Inspire junior to be the best that he can be ― always ― with these nifty conversation starters.

You’ve probably come across this motivational phrase, “Your attitude determines your altitude” before. So, if junior thinks he is never going to be somebody someday, he’s already lost half the battle.

This is where your conversations with your child will instil in him the mindset to do and be better. So be sure to ask the right questions that’ll prompt him to think positively. Try these:

1. What do you love doing that makes you feel the happiest? Junior has the choice to do something that makes him feel good over something that makes him feel awful. This question encourages him to focus on and do the things that bring him joy.

2. What four words best describes yourself? This will get your child to think about their self-image ― the way he “sees” himself. It also builds confidence. If he thinks negatively about himself, you’ll have the chance to help your child change it.

3. Name one kind act or good deed you’ve done for someone today/this week? FamChamps youth community movement deputy team lead Chong Ee Jay explains that this gives you the opportunity to recognise your child’s kind acts and motivate him to find other ways to behave likewise. It’ll also shape their attitude ― to stand up for the needs of others in need.

4. What is one problem you are grateful not to have? This is to inspire your kiddo to count his blessings, to be aware that for every obstacle he is facing, someone else is in an even more difficult place than him.

5. What is a really exciting thing you’ll like to do? Sarah Chua Focus on the Family’s parenting specialist stresses that this question encourages your child to be more adventurous. You should egg junior on to try new and exciting things, so that he can grow.

Asking him how you can help shows that you are willing to work with him and not force him to do as you say.

6. Share with me a tough experience that you have gone through and tell me what it’s taught you? It’s usually live’s toughest experiences that help us grow stronger, learn more about ourselves and become more resilient as a person. When your tween knows what mistakes he has made should stop him from repeating them.

7. What are your goals? How can I help you achieve them? Setting one’s sights on achieving a certain goal is going to keep your tween motivated to do his best. Asking him how you can help shows that you are willing to work with him and not force him to do as you say. Chong adds this question will encourage your kiddo to dream big while building a strong parent-child bond.



8. What are you most grateful for? Often, it’s the smaller things in life that bring us the most joy. Counting one’s blessings also makes sure that your tween does not take the things he has for granted.

9. Out of everything you learn in school and out, what will be the most helpful when you are an adult? “Purposeful learning” prompts your child to carefully choose the skills he plans to sharpen. He’ll also appreciate the value of skills and knowledge.

10. What is the one strength your friends say you have? Chua explains that this can build your child’s confidence as he is reminded of his strengths, as seen through other people’s eyes. You’re also less likely to put yourself in harm’s way if your life is valued by other people.

Counting one’s blessings also makes sure that your tween does not take the things he has for granted.

11. What gets you excited about tomorrow? When he has something to look forward to daily ― playing with his pals during recess or tucking into something delicious ― will lessen his dread of attending school.

12. What three excuses do you need to stop making? We are often are our own worst enemies. So, help your child recognise that he needs to stop derailing his own efforts in order to become a better version of himself.

13. Do you have a friend who makes you feel lousy about yourself? The people he surrounds himself with can have a huge impact on his life. For instance, if your child has toxic or mean friends, no amount of parent-child conversation is going to help him break through.

14. What is the worst that could happen if you decide on this course of action? Sometimes, we fret over negative outcomes that may not even materialise. So, this question will put things in perspective if your offspring has difficulty making a potentially life-changing decision. More importantly, we grow by taking risks — especially calculated ones.

Photos: iStock

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