10 Questions Every Parent Must Ask Their Kids

I had an amazing opportunity over the past couple of weeks to speak at 2 different youth camps.  It was an honor to speak into the lives, encourage and love on these kiddos!  We saw hundreds of students give their lives to Christ, confess hidden secrets, be honest about pain and reconcile with their parents.  God truly moved heaven and hell and worked in these kids lives in a powerful, life saving way!

I was excited, encouraged and absolutely blown away by what God did, but at the exact same time I was broken, saddened and angry!

I was broken because of all the kids that were cutters.  I was broken because  of all the kids that struggled with porn.  I was broken because of all the kids that drank, used and were addicted.

I was sad because of all the kids that had been molested.  I was sad because of all the kids that said they felt worthless.  I was sad because of all the kids that hate how they look.

I was angry because of all the kids that lived in divorced homes.  I was angry because of all the kids parents that were in the middle of a divorce.  I was angry because of all the broken parent – kid relationships.  I was angry because many of the kids don’t trust their parents.  I was angry because most of the parents didn’t have a regular date night set aside for their kiddos!  I was angry because most of the parents had no idea their kids were cutting, using, looking at porn and felt worthless.

FYI…

most of these kids were not extreme kids or extreme cases.  just everyday, ordinary, good kids that grew up in church.

If I had to really nail down why i was so upset over all the pain is because of the breakdown of families, that many kids don’t trust their parents and don’t feel like they can tell their parents what is really going on in their lives.

Parents!!!  We MUST get neck deep, dirty, in the trenches and talk to our kids about real stuff and find out what is going on in their lives…

So here is where we will start.

10 QUESTIONS THAT EVERY PARENT MUST ASK THEIR KIDS

  1. Do you trust me?  (why or why not)
  2. Where have I failed you as a parent?
  3. What 3 things can I change so that I can be a better parent and build (or re-build) trust?
  4. Do you feel like you have to lie to me?  If so, why?
  5. Do you struggle with an addiction?  (porn, alcohol, lying, drugs…you get the idea)
  6. Have you ever cut?  (so many of the youth pastors at camp were blown away by the number of “good kids” that cut)
  7. Have you ever been molested?  (so many of the kids had been touched inappropriately by friends, dates and relatives but they never say anything because they think it is their fault)
  8. Do you think your beautiful/handsome or ugly?  (Read Psalm 139 with them)
  9. How do you feel about mom and dads relationship?
  10. Do you feel like you can tell me the truth about what is going on in your life?  (if not, why)

Parents, this is not a time to get mad, frustrated, blame or punish.  We have to open the lines of communication with our kiddos, so this is where you simply listen, love, encourage, ask forgiveness and how you can help!!

If you are the parent of younger kiddos, tweak the questions so they will be age appropriate and start building trust and communication at a very young age.

Would love to hear your comments.  Do you step into or back away from having hard conversations with your kiddos?

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Looking for creative ways  to talk to your kids about tough stuff, you might check THIS post out!

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ChrisSprad
Author: ChrisSprad View all posts by
Chris Spradlin (AKA Sprad) is passionate about Jesus, he doesn’t drink coffee, is bald, has a chinhawk, lives in Edmond, OK., loves to fly fish and snowboard. He has been married to his smoking hot wife Jodie for 18 years and they have 3 kiddos also known as Team Sprad. Chris if the founder of EpicParent.tv and has been in ministry for 20 years. He has served as a Pastor and Team Teacher with Craig Groeschel at LifeChurch.tv and currently serves on the Executive Team and a Team Teacher at the multisite NewHopeChurch.tv. You can find Chris on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

14 Comments on "10 Questions Every Parent Must Ask Their Kids"

  1. Lori June 27, 2011 at 9:01 am - Reply

    Whoa, good stuff. Sad that there is so much pain and that still, today, with all the resources we have, our kids still feel like we are too difficult to communicate with!! Why is that I wonder??? I couldn’t really talk to my parents (I’m 40+) there were rules, there were expectations and I was so afraid to disappoint. So I just didn’t let them know that I did disappoint them. Gotta break that cycle. Thanks for the reminders, and the great questions. My daughter is nine, but it’s not too early to ask some of those questions, and set a base for OPEN communication!!!

    • ChrisSprad
      ChrisSprad June 27, 2011 at 5:15 pm - Reply

      good stuff Lori! start now for sure.

  2. Rocco June 27, 2011 at 9:22 am - Reply

    Great Questions!

    • ChrisSprad
      ChrisSprad June 27, 2011 at 5:15 pm - Reply

      thanks rocco! hope your doing well my friend!!

  3. Nicolette June 27, 2011 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    I enjoyed this article a lot. As a mother of three I am constantly trying to figure out ways to parent better. In raising them I try to focus on shepherding their heart and their motives, rather than focusing on behavior. But it is a struggle for me daily. I am constantly praying, asking for forgiveness! Thank you for the tips! I pray God’s blessings on all of the parents and all of HIS children today!

    • ChrisSprad
      ChrisSprad June 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm - Reply

      thanks for checking in today Nicolette! we need more parents like you!

  4. Catie June 27, 2011 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    Wow, I would have been broken too. This makes me miss my youth kids even more–and I want to go love on them right now! Anyways, great post and great job pouring into those kid’s lives!

  5. ChrisSprad
    ChrisSprad June 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    Catie…so glad your serving at switch and investing in others!

  6. Joe June 27, 2011 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    Great post, but man how great would it have been to speak into the parent’s lives, not just the kids. It’s so sad and disappointing that so many parents have taken the “friend” road instead of the “parent” road in child rearing. On top of that, they’ve taken God out of the parenting part. This is the toughest and greatest job on the planet…why would anyone try it without God?

  7. Rebecca June 28, 2011 at 6:20 am - Reply

    Great stuff! I find myself brokenhearted for those same kids as well. It saddens me that there are so many kids who struggle and their parents don’t know that their kids are struggling.
    I am a single parent of a 14 yr old daughter. We have been through A LOT together. She has struggled with porn(started at age 11), depression (age 12/13), and cutting (age 12/13). I had no idea she was struggling with cutting until someone else saw the marks on her arms. She said she had quit and I believed her, only to find fresh cuts about 3 months later (she’s currently in counseling). We’ve gotten better about talking things out and I no longer let her get away with the answer “nothing” when I ask her what’s bothering her. Normally, she says things like “you won’t care”, “you’ll tell me too bad”, “you’ll get mad”, etc…. I make sure that if I tell her that I won’t get mad, that no matter what I don’t get mad. She has to know that she can trust me and that we can ultimately talk about ANYTHING not matter what it is and that my love is absolutely 100% unconditional.
    1 Cor 13:8 “Love NEVER Fails”.

    Thanks for the great questions. As hard as it will be, I will definitely sit down with my daughter and start this fresh dialogue.

  8. Naomi June 28, 2011 at 7:24 am - Reply

    I think these are good questions and topics for discussion with your chidlren. Some can be used for smaller children and also for teens. I wonder how many parents out there have had chats about these areas?

  9. Deetra October 24, 2011 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    Ok so we are there so far. We talk she tells me. But then I get mad. Or I start restricting her. How do you deal with what they tell you. Like she says she doesn’t agree sex outside of marriage is not ok. If she is in a relationship she is going to she tells me. She is only 15. We don’t let her date yet and now we don’t let her even go out with groups if a boy she likes is there. Or she says she wants to try pot because she wants to know what it feels like. Then I see on her facebook that she is making plans to try it. Telling her that this is not Gods plan is not enough. And telling her she is not under Gods protection if she doesn’t follow his plan isn’t helping either. Yesterday she announced questioning her salvation because of her temptations. Now there is a wedge and she thinks I hate her.

  10. Sam October 25, 2011 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    Love it.

  11. Courtney Harless February 8, 2012 at 8:11 am - Reply

    Might I add these aren’t the kind of questions you just ask once a year when you need to “have a talk”. These are the kinds of things you talk about at night when you are hanging out in their room or driving in the car. That is how you keep it casual, comfortable, and an ongoing dialog. Thanks Chris for the timely reminder!
    Courtney

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