Reflection fosters growth and responsibility. Therefore, ask evaluative questions—those that lead to reflection.
Here is a series of four such questions that lead to a change in behavior:
- “What do you want?”
- “Is what you are choosing to do helping you get what you want?”
- “If what you are choosing to do is not getting what you want, then what is your plan?”
- “What are your procedures to implement your plan—specifically, what will you do?” “What else?”
What question should you seldom if ever ask? Any question that starts with “why,” as in “Why did you hit your brother?” or “What did you lie about your homework being done?”
“Why” questions allow the person to give an excuse, be a victim, and avoid responsibility. Besides, young people often do not know or find it difficult to articulate why they do what they do.
That’s why prompting reflection is always the better choice.