Are you asking lots of leading questions? Here is what to do instead.
We know that you are aware that how you communicate either escalates or deescalates your child’s emotions. Being aware of how you communicate as a parent can be difficult as many emotions are involved.
What you might not know is that during conversations you have with your child you may be asking leading questions that can prompt the worry cycle. A leading question puts a specific thought in your child’s head rather than opening their mind up to different possibilities. If your questions plants the idea that there is reason to be anxious, your child is most likely to become anxious. Consider asking open ended questions which not only open up your child’s mind but forces their brain to slow down and think with purpose and logic.
Here is the difference:
|Leading Questions||Open Ended Questions|
|Did you study the right things?||How did the test go?|
|Were you anxious all day at school?||How was school?|
|Did you get into any trouble today?||What were the highs and lows of the day today?|
|Did you remember to pass the math assignment in?||How are your sticky note reminders working out?|
So why do any of us ask leading questions?
There are different motivating factors like your own anxiety, wanting to find immediate solutions for challenges or simply a lack of awareness. For example, maybe your child has been experiencing test anxiety and there is a final exam coming up that they are hoping to do well on. You know they have been working on using test taking strategies and have worked hard preparing for the exam. Your own anxiety might prompt you to text them during the school day asking for details and asking if they studied the right things. The motivating factor here is to relieve your own anxiety but what you may have done is brought your child right back to the worry when they may have already moved past it.
So remember asking leading questions can cause worries that may not have come otherwise. Start asking more open ended questions and don’t forget to keep it short and sweet!
Do you tend to ask a lot of leading questions? Comment here and let us know.
Check out our new Positive Self Talk Script! Knowing exactly what to say helps a lot. Click here and receive it.