Summertime Brings New Opportunities for Connection
Anyone else out there ever get into a conversation with your child, feeling disappointed having hoped you’d have a deeper exchange but simply received one-syllable responses? C’mon, you’re killing me, Smalls! Over the summer, parents often have the joy of more interaction with their kids when school and homework have faded into mere memory. Long road trips, lazy pool days, car rides to the movie theater, and walks to the park take residence on our calendars instead. Such fertile soil for fun chats! So, over here at ICM, we’ve put together a list of questions to ask kids this summer. We hope they help foster awareness of God in your midst and enrich connections between you and the children in your care as you savor the summer.
We’ve also created it into a free downloadable PDF that you can print out and put on your fridge, or wherever you’re likely to see it often. You can download it here.
5 Questions to Ask Kids
- What made you laugh today? As many of us know, workflow efficiency and checking off tasks on our lists can be all-consuming of our minds and time. Kids feel this, too, while in school and even over summer when schedules are busy. Many times, we can focus on what was done rather than joy that we experience. Try this question and other similar questions to ask kids that help change focus from industriousness to freedom of spirit. And you might just find yourself laughing at a story you never would’ve heard otherwise.
- When did you help someone recently? Wherever we find ourselves and our families, we can inspire our children’s hearts toward serving others. By simply asking the question, children begin to anticipate it and turn their attention to the opportunities to assist those around them. Kids, even as young as toddlers, are proud when they speak to the good they’ve done in their world.
- What are you feeling grateful for this week? We can learn a lot about what our children like by asking where their gratitude lies. They may be grateful for the longer storytime before bed the night before, for example. We get a window into what they value and can cultivate more time to do those things together. Maybe it’s pizza… and who doesn’t want more pizza?! Also, there is deep wisdom in gratitude. It’s linked to the experience of sustained joy, which fosters resilience. And what a gift that is to our kids.
- What’s been a challenging part of your day? Of all on the list of questions to ask kids, this is one that can lead to great processing together. The response could be anything from an argument with a sibling to missing their friends to a fear of the ropes course at summer camp. Helping our children recognize struggle can be a great way to begin speaking with them about God’s faithfulness and their abilities to navigate hard things.
- How have you experienced God this week? Older children will have an easier time answering this question, of course. But younger children can listen in. They will begin searching for God in their own lives as they become ready and able to think more abstractly. If this is difficult for your children to answer, even the older ones, start by sharing with them over a couple weeks how you’ve experienced God. They will begin to understand and connect with God more as they hear from you.
What have you found to sprout fruitful conversations in your families? Share below in the comments!