Teach Your Kids to Stop Asking Questions
Teach your kids to stop asking questions... Sounds crazy, right? I mean, we're always telling our kids that there are no stupid questions and they should ask for help. And that's true -- most of the time.
But sometimes, our kids' questions (and ours) are not born of curiosity. They are coming from anxiety. And usually, it's one of two scenarios:
- They are afraid that they don't really understand what's expected of them, so they continue to ask questions to make sure they don't understand it ‘wrong.' They crave that reassurance.
- They are stressed by the need to turn their focus on something new, so they ease the stress by trying to get every possible scenario answered, effectively helping them get started.
I know this intimately because I was guilty of using questions as a coping strategy for years! By asking “clarifying” questions, I was calming my anxiety.
As parents, start by helping your kids and slowly begin to teach them to trust their ability to figure things out and get started. Acknowledge their concerns, and help them see they actually have many of the answers to the questions they're asking. Of course, you don't want to make them feel stupid in the process. But you DO want to empower them to figure things out independently.
We want our kids to feel safe enough to ask any questions they want. But we also want to empower them to find their own answers. It's an essential life skill and will help grow their confidence and lessen their anxiety.
So next time your child asks a question you know they know the answer, ask them gently what they think the answer might be. You might be surprised by how they respond, and they might be surprised that they actually do know the answer.