A good first step in a new direction as parents is to develop the habit of describing what you DO want from and for your children rather than what you DON’T want. Yet, even this often leaves the children disengaged, merely performing mechanically and without passion or spirit. The job may get done, but without real ownership and understanding. For what is the long-term impact of telling rather than asking? When you constantly tell instead of ask, what do you take away? The answer is discovery. And only by facilitating discovery do you enable others to become passionately involved, taking full ownership of a concept, challenge, or opportunity.
That is why often the very best choice as a parent is to ask rather than tell, particularly if you ask enabling questions like:
- How will you feel when you complete all your work so well?
- What would be a really effective way to get this done and have fun in the process?
- Why do you think your full effort makes such an important difference?
Instantly through questions like these you invite your children to think, to feel, and to develop a purpose that has genuine meaning for them.