Posts Tagged asking why

Physical Versus Behavioral Challenges

As I’ve said in numerous blog posts and in my books, knowing “why” a child misbehaved does not change the child’s behavior. Whenever I promote this idea, some people respond saying that they believe knowing the reason for a person’s action is important. One person recently recounted an example in which knowing the “why” assisted in a situation where a child wasn’t doing his homework.

Here is my reply to that:
Many psychologists and therapists believe that knowing the “why” for a behavior is important. However, my quotes are from Dr. William Glasser, an internationally renowned psychiatrist and the author of “Reality Therapy”–updated in his newer, “Choice Theory.” He advocates that knowing the reason for a behavior may be of … >>>


Asking “Why” Questions Does Not Improve Behavior

Many teachers and parents fall into the trap of asking children “why” they did something. “Why did you hit your brother?” “Why did you throw your book on the floor?” “Why are you not listening to the instructions?” They mistakenly think that it is necessary to understand the “why” of a behavioral problem in order to fix it.

By focusing on the “why,” they are treating social-behavioral skills the same way as academic skills. However, academic skills deal with the cognitive domain, whereas behavior has to do with the affective domain—those factors that pertain to feelings and emotions. This is why knowing “why a building collapsed” is important to fixing the problem, but knowing “why you hit your brother” is … >>>


The Best Question to Encourage Learning

Asking, “Why?” is an INeffective question when it relates to behavior. For example, the answer to asking a young person, “Why are you doing that?” will prompt answers such as, “I don’t know” or an excuse, such as, “I have ADD.”

In contrast, asking a student, “Why are you LEARNING that?” and receiving a similar response, “I don’t know,” is a reflection on the teacher, not on the student.

Sharing the “why” for something you would like young people to learn is an extremely effective teaching technique for promoting learning and effort. It becomes “purpose driven,” which, in turn,
• prompts self motivation,
• sustains that motivation,
• diminishes resistance, and
• enhances better decisions.

When you reflect on this … >>>


The One Word Teachers and Parents Should Avoid

Be cautious of “Why?” questions. Asking, “Why?” is one of the most frequently used and ineffective questions. It not only has an accusatory overtone, but it also blocks communications because it prompts negative feelings. Let’s prove the point. Say the following question aloud so you can hear yourself:

“Why are you doing that?”

Notice that when you asked this question, your voice pitch rose higher and your volume increased. Also, notice the effect on your emotions when you asked, this “Why?” question.

Now, say the following aloud so you can hear yourself:

“What do you think we should do now?”

Notice that the emotional aspect was reduced because the aim was toward a resolution rather than on the cause. The … >>>