During the Coronavirus pandemic, your child will be at home a lot more. This is a great time to build your relationship with your child, and make the most of your time. During mealtimes, or when you’re with your child, these questions will get you started. Rather than asking lots of questions at one time, use one as the starting point for a two-way conversation.

Begin by asking your child the question, and listen to the answer, remembering to summarise what you think your child is saying, so they know you understand. It’s OK to correct something they have misunderstood, However, if they express an opinion, respect their views. Ask them what has led them to come to their conclusions.

Where you can, hold back on expressing your own opinions. But feel free to share your thoughts if your child asks you for your point of view. You can add your own thoughts at the end if you’d like.

The idea is to listen to your child, and get to know them better. If they say, ‘I don’t know’ you can reply with, ‘take a guess – what do you think?’

Coronavirus

  • What do you know about Coronavirus?
  • How do you think it will impact on you?
  • Who do you most want to protect from getting it?
  • Do you know what symptoms you are likely to experience if you get it?
  • Do you know what symptoms an elderly or vulnerable person might experience?
  • What are the best ways to protect vulnerable people?
  • Why is it important to keep washing our hands?
  • What are the best things about not going to school?
  • How can we make this the best time possible, not being able to go to school?
  • What projects could we do at home that would be good to do together?
  • What activities can you do on your own?
  • What family activities can we do together?
  • How shall we plan our time?
  • What ideas do you have for family games we can all play?
  • How can we stay in touch with grandparents and elderly relatives without being in close contact with them?
    What do you think they need the most from us? How can we do that safely?
  • When you look back on this time, what do you want to remember?
  • How can we all stay positive and upbeat over the next few weeks?
  • When shall we plan ‘time to learn’? What do you want to learn more about?
  • What can you do during quiet time?
  • What books do you think you’d enjoy the most?
  • When this is all over, how do you think we could be stronger as a family?
  • What do you think will be the biggest changes we will see in the world, after the Coronavirus Pandemic is over?

Getting to Know Your Child

  • What are the three most interesting things about you?
  • Name five reasons you’re glad to be alive.
  • If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?
  • If you had a time machine for a day, what would you do with it?
  • What’s your favourite song? Why?
  • What do you want to be when you grow up? Why?
  • What’s your favourite movie? Why?
  • Why do you think some teenagers put rings in their eyebrows and noses and bellybuttons?
  • Do you think you would ever want to do that? Why or why not?
  • If we could go anywhere you wanted on vacation, where would you choose? Why?
  • If you could have a conversation with anyone in history, who would it be?
    What would you want to ask them?
  • What is your earliest memory?
  • What are you most proud of?
  • What are your best features? What do you love most about the way you look?
  • If you had to choose only three words to describe yourself, what would you say?
  • Is there anything about you that inspires other people in any way?
  • What is your idea of an ideal day?
  • Would you rather live in a castle, on a boat, or on a cloud?
  • If you were invisible where would you go and what would you do?
  • What is a quality you wish you could have more of?
  • If you could ask anyone for help, who would it be and why?
  • What makes you feel happy?
  • What is your biggest goal this year?
  • When do you feel the most proud of who you are?

Your Relationship with Your Child

  • What is your favourite thing about our relationship?
  • What could we do to make our family even happier?
  • If you got into big trouble, how do you think I would respond?
  • Is there something I can do better that I am not doing now?
  • If we had a special day together what would you want to do?
  • Do I ever embarrass you?
  • What are the most important things I have taught you?
  • If you had to choose only three words to describe me, what would you say?
  • If you could get to be an adult for a day, what are the first things you would do?

Family

  • What are the most important things I have taught you?
  • What do you think are the most important qualities of a good parent?
  • Do you want to have children when you grow up? Why or why not?
  • What kind of parent will you be?
  • Do you think you will be close to your siblings when you grow up?
  • How many of your ancestors can you name and what do you know about them?

Values & Character

  • What traits do you most admire in other people?
  • Did you help anyone today?
  • Did you have a chance to be kind to anyone today?
  • Is it hard to make the choice to be kind sometimes?
  • Does it matter if a person makes a moral or immoral choice, if no one ever knows?
  • Is it ever OK to cheat, in school, sports or business?
  • If someone you loved was very sick but could not afford the medicine to get better, would it be okay to steal the medicine?
  • What do you think you could do that would make the world a better place?
  • What do you think the biggest problem in the world is? How about in our country?
  • How important is money? Do you think there is enough money in the world for everyone to have enough?
  • How would you change the world if you could?
  • What do you think the ‘take-away’ message of this movie is?
  • Do you admire the hero in this movie? Why or why not?

School & Learning

  • Who is or was your favourite teacher? Why?
  • Do you think there is a difference between being smart and being wise?
  • What are the best and worst things about school?
  • What do you know how to do that you could teach someone else?
  • How common do you think cheating is at your school?
  • What would you do if all the other children were planning to cheat on and exam and you knew that doing so would lower your grade?
  • Do you respect your teachers? Why or why not? Do you think they respect you?
  • What do you think makes the most difference in how children do at school? Hard work, innate ability, homework supervision, peer attitudes, how good the school is?
  • Do you think it makes sense to admit students to a college based only on academic achievement or should an attempt be made to achieve racial and ethnic diversity as well?
  • Do you think children in private schools have an unfair advantage?
  • What do you think about home-schooling?

Emotions

  • Do you know what EQ (emotional intelligence quotient) is? If someone has a high EQ, what are they like?
  • Are you able to tell me or others when you are upset? 
  • Are you a ‘cup is half full’ or ‘cup is half empty’ kind of person?
  • What do you do to cheer yourself up when you feel down?
  • Have I never not noticed when you’re sad?
  • What is the best way for me to help you when you feel grumpy?
  • When do you like me to hug you? When does it embarrass you?
  • What hurts your feelings? How do you act when your feelings are hurt?
  • When you get really angry, how do you help yourself calm down?
  • When you make a mistake, are you able to repair things so that you end up feeling ok? 
  • What are the different kinds of courage? How do you define bravery?

Drug and Alcohol Use

  • Why do you think it’s illegal for children under the age of 18 to drink alcohol? After all, many parents do it.
  • Why are marijuana (pot / cannabis) and other drugs illegal?
  • What would you do if you were in a car and the driver had been drinking or smoking marijuana?
  • What if the driver was a grown-up, like your friend’s parent?
  • What do you think happens in the brain when people smoke marijuana? Why shouldn’t children smoke it?
  • When do you think children are ready to try alcohol?
  • Do you know any children who have tried alcohol or drugs, what do you think of them?
  • What do the children at your school do at parties?
  • Have you been to a party like that? Have you ever been offered a drink? A marijuana cigarette or other drugs?
  • How did you handle it?
  • What would you do if you were at a party and someone passed out from drinking alcohol?
  • Would you be worried about becoming addicted to alcohol or drugs?
  • Do you think coffee is a drug? When do you think it’s OK for children to start drinking coffee?

Friendship & Peers

  • Who is your best friend and why?
  • What traits do you look for in friends?
  • Do you think you’re good at making friends?
  • What do you think introverted and extroverted means?
  • How would you describe yourself? Shy or outgoing?
  • Have you ever been really annoyed at one of your friends? How did you handle it?
  • Do you think there is a such thing as peer pressure? Do you ever feel peer pressure?
  • Do you think some people are more susceptible to peer pressure than others? Why do you think that is?
  • What do you think makes a person popular? Are wealthier children more popular? Children who mature faster?
  • Are you popular? Why or why not? Would you like to be?
  • What do you think is more important, being popular or being a good person inside?
  • What do you think leadership is? What makes a good leader?

Bullying

  • Who gets teased at school or at your out-or-school activities, and why?
  • When you see other children being teased, does it ever make you feel uncomfortable?
  • How can you work out if it’s teasing or bullying?
  • Do the children who watch someone being teased, feel they have to join in?
  • How do the children who get teased react?
  • Do they stick up for themselves?
  • Does that help or make matters worse?
  • Does anyone else ever step in to stick up for the children being teased?
  • What do you think the teasing does to the person being teased?
  • How does it affect the people doing the teasing?
  • Do you ever get teased or bullied?
  • What could you do or say in the future if someone tried to bully you?

Love, Sex & Marriage

  • At what age do you think people can fall in love? At what age should people marry?
  • Do you think people should be married to have sex? If not, how should they decide whether they’re ready?
  • What do you think changes when you have sex?
  • How do you think love is different in real life than it is in the movies?
  • What would be most important to you in looking for a partner?
  • Do you think any of the children at school are not virgins? What do you think about that?
  • Do children at your school ‘date’? What do you think about the idea of ‘friends with benefits’? Does the girl benefit as much as the guy?
  • Do you think girls and guys have the same needs from sex and relationships?
  • Do you know anyone who’s gay? Does anyone treat them differently? What do you think about that?
  • Why do you think people get divorced? How do you think divorce affects the children?

Body Image and Gender Roles

  • How do you think ordinary peoples’ bodies compare to the models and actors on TV? How does it make you feel to watch them?
  • What do you think of the way girls and guys in secondary or high school dress these days?
  • Do you think girls look better with or without makeup?
  • Is there a difference between ‘attractive’ and ‘hot’? Between ‘hot’ and ‘sexy’?
  • Who decides whether someone is pretty or attractive?
  • Is attractiveness something you’re born with, or is it something we can make ourselves? 
  • Does making ourselves attractive have a cost? (for instance, comfort, or adventure, or fun.) Is that different for girls than for boys? 
  • What matters most, attractiveness or being strong, smart, brave, responsible, caring, etc.? 
  • How would you define ‘sexy’? Is it important to be ‘sexy’? Are some of the children at school sexy? How does someone know if they’re sexy? Is it important that your future boyfriend or girlfriend be sexy?
  • What are the most important qualities you would want in a boyfriend or girlfriend?
  • Do you think most girls are glad when they reach puberty? Why or why not? Do you think most guys are glad when they reach puberty? Why or why not?
  • What’s the hardest thing about being a girl?
  • What’s the hardest thing about being a boy?
  • Do you know anyone with an eating disorder? Why do you think children develop eating disorders? Why do you think there’s such an emphasis on thin-ness in our society?
  • Can you name three things that you really like about yourself that have nothing to do with what you look like? 

Spirituality

  • Do you believe in God? Why or why not? If so, how do you picture God?
  • Do you ever talk to God?
  • Is spirituality the same as religion or different?
  • Has religion played a positive or negative role in history?
  • Do you have good friends who practice religions that are different from ours? People you know? How are you like them? How are you different?
  • Do you think there is one best religion? Why or why not?
  • What do you think happens after death?
  • What do you think is the meaning of life? Why are we alive?
  • How will you know if you’ve had a successful life?
The author:

Elizabeth O’Shea is a parenting specialist child behaviour expert and one of the leading parenting experts in the UK.

Need help now? Ready to explore whether investing in some tailor-made parenting sessions would be right for you and your family? Book your FREE 20-minute call with Elizabeth here