You may be worried about the effects of having lived through a pandemic is still having on your child’s wellbeing.
Here are 20 questions to help
These are still challenging times for children.
We need to stay connected with them without fussing.
One simple way to connect is over eating together, playing together – or at bedtimes when you are tucking them in when you are all relaxed and have plenty of time to listen.
By getting into the habit of asking open -ended questions you can support and help your child feel heard and listened to and it will help you to determine if they’re suffering from anxiety, depression or fears.
If you’re worried about your child, encouraging them to talk can be very helpful, whether you’re a parent, grandparent, friend or teacher.
If you think a child you know has a problem, it can be hard to know how to start talking to them about it so here are some open ended questions to help.
Look for clues in their play.
Children express themselves through play as well as words. You can learn a lot about how they’re feeling by simply spending time with them and watching them play.
If your child is aggressive or misbehaving.
If your child is fighting or being aggressive, they’re doing it for a good reason, and talking with them, not at them, may help you discover the reason.
Start by telling your child that their bad behaviour is unacceptable and why – for example, because it will harm other people or get them into trouble. Then offer them the chance to talk about why they’re angry.
Teens may withdraw.
The teenage years are about independence and friends so your moody teen maybe suffering from a sense of loss at not seeing their friends, not being at school, or not having any clear idea around their exams and their future due to the Coronavirus.
So, don’t detach – engage – stay connected through meals together, films together and activities like simply walking the dog.
Then your teenager may open up when you are not directly looking at them or constantly asking them if they are OK.
Here are 20 questions to ask your child to help support their wellbeing
- Is anything worrying you?
- Who are the people you feel safe with?
- Is there anything you want to talk about?
- When was the last time you were very happy?
- What makes you feel calm?
- If you could change anything in your life what would it be?
- What difficulties are you facing at the moment?
- What can I do to help?
- I can tell that you like ___, what do you love so much about it?
- Where is a place you feel safe?
- Do you have any worries about school?
- What are you most looking forward to this week?
- It’s okay to keep stuff private, but did you want to tell me more about ___?
- How are you coping since ____?
- What are you worried about when you lie in bed and can’t sleep?
- What are you dreading most this week?
- How do you feel about things changing?
- Is there anything that’s upsetting you?
- What do you love doing that makes you feel happiest?
- Of all the things you are learning, what do you think will be the most useful when you are an adult?