STEM Mom

Questions to Ask Your Kid

Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash

From personal experience and interactions with other parents we want our children to grow up to be the best people they can be. And sometimes it is exhausting; there are definitely times where it is easier just to give them the answers or do it for them but ultimately that makes it harder on them in the long run.

In this short read I’ve compliled a list of easy questions to ask your children to get their brain flowing and make sure they are taking ownership of their observations in this world.

  1. Why? The easiest way to get your kids thinking and processing what they’re saying or doing is asking them why. Why do you think that? Why will that work? Why won’t that work? Asking them why (similar to the way they ask you when they’re trying to figure the world out) makes them truly think about what they’re saying/doing instead of them just blinding moving forward.
  2. What do you think will happen? Asking them to predict the outcome and then following up with a “were you right or wrong?” helps them begin to make connections between actions and consequences. It will take some time before this part of their brain is fully formed and functional but you can start building those neural pathways as early as 2 by having conversations with your kids about what they think will happen when they do x, y, or z.
  3. How would you solve this problem? Whether it’s the “new” math, an issue with friends or a problem with a teacher asking your child(ren) how they would solve the problem and then walking them through their predictions about it (see number 2) you give them agency over their choices and decisions. You can guide the discussion to help get them to the right answer but ultimately this allows them to feel confident in making decisions or solving problems when you’re not around.
  4. How would you feel if you were in her/his/their shoes? We are naturally self-centered beings. It’s what allows us to stay safe and quickly identify potential dangers because we have a lot of “me, me, me” on the brain. However when it comes to being a functioning member of a society whether that means as a global citizen or as a member in a family it is critical for kids (and adults) to develop empathy for the way things we say or do will affect others. It’s not always perfect and we do screw it up probably more often than we’d like but by asking your kid(s) to put them in someone else’s shoes that helps them understand how to be a better person.
  5. How did you (or can you) figure that out? When our kids come to us with issues or questions sometimes it is super easy just to fire off the answer but in the long run that doesn’t help them become comfortable at finding the answer themselves. There will always be questions to answer or problems to solve but when we offer up the solution to our kids right away in the name of being tired, making it easier, or having to get something done (or out of the house) it will be harder on them (and us) in the long run.
Photo by Sai De Silva on Unsplash

When you engage your child(ren)’s critical thinking skills at a young age you start building the neural pathways they need to be better people in the long run. School will be easier and life will be easier if you discuss and let your kids come up with some answers on their own — even when you know their wrong. Wrong answers or failing at something isn’t a bad thing until you, as the parent, make it so. Wrong answers are just an attempt at gathering more information about the world around us and stepping back into the fray to try and get the right answer will give your child(ren) much more confidence as they move through this world.

Don’t be afraid to get messy, make mistakes, and ask questions. This is how we all learn but sometimes adults forget that magic.

Life and Health

“Dear Theodosia” – Parents Never Change

I’m hoping there won’t be any spoilers in this post at this point but if you haven’t seen Hamilton by now then you probably won’t ever see it so you don’t care. Also, since it’s based on historical events (with some creative liberty) there really isn’t much that you couldn’t find out just by searching Alexander Hamilton.

Aaron Burr (sir) acts as a narrator and dramatic foil to Alexander Hamilton’s character throughout the story. There is one particularly touching moment where the war is over and both Burr and Hamilton have become fathers and they sing a beautiful duet called “Dear Theodosia”:

Provided to YouTube by Atlantic Records
Dear Theodosia · Leslie Odom Jr. · Lin-Manuel Miranda
Hamilton
℗ 2015 Hamilton Uptown, LLC under exclusive license to Atlantic Recording Corporation
Continue reading ““Dear Theodosia” – Parents Never Change”
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Crafting the Post COVID Life

If you’re like me and have spent any time in a location that has required a stay at home order where many businesses that you would normally frequent have been shut or changed how they were providing services your life has looked a little different over the past four months.  It has given me a chance to really evaluate what I miss and what I don’t miss.

Continue reading “Crafting the Post COVID Life”

Life and Health

Extroversion in the Time of COVID19

Where are my fellow extroverts?  How are you holding up?  Me?  Ehhh.  I have good days and I have bad days.  In my last post I talked about some of the benefits I’m seeing from this current situation but as we’re winding down week 3, I’m struggling.  I’m not going to lie, it has been really hard to stay in the house.

Continue reading “Extroversion in the Time of COVID19”

Life and Health

The Fourth Principle (UU Series #5)

I took a few weeks off to complete my 2019 in review and 2020 goals so this week I’m going to continue my UU series with the fourth principle:

A free and responsible search for truth and meaning

You can read about the first, second and third principles as well.

Continue reading “The Fourth Principle (UU Series #5)”

Life and Health

The Third Principle (UU Series #4)

In continuation with my 8 week series (with a week off for Thanksgiving), I am discussing the 3rd principle this week:

Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations 

This principle outlines how people should interact with each other and what we should do with one another.  This principle focuses on the congregation but I believe that this is something worth bringing into all areas of life.

Accepting and encouraging one another is important in working towards the greater good and allowing all of us to be our best selves.

Continue reading “The Third Principle (UU Series #4)”

Life and Health

The First Principle (UU Series #2)

I wrote last week introducing this series on the seven principles of Unitarian Universalism (UU).  For the next seven weeks I’m going to be highlighting one of the principles and talking about how it impacts my life, parenting, and work.

The first principle is “the inherent worth and dignity of every person.”

While I have always “believed” in this idea; being a member of the UU congregation has forced me to confront what this actually means and what am I doing to PRACTICE this.

This is the crux of all the UU principles: what are you doing to practice them?  It is not enough just to believe them; you must act on them in some way. This seems to stem from the humanist teachings; there is nothing that states you can’t believe in an afterlife but you also must work for the good of this life.

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Life and Health

The UU in Me

I’ve decided to try something a little bit different and write a series of posts; this is the first one outlining the series.  

There is a lot of Christian influence in the blogosphere which isn’t a bad thing but it isn’t part of my home or my parenting in the strictest sense of the word. I’m not anti-Christian: one of my good friends (and blog inspirations) Earl Grey and Yellow is a Christian blogger, I was raised Catholic, went to Quaker (AKA Friends) grade school and Catholic high school; there are many things I admire about the Christian faith but I do not identify as a Christian.   

Continue reading “The UU in Me”