If there is one thing that I am most passionate about, above all things, it’s my children.
I am that person. I have always been pretty active and healthy but the day I had children, everything went into hyperdrive. Everything I did from that point on was intentional; from the words I spoke, to the things I did, and beyond. I’m talking everything.
I started to immerse myself into holistic health. I vowed to never talk negatively about my body in front of my children. I was determined to let my children try everything to find their passions…
Guys. At times it feels a bit obsessive and all consuming, I’ll admit. I have never spoken about it, and I’m not going to go in depth now, but I have a deeply rooted, irrational fear that my children will grow up to be unsuccessful (by their terms,) unhappy, and unhealthy… these things keep me up at night.
So the day I became a mother I swore that I would do everything in my power to create the healthiest relationship with my children so that no matter what we experience in life, together or apart, we can work through it and come out stronger versions of ourselves.
Enter: three questions I ask my children every single night before bed.
Bedtime has always been a special time for us. The day my daughter started school at 21 months old, I started to incorporate these questions every single night before she fell asleep. Then my son started school and the tradition carried on with him as well. These three questions give me a better understanding of my children, help me guide them through their struggles, and encourage hope and promise for the days to come.
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Question No. 1 – What was your FAVORITE thing about school today?
By asking my children this question I have gotten to better understand their passions, their favorite subjects, who their best friends are, what they like most about their teachers, and more! This helps me to encourage their passions and get excited about the things they are excited about.
Question No. 2 – What was your LEAST FAVORITE thing about school today?
This is the most powerful question of the three. In the past few years I have gotten to know what my children’s weaknesses are, where their anxieties stem from, and people they struggle to get along with. This question has also opened us up to many conversations about compassion, kindness, and how to address uncomfortable situations. By having an ongoing conversation about the tough stuff, I’ve learned that my children are taking in everything they are being taught and growing into compassionate, gracious human beings.
Question No. 3 – What are you MOST looking forward to tomorrow?
School can be daunting. I like to take the focus off of the day to day expectations and help my children to change their perspective. While school is a place of learning, testing, and dealing with uncomfortable situations, it is also a place of privilege, friends who share the same values, and teachers who care deeply for our children.
For the record, some nights (like on weekends for example) we speak about our day in general, separate of school. Sometimes we do both. It really just depends on how willing my children are to open up to discussion on any particular day.
My kids love school; truly, genuinely love it. I believe this is a result of our discussions and constantly shifting their focus from the day to day, mundane tasks to the belief that they are blessed to gain an education that so many people do not have access to in a place filled with their favorite people.
Do you have conversation starters you use regularly with your children? I’d love to hear them!