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Parental guidance: Are you asking your child the right questions?

Through this fortnightly column, Sunaina Vohra helps you keep parenting sane and simple, and guides you to trust your intuition — because, no one knows your child like you do

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Many parents complain their child does not tell them what’s going on in school or with their friends. But are you asking the child the right questions?
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“Are you having fun?” queried my friend, whom I hadn’t met in over two years. And the short catch up on Mother’s Day turned into a marathon over morning coffee, threatening to throw our day’s appointments into disarray. We literally had to tear ourselves away from the mind and soul nourishing conversation we were so engrossed in.

Her question is what set the tone for our conversation. And I looked within at both my transformational world of coaching and my personal life to share all the moments of fun and joy. I came back home feeling refreshed as if I had discovered the yummiest candies in the largest candy store.

Not surprisingly the conversation was about children – not only our children but the children we worked with. Both of us are blessed to work with pre-teens and teens how our work was impacting their lives, helping them build a strong foundation in the academic and personal arenas. More importantly what makes our individual journeys so fulfilling and rewarding was helping them to evolve and transform.

“Are you having fun?” is an important question that we should be asking our children.

Many parents complain their child does not tell them what’s going on in school or with their friends. But are you asking the child the right questions – questions that bring a smile to their faces as they reply or questions that inspire them to look within and discover their uniqueness and strengths? Ask them this:

- What made him or her stand up for his or her friend?

- What helped them keep anxiety at bay and show up with so much confidence for an event?

- What was their thought process when they finished a painting?

- What did he or she discover about him- or herself?

- What would you say is unique about you?

And be careful if your questions are taking this direction:

- How can you be so careless?

- Do you think you will ever learn this math equation?

- Seriously, with these grades do you want to become a gardener?

- Do you think with this attitude you will ever get into a good college?

Coaching is based on asking both children and parents powerful questions that help them discover/re-discover themselves. I don’t advise as I can never be the expert in how one should live their life – only they can judge that best. But by asking the right questions it sure can help shed light on many areas of their lives they might have not considered.

— Sunaina Vohra is a certified Youth and Family Life Coach at Athena Life Coaching in Dubai. For more information log on to athenalifecoaching.com or call 056-1399033.

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