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Well-Resourced: Questions Are Invitations
and they can help us forming deeper connections.
In this note:
thinking of a child to whom you are connected
some questions to invite a deeper connection
I’ve been thinking a lot about how, in many ways, children are more challenging to connect with than adults - specifically when you don’t live with children and / or your job isn’t oriented around children on a regular basis.
Now, this is, of course, due to how many neighborhoods, cities, and society are set up. Maybe this isn’t the case for the neighborhood, city, or society of which you find yourself a member. Or maybe you’re in a time in your life when you are searching for more connection with adults to offset your constant connection with children.
Wherever you find yourself in your life right now, this little experiment might invite a different way of connecting with the children to whom you are connected.
The experimental invitation is simple:
Reach out to a child to whom you are connected and check in with them!
Checking in with our friends or family who are adults, that seems to be a normal thing to do.
But what about the kids? How could we check in and support our connections with them?
Though, the thing with children… asking them the questions we normally ask our friends or family who are adults… haha it doesn’t often work that well.
Namely this question: “How are you today?”
Eh. It’s not the best question to ask a child, right? (And I have many a conversation with friends who are adults, too, who really don’t jive with this polite question either)
So, what else could we ask?
What questions could we ask that actually support our desired reason for reaching out in the first place — to deepen our connection?
Here are some ideas:
Have you taken a walk recently? What did you smell / see / touch on your walk?
Would you like to show me / tell me about something you’ve made recently?
Would you like to tell me about an outfit you’ve worn recently?
Have you recently eaten something that you had never eaten before?
Is there someone in your life you have become friends with recently? Would you like to tell me about them?
Do you have any wild ideas you’d like to share with me?
Have you recently felt a feeling / emotion that surprised you?
Depending on the age and development of the child, you may have used a word they don’t know yet.
Instead of offering an example of how I would answer the question to help them in understanding, I do my best to give them a moment (I try to wait 5 - 7 seconds) to mull over the question itself.
Oftentimes, when I give a child that time, they answer the question in a completely surprising way. Sometimes that’s because they’ve interpreted the question very differently than I intended it but other times, maybe really, they’re answering my question with what they really want to share with me….
…which brings us back to this original reason for asking the question — to deepen our connection. A question, especially the initial one, can serve as a jumping off point rather than the start of an interview.
I’d love to hear what questions you ask or would like to ask the children in your life! Leave a comment or reply to this emailed post.
Til next week,
P.S. An invitation for some of you… If you identify as a woman, are in the midst of change, and you yourself are wishing for connection with other (adult :-) ) women… I’d love to invite you to join a gathering I’m co-hosting in a few weeks on Saturday June 5 at 12pm PDT.
It’s a hybrid event, meaning it’ll be virtual (attend from anywhere in the world!) and in-person (for those who find themselves in Boise, Idaho, USA).
We’re offering sliding scale pricing (and more of a range than you’ll see on the front page of the Eventbrite link).