These are questions that I wrote for a colleague who was dealing with a specific member of her family (by phone), but I believe they are helpful as a reference point for any situation.
The questioning process, when used with family members, is a little different than in a counseling or teaching setting. We, as family members, are their relatives, not their counselor. Having said that, using the questioning process can at least plant seeds and help a family member look at their life a little differently. Also, remember to ask the questions in a way that the family member realizes that the questions are only for him/her to answer – you don’t need the answer. If they want to share, that’s fine. If not, realize that they can’t not answer the question in their head before getting defensive or rationalizing.
- What kind of a parent do you want to be?
- What parts of that picture are you matching or close to matching?
- What parts are you not matching?
- What are some of your happiest moments as a parent?
- What is happening when you don’t like parenting?
- What can you do to re-frame your thinking or change an action when that happens?
Let me know your thoughts…
Tomorrow’s Topic – Goals and Plans
Suggested Reading: Nancy Buck’s Peaceful Parenting.