“My greatest strength as a consultant is to be ignorant and ask a few questions. I can only ask questions. The answers have to be yours.”
– Peter Drucker, world renowned business consultant guru
That feeling of “I want to help, but I don’t know how…”
Your teenager comes in with his most recent Algebra homework and all of the sudden your pulse quickens and your throat goes dry. “How am I supposed to help him if I don’t even remember how to do even the parts I understood, let alone all of the things that I didn’t?”
Has this ever happened to you?
Don’t worry! THERE IS AN ANSWER!!! There is a way to help your kids figure out the problem even when you don’t know the answer or how to solve it. And who knows, you might learn a thing or two in the process!
The Key = Asking The Right Questions And ONLY Asking Questions!
The key is to ask questions! Really, it’s that simple. Now this is going to sound a bit out there, but it works: When helping your student, the only words that should come out should be in questions, not leading questions, rather thought provoking questions. If you know the topic really well, play dumb! Be “ignorant” and have your student teach you!
IF YOUR JOB IS TO TRAIN YOUR STUDENT TO BE INDEPENDENT, THEN THEY NEED TO LEARN TO ASK GOOD QUESTIONS ON THEIR OWN. AS THEIR MENTOR, MUST MODEL THIS TYPE OF QUESTIONING. IF YOU MODEL IT CONSISTENTLY AND CONSTANTLY, THEY’LL PICK IT UP AND ASK THE SAME QUESTIONS ON THEIR OWN.
I Don’t Know What Questions To Ask…
“Well,” you might ask “what if I don’t know what questions to ask?” Great question! (You’re on the right track already)
I have included a list of questions that will help you mentor them through any problem, even ones that involve topics you are uncomfortable with. Make sure to listen and learn. If something doesn’t make sense to you, have them clarify it, have them explain more, or have them show you in a visual way. Here are some great questions to ask:
Do’s And Dont’s For The Week:
- Ask lots of questions. Model curiosity.
- Learn alongside your kids. Model humility and lifelong learning.
- Give up and give them the answer or even the next step. They will figure it out in time.
- Doubt your ability to think and reason. You are smart, it just may take some practice. Practice with your kids. They are natural thinkers. They can remind you how.