The Power of Asking Powerful Questions

As your teenager progresses through school and grows older, communicating effectively with them can become more and more difficult. A simple, “How was your day?” isn’t going to illicit much of a response anymore as it did when they were in elementary and middle school. So, how do you make sure you’re staying involved in your teenager’s academic and social life and getting the most out of your questions? Ask powerful questions.

Asking powerful questions simply means that you rephrase your question to ensure the response is more than just a “yes” or “no”. Think about when you go into a store. If you walk in and the clerk says to you “Do you need help?” your answer is typically a simple “No, I’m just looking.” But, if you walk in and the clerk says “What are you shopping for today?” You are more likely to give a specific occasion you may have come into the store for.

Consider this list of simple questions turned into powerful questions:

Do you have homework? What are your priorities today?
Why didn’t you turn science assignment in? Did something get in your way of getting the science homework done?
Did you study for your science test? What’s the first thing you might do to get ready for the science test?
You better get started on that English project. What’s something small you can do to get started on the English project?
What did you learn today? What happened in Ms. ____’s class today?

Try a few of these out as your teen begins their new adventure in high school or progresses through their high school years. The important thing to remember is to ask questions that will require more than a yes, no or I don’t know response that are common during these years with questions your teen might expect. Who knows, you might learn something unexpected about their curriculum, teachers or friends.

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