Responding to children’s difficult questions
November 2, 2020
Dr. Jeanine Driscoll, of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina's Pastoral Response Team, offers this simple strategy for responding to children's difficult questions in challenging times. It can be adapted for any age.
- Ask your [child] to tell you what [they] know about the given matter or issue. (So, tell me what you know about _____________.)
- Listen for both accuracy and affect. Provide accurate, fact-based information.
- Ask your [child] about [their] feelings about this issue and information. (How do you feel about ________________?)
- Summarize what you hear and check in that you are accurately understanding [them]. This is essential. (You're telling me that ____________ and it sounds like you are feeling _________________ about this.)
- Then, ask what concerns [they] have about the issue. (It sounds like you're very concerned about ______________ and are needing ____________.)
Then talk with [them] about ways to deal with the concerns. This could involve various resources from you, to peers at school or church, to teachers, coaches, etc.
A great question for any age is, "What is it that you most want me to understand?" Remember, the most basic form of love is paying attention.
(Formerly posted on the webpage of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. Link no longer available.)
Tags: Children & Families