Do your kids ask as many questions as mine do? It can be exhausting and, quite frankly, irritating dealing with children who are a non-stop barrage of questions about anything and everything.
The other day I was reading to my 2 sons the story of Daniel and the Lion’s Den before bed. This story is about 6-8 pages long in the Bible we were reading from and I was getting an average of about 10 questions per page from my 4-year-old.
As I was beginning to feel my irritation and impatience rise I found myself thinking a bit differently this time. I began to think that perhaps these questions were more important than I had previously thought they were. They were certainly important to him.
So I decided I would answer every question he asked me.
This was not easy. The irritation and impatience did not suddenly go away because I made a decision to answer his questions. It did, however, begin to give me a new perspective on how I think about those questions and my responses to them.
I distilled 4 thoughts from this new perspective.
My kids are constantly seeking affirmation that what they are thinking or doing is the right thing.By answering their questions, we are confirming them and letting them know that questions are good.
As our children begin to understand that mom and dad have time for them and care what they think, they begin to feel more and more comfortable coming to us for advice and guidance.
That is Influence. And that becomes ever so important and powerful as they get older.
At the core of it, the reason I am not answering my child’s questions is because I am selfish. There is something I would rather be doing than sitting there listening to my 4-year-old try to think of fifty different ways to ask the same question!
Chances are, however, that nothing I have planned is more important than that time with my child.
If we are really engaging with our children, there is so much they have to teach us. About humility, about seeking answers to things we don’t understand, and about the joy of learning.
Just last night I tried to implement this perspective and it was not easy! The questions kept coming and maintaining calm became more and more difficult.
However, I was able to push past the selfishness and appreciate the moment with my child.
I trust (and hope) that the more I practice this new perspective the easier it will become.
Because who knows, maybe the 97th question is the one that makes all the difference!