Reflection is a powerful teaching and learning strategy that parents and teachers often overlook. The key to reflection is the skill of asking youngsters self-evaluative questions. Here are a few examples:
- Are you angry at me or at the situation?
- Does what you are doing help you get your work done?
- What would an extraordinary person do in this situation?
- Are you willing to try something different if it would help you?
Unfortunately, most parents and teachers ask ineffective questions such as, “Why are you doing that?” This is a pothole question. First, most people cannot articulate their motivation and second, the youngster may answer, “Because I have ADD.” Better never to ask a child a “Why?” question regarding behavior!
Asking reflective questions is a skill that anyone can master. Once started on the journey of asking reflective questions—rather than telling children how to behave—you will be amazed at how effective and simple the strategy is.