Asking Questions to Build Relationships

Asking questions is one simple way that you can intentionally build relational connections with children. To relate to children on a deeper level, we need to ask questions that elicit more than a shrug of the shoulders, a nod, or one- word answers like, “Fine,” or “Fun.” Instead, we can  ask questions that lead to meaningful conversations and make points of connection. Here are some tips about how to ask relationship- building questions.

Ask specific questions.

General questions like, “How was school today?” Or, “How was your week?”are too broad for most kids to respond with much detail. Try to remember specific people, places, and things that a child has mentioned, and ask questions that show you have been listening. Ask questions like, “How did you feel about your math test on Friday?” Or “How was your cousin Rosie’s birthday party this weekend?” If a child shared a prayer request last week, be sure to ask for an update.

Ask conversational questions.

Make note of what interests kids and to connect your conversations to what they enjoy. (“Did you check out a new book from the library? ”Or “What did you think of the Bears game on Sunday?)” Also, pay attention to what is popular and relevant with their age group so you can ask questions of interest to them.
Ask questions that tap into a child’s feelings: their joys, fears, frustrations, opinions, and curiosity. “Did anything at school frustrate you today?” Or, “What are you worried about right now?”
Ask questions that bring in humor and creativity; kids love silly, “Would you rather?” questions and bizarre hypothetical, “What if . . .” scenarios. These are all great ways to start a conversation with a child. Click here for free printable Would You Rather Cards or Conversation Cards.

5 Questions to Ask This Week:

1. What made you smile today?question ball2. How did you help someone today?
3. What was the funniest thing that happened this week?
4. What’s something you did this week that made you proud?
5. What’s something you learned recently that you could teach me?

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