5 Emotionally Supportive Questions to Ask Your Child Daily
5 daily questions to support your child’s emotional well-being.
Children start to understand emotions and self-awareness at a young age, and those concepts are an integral part of growing up and learning how to self-regulate. Parents have a great responsibility to positively influence their children’s mental and emotional capabilities. Supporting your child’s emotional development and mental health may seem daunting at first, but you can start small and take it one day at a time. Here are five questions that you or your co-parent can ask your child daily to start conversations, check your child’s emotions, and provide support.
1. What emotions are you feeling?
This question serves as a great baseline for a conversation with your child about their emotions. They can answer it with whatever detail or emphasis they want to use, and the question can be helpful for kids of all ages with an understanding of emotions. Younger kids can talk about whether they’re happy or sad, and older kids can go discuss more complex feelings of pride or stress. Depending on your child’s answer, you can provide validation, listen to additional details, and be in the moment with them. Providing validation for your child’s emotions can be just as supportive as asking your child how they feel.
2. What can I do to help you?
Most parents wish they could read their children’s minds, but no one is a mind reader. The best way to figure out what your child wants or needs is by asking them what you can help them with. Getting into the daily practice of asking will help your child learn to ask for help and understand that you are there to support them. It’s a great way to show your support while giving your child the independence to choose how they want your help. Their response could involve getting help with homework, spending some one-on-one quality time together, or finding solutions for difficult situations.
3. What are you grateful for?
Like many concepts, gratitude is important and learned over time. Incorporating this question daily will help your children learn to appreciate things big and small. Whether they’re grateful for minor things like ice cream or major things like your love for them, your children can share their gratitude and strengthen their understanding of what it means to be grateful. If they struggle with understanding and expressing gratitude, a great way to teach your child is to model it throughout each day and foster an appreciation for the people and things in their life. You can talk about how grateful you are for your child’s sense of humor, personality, or other traits.
4. What do you like about yourself?
In a society influenced by beauty standards and expectations, positive self-talk is a great tool for children to develop self-confidence and emotional resilience. By encouraging your child to identify their own strengths, traits, and abilities in a positive light, you’re empowering them to think positively and cope with challenges and self-doubt. Having these conversations regularly will help your child develop a more positive way of thinking.
5. What made you happy today?
This question is another opportunity for your child to give an open-ended answer and reflect on their emotions that day. As important as it is to ask this question, the most important part is your attention and response as a parent. Showing that you care about their day and their happiness will strengthen your relationship with your child. If your child answers with something happy, then you can share that happiness. On the other hand, if your child feels unhappy or struggles to answer the question, you can provide emotional support and love.
At the end of the day, any positive efforts will support your child’s emotional well-being and mental health. By making an effort every day to be there for your child and recognize their emotions, your child will develop the tools needed to be comfortable with their emotions.
Parents with shared custody should write down any notable conversations or interactions with their children regarding these questions. This will make it easier to share important discussions and observations with your co-parent later on. TalkingParents offers the Personal Journal feature, allowing you to take private, documented notes. You can choose to keep notes private, using them only as a reference, or share them as needed.