excitement on learning and refocus the conversation from points, badges, etc.
- What did you do last week that you plan to do differently this week? There are times when your Hero is smarting from a failure. Give them time to cool down and when they are ready, asking this question helps them focus on specific choices to change. Positively reinforcing successful habits is always useful too!
The most important part of a great question? Ask with genuine curiosity. You might be surprised what you find!