When I was in my mid-twenties, I was mentoring a number of teenagers. One day I sat down and had a talk with a couple of them about how they treat each other. I was hoping they would be convicted about the error of their ways, but the opposite happened. Apparently, they didn’t like what I had to say and broke off their relationship with me. Instead of conviction, they felt judged and that made them shut down. That’s when I went to see one of my mentors to ask him about it. What I wanted him to do was just tell me that they were being ridiculous and not to worry about it. Instead, he started to ask me questions about how I handled it, such as, How would you have felt if you were in their position? How could you have handled it differently?
The best mentors are the ones who ask the best questions. With each question he asked, I gave answers that convicted myself. In the end, he simply said the best way to mentor someone is to lead them with questions and let their own answers guide them. The best mentors are the ones who ask the best questions. This exercise is especially helpful in raising our kids. Show these 10 questions about you and their mom. After you go over them, they should be questions kids ask themselves consistently. See how they answer. Let them teach themselves.
1. What is causing you the most stress with your parents? Are there things your parents just don’t seem to understand about you? Have you talked with them about it?
2. Do you have a regular time that you and your parents talk about your life and relationship?
3. Are you showing honor to your parents? What can you do this week to show them honor?
4. Why should you not expect or want your parents to treat you as an equal or friend? Why should you not want them to give you everything you want?
5. Are you doing anything on a regular basis in your family to demonstrate responsibility and maturity? If not, what could you do this week?
6. Have you violated your parents’ trust? What can you tell them about that would show them that you won’t keep things hidden?
7. What can you do that would meet a real need or desire of one or both your parents?
8. How are you treating your siblings? What are you doing to protect them? Do you pray regularly for them?
9. If you are living in a divorced, single-parent, or blended family, are you talking to anyone about the unique struggles that you are facing? If not, who could you be talking to?
10. Are you getting to spend enough quality time with your parents, especially your dad? If not, what can you ask him to do with you?
Remember, let them know these should be questions kids ask themselves consistently. It will help them grow and develop good relationships in the family.