connect with kids

5 Questions to Connect to the Heart of Your Children

Out-of-control schedules, work demands, family responsibilities, and financial stress, it’s not only becoming increasingly harder to spend quality time with our children but also to find the time to connect to their heart.

And the most challenging time to connect with kids is during the transition period between the tween and teenage years when they are trying to gain their independence. So allow me to share with you five ways to effectively connect to your children’s heart when time is limited.

All you have to do is learn to ask your children five questions, in the context of your family, their friends, school, or possibly work:

  1. What are you a little AFRAID of when it comes to ______________?
  2. What do you wish you could CHANGE about _______________?
  3. What do you have a hard time UNDERSTANDING when it comes to _______________?
  4. What are you most THANKFUL for in your life right now?
  5. What are you most EXCITED about when it comes to ________________?

If you look carefully, the first letter of each word spells “A-C-U-T-E.” Webster Dictionary defines the word “acute” as being sharp, intense, penetrating, and discerning. How appropriate is that definition when it comes to connecting to and learning the heart of your children.

  • Question #1 (AFRAID): It reveals the doubts and fears of your children.
  • Question #2 (CHANGE): It reveals your child’s frustrations and discontentment, whether at school or in the home.
  • Question #3 (UNDERSTANDING): It reveals their personal concerns and curiosity about things and issues in their life.
  • Question #4 (THANKFUL): It reveals the emotional state of your child, whether they’re happy or sad about their life.
  • Question #5 (EXCITED): It reveals their personal desires and what they’re passionate about.

Be prepared for the answers they might give you to these questions. Some of their responses may even surprise you. But as fathers, it’s not our jobs to solve or provide answers to all of their problems and challenges. 

Our job is to connect to their heart, so we can better relate to them in such a way that we can eventually teach them how to solve their own problems.

Sound Off

What questions do you usually ask your children when you interact with them?

Dr. Joe Martin

Dr. Joe Martin is a certified Man Builder, creator and founder of, and an award-winning educator. He’s also a husband and father of a blended family of two.

Subscribe to the Play of the Day for daily advice, videos and updates on how to be better dad.

Huddle up with your kids and ask them one of these five questions.


the faith playbook