“How are you doing?” “What’s going on?” “Can I help you?” “Where are you going?” “How’re you feeling?” Questions are important. They make you think.
Two of my favourite parent-to-child questions are:
“What are you doing?” (this helps the child think about her behaviour); and
“What should you be doing?” (this helps the child think about what ought to be).
The first question requires the child to think and reflect. If asked with affection and gentle touch, the child will probably not defend or deny but ponder and remember. The second question invokes the conscience and requires a value or judgment call. This helps a child decide on what is right and true. Two key questions for growing up well or living well when you are older – one for the mind and one for the conscience.
Here are some questions that I ask my client-friends. If you have been visiting with me, you may be familiar with them.
What are you doing that is working well?
What are you doing that is taking you nowhere? (Or, “What are you doing to create your own hell?”)
What assets do you and your colleagues bring to your shared task? (This is a good question for marriage and family as well. Just change the words a bit.)
How are you most resourceful when life (or work) is threatening or stressful?
How do you adapt to pain?
What are you holding on to that you need to relinquish? (Good question for parents of teenagers or those grieving a loss.)
What positive changes are you causing (e.g. to your work, your family) by being yourself?
What are the best things about your relationships within your family or work?
Describe a circumstance in your marriage, family or work in which you felt loved.
For lots more questions pertaining to marriage and pre-marriage look for Couple Intimacy Questionnaire under “Tools For Change.” And if you hope to grow from where you are to where you want to be, see the paper entitled “Contract for Change.” Great questions.