When our children are small, we know every little detail about them. As they grow older and more independent, they develop friendships, ideas, and interests that they may or may not share with us. For divorced parents, who don't have their children living with them full time, it may be even more challenging to keep a finger on the pulse of children's thoughts and feelings.
Many parents seem to be at a loss on how to speak with their children in a meaningful way. They ask, “How was school?” Or “How was your day?” All they get is “Fine.” Asking some more open-ended and thought-provoking questions might yield different responses.
Below are revealing questions you can ask your kids (and have them ask you). Try them out over the next couple of weeks. You may be surprised at their answers.
Of course, follow up on any answer that seems as if your child wants you to ask more and deeper questions! Encourage them to come up with their own questions for you, as well. Their questions will be as revealing as your answers, because the questions will show what your kids are interested in knowing about you. And maybe they will learn something that helps them look at you in a different way!
Divorce may limit the amount of time you spend with your children, but it doesn't have to mean that your relationship grows apart. Find ways to keep the lines of communication. When you're together, ask questions like these. When you're apart, text, Facetime, or Skype. And realize that your children's needs, and ways of communicating, will change over time. To learn more about your children's developmental stages and needs, check out these articles: