Innocent Questions Are Rarely Innocent

Have you ever asked an ‘innocent question’ and all hell broke loose? That’s because innocent questions are rarely innocent. You think you’re going in with curiosity and good intentions, but there’s often an ulterior motive you may not be aware of. If you’ve been on the receiving end of a supposedly innocent question and felt attacked, imagine how your kids feel in that situation.

Canva - Mother and Daughter at Home.jpg

I have learned that just because it feels like an innocent question or comment to me doesn’t mean the person in front of me hears it that way. And very often they’re right! It’s my own fears at work, or my need to be right. To understand it, all I have to do is remember how triggered I was by someone else’s innocent comment.
 
Even though it’s unintentional, these comments and questions can feel critical. Even though you just want the best for your child, partner, friend or parent, when you nag, endlessly check-in, and ask ‘innocent questions’, it’s really you pushing your agenda, and expressing worry. This is when they respond with
 
      “You’re overreacting.”
      “Enough. Stop nagging.”
      “I thought I had this under control. Is this something I need to worry about?”
      “This is why I 
don’t tell you anything.”
 

Innocent questions show a lack of confidence in your child

 
Asking innocent questions also shows a lack of faith and confidence in the other person. It’s as if you’re saying, “You can’t handle this alone, so I have to stay on top of it for you.” Is that the message you really want to send? It’s no wonder you get annoyance and resistance in return. And then you respond, “I was only asking an innocent question.” There’s the proof it was not well-received.


Anxiety is contagious, bouncing back and forth between you and your child. What if she's not living up to your dreams and expectations? What if she's not growing into her potential?  How do you ramp down your anxiety and hers? How can you keep your relationship intact?  Join  Fern Weis , Parent Coach, and  Jessica Bush  of Tutor Doctor for discussion and practical solutions, in a safe and nurturing sharing space.  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THIS FREE WORKSHOP.

Anxiety is contagious, bouncing back and forth between you and your child. What if she's not living up to your dreams and expectations? What if she's not growing into her potential?

How do you ramp down your anxiety and hers? How can you keep your relationship intact?

Join Fern Weis, Parent Coach, and Jessica Bush of Tutor Doctor for discussion and practical solutions, in a safe and nurturing sharing space. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THIS FREE WORKSHOP.


Another way to look at it is that you’re fishing for information. “Did you finish that report?” A simple yes or no answer, right? Not necessarily. This may translate to, “What I’m really saying is that I haven’t seen you working on it. I’m trying to figure out how much is done, or not done, so I can nag/lecture/remind you that you’d better get a move on, and then I can stop worrying about your grades (and your future).” This may sound like an exaggeration, but I’ll bet a lot of you can relate.
 
It may very well be that your child does need some reminders, but that’s not the way to do it. Here are some suggestions:
 
     Statement of fact: I noticed you’re avoiding that report.

     Helpful questions:    What would help you now?
                                         Who could you ask for help?
                                         What’s the toughest part about getting started?
                                         What’s worked for you in the past?

 
Your goal is to help her develop self-awareness and problem-solving skills. Better questions can contribute toward this goal, instead of feeding the problem.


Fern Weis is a Parent Coach and Family Recovery Coach, supporting parents going through challenging times with their teen and young adult children. She helps parents build a relationship based on trust, have healthy boundaries, and improve communication so they can confidently prepare their children to reach their potential and thrive through life’s challenges.      www.fernweis.com

Fern Weis is a Parent Coach and Family Recovery Coach, supporting parents going through challenging times with their teen and young adult children. She helps parents build a relationship based on trust, have healthy boundaries, and improve communication so they can confidently prepare their children to reach their potential and thrive through life’s challenges. www.fernweis.com


Yin and Yang Mom (formerly My Time-Out) is listed on Feedspot.com's

2019 Top 30 Emotional Intelligence Blogs on the Planet!!!