Giving your child or teenager the opportunity to talk about what they think has happened to them, how they feel and what they want – these groups cope better than children or teenagers who don’t have the same opportunities. Asking kids and teens questions, gives them mini expression practice opportunities – this is absolutely invaluable for the development of their emotional wellbeing.
Of course, asking good questions is easier said than done, below are some samples of what you might like to ask:-
What do you wish was different?
What’s the hardest part about that?
Are you thinking about anything bad that might happen?
What was the sad bit there for you?
What are you thinking might go wrong here?
What else has happened that makes this worse?
Do you know why you feel upset about this, or do you just feel upset?
What is the worst thing about that?
What else is hard about that situation?
Do you feel more sad (hurt/angry/worried use other appropriate terms) about that or some other feeling?
Are you worried about what people are thinking about this?
On a scale from 1-10, how worried/upset/mad/scared/hurt are you about this? Okay, so how about compared to this other thing?
What is worse – this OR this?
What makes it better this OR this?
If I was you, I might feel worried about this – how about you?
I can imagine other people feeling pretty hurt about that – how does it feel?
Are you feeling more angry/hurt/
How does that affect you?
When you aren’t busy or when you are lying in bed at night – what are the things that make you most upset?
Is there anything about this you feel embarrassed or ashamed about?
What are the some of the things you’re worried people might be thinking about you?
How often are you feeling upset about it?
What do you wish you could change about yourself in all of this?
What makes you feel a bit better about all of this?
What’s the most frustrating part of it all?
What do you think people don’t understand about this?
What would make this a little better?
What is coming up in your week that will be hard because of this?
When was the last time you cried about this?
What else is going on for you that doesn’t help?
What are the worst times for you?
If I did THIS to help – would you see that as good or not?
Why do you think that made you so mad/upset/worried?
Can I talk to someone about this for you?
Is there someone else you would like to talk to about this?
Has anything else helped in the past?
What helps you cope?
This might seem like a dumb question, but do you know why you are most upset about that?
What do you most wish was different?
What times of day are the hardest for you?
When do you most think about this?
Is there any time when you feel better about this?
What can I do to help?
How does this affect you?
What things trigger that off for you?
What do you wish was different about other people in this situation?
If you could change anything about that, what would you change?
Is there anything you feel like you need to keep a secret/hidden from others?
What are the three things you keep thinking about this?
What are your options?
What would be one step forward here?
Is there anything you can do to change that?
If you had unlimited powers to change things, what would you do?