How to Be a Better Parent by Asking Yourself This BIG Question

Although many of us fondly remember our own parents being more hands-off, the culture has shifted dramatically. Our friends at YourTango have the one question you should ask yourself daily to help you strike the ideal balance.

Just one.

The quality of your life is determined by the quality of the questions you ask. And the quality of your parenting follows the same rules. Every time you ask a question, your mind goes seeking for the answers and in so doing, shapes your reality.

Now, as parents, we are often plagued by questions that arise from our own sense of self-doubt and our fears for our children. We tend to ask things like:

  • “Am I doing the right thing?”
  • “Why can’t I get through to them?”
  • “Where am I going wrong?”
  • “Are they safe?”

We worry about the details of our children’s lives, but we seldom stop to focus on the bigger picture.

Our concerns tend to be around how they’re behaving now, what marks they’re getting in school, if they are healthy, if they have enough lunch, if they’ve tidied their rooms, if they’re learning their manners, and if they are becoming socially acceptable enough.

As modern parents, we tend to be very involved in our children’s lives. It wasn’t always like this.

Hunter-gatherer societies leave children from the age of four pretty much unattended by adults. Up until their teen years, children are left to do what they like all day long with nobody fussing over them, worrying about them, or interfering with their fun. Children are allowed to play with dangerous objects — machetes and bows and arrows and fire.

Children are trusted and so become trustworthy; they are treated as capable and so engage in the world with confidence.

Even when I was growing up, from the first grade and onwards, we were walking to school on our own, going to the local pool with our friends in the afternoon, cruising the neighborhood…

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