you're reading...
Family life, Interpersonal relationships, Parenting

Stupid Questions, Teaching Moment

Question mark in Esbjerg

(Photo credit: alexanderdrachmann)

I could tell the tears were ready to flow.

The other day I was relaxing in the living room when Daughter #2 pushed open the door and made a beeline for the sofa. She’d been outside with her sisters playing in the yard. I knew immediately by the look on her face that something had happened.

Apparently, #2 was asking too many questions of #1 which annoyed #1 and when #2 asked why #1 was annoyed #1 said it was because #2 was asking “stupid questions.”

Got it?

Yeah, it took me another go around too.

There are things we don’t tolerate in our family and belittling is one of them. Daughter #1 was called in and seated in front of me. Rather than sternly scolding her for the insensitivity she showed her sister I decided to use the incident as a teaching opportunity and gave her four reasons why you never tell someone her questions are stupid.

1. People ask questions because they are seeking information they don’t already know. While you may know the answer and it may seem like a no-brainer to you, to the questioner it’s not so obvious.

2. To the questioner, the information is important enough to ask for it. You may think it’s not but it’s not really about what you think, it’s about what the inquirer wants (or needs).

3. To say a question is stupid is to dismiss the questioner as a person and disregard her feelings. This, plainly put, is rude.

4. Declaring questions as stupid won’t fly in the real world. Tell someone one time that her question is stupid and she’ll never ask you another question again. And that’s not a good thing.

Now, like any self-respecting teenager will do, she attempted to defend herself by saying she doesn’t act like that outside our family. I informed her that how she acts within our family reveals her real character and sooner or later it will show outside the family and others won’t be as patient as I’ve been. ‘Nuff said.

What I learned from all this: rather than letting emotions rule and defaulting to scolding and/or hollering when a child messes up, the situation can be used as a teaching moment to instruct children in how to properly behave, how to respect others, and how to live godly lives.

When was the last time you used a negative situation as a teaching moment?


About michaelkingbooks

I write stories of faith and family, love and loss, heartache and triumph. Here I blog about faith, relationships, and genuine living.


6 thoughts on “Stupid Questions, Teaching Moment

  1. Great article Mike, and very funny too. I’m sure while all of this was going on, #3 was bouncing around with her perpetual life-is-great, nothing-ever-bothers-me smile!!!

    Posted by thepottersclayhsa | April 11, 2012, 11:04 am
  2. One more thing to add is that there’s complement being given by the one asking the question. An admittance that “I don’t know, but I’m coming to you because I think you do.

    Posted by mimitts | April 11, 2012, 7:09 pm
  3. Great article. I have found that sometimes my kids ask mundane questions but it is a way for them to clarify what they already know much like affirmation. Hooray, I knew the answer (thinks my 5 yr old). And when they feel comfortable enough to come ask you anything, they are watching your response…can I trust you will talk with me later…perhaps about the more important issues I have yet to discover. I remind my teenager of this when the younger ones want to speak with her. She would want the same respect from me. Communication is so important…especially in a family where they can find trust as well. 😀

    Posted by Heidi | April 11, 2012, 7:59 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow Me on Pinterest

Twitter Updates

What readers are saying about A THOUSAND SLEEPLESS NIGHTS . . .

I have not been so deeply and utterly moved by a book in a very long time. A Thousand Sleepless Nights is a powerful and gripping novel that moved me greatly.
--Susan S.

A Thousand Sleeples Nights left me speechless as my heart and mind reconciled dealing with the trauma of cancer and a lifetime of regrets and finding God in the midst of it all. Sometimes a diagnosis of cancer can be God’s redemption.
--Jill J.

An emotionally steeped blessing of a story. One that pulled at my heart with one hand while holding a convicting mirror in the other.
--John U.

Great job. I hope and pray this book does for others what it did for me.
--Terri C.

I read A Thousand Sleepless Nights twice because it was that good. A very emotional story of a dysfunctional family, cancer, redemption and healing.
--Pat R.

I can really see how [this book] will be a blessing to many who have to face the devestation of cancer and loss.
--Tina H.

A Thousand Sleepless Nights will tug at your deepest emotions as it unfolds the evil of cancer and the power of relationships. The characters are endearing, real and relatable, as is the true battles they fight: illness, apathy, love, commitment and balancing life. King's novel strikes a vein, and sends hope to the heart of the matter--a fine read for anyone in need of healing.
--Donnalynn D.

This is a stirring novel that paints a great picture of cancer and its effects on not only those who have it, but their families and friends.
--Mark B.

A Thousand Sleepless Nights moved me so deeply I could not leave it alone until I’d read it completely. This bittersweet tale of illness--both physical and emotional--and the way lives are ultimately changed by its effects makes it a story for everyone, especially for those struggling to find forgiveness and healing.
--Claudette W.

A Thousand Sleepless Nights is a novel that touches you on a deep emotional level. It is a beautiful story about surviving, suffering, and what the true meaning of love is and how cancer, while devastating, can pull together a family torn apart by a past of neglect. A beautiful masterpiece!
--Joshua R.


April 2012
« Mar   May »
%d bloggers like this: