The Oscars were on last night.  I watched the beautiful dresses parade on the carpet as I sat on the couch barefoot with leggings and a red hoodie on.  I heard about an interesting campaign called #AskHerMore.  Apparently a campaign is necessary to draw reporters attention to the fact that a woman may have enlightening things to say that range beyond her dress.  I think its fabulous.  The reporters should dig a little deeper, ask questions that address the intellect behind the impeccable dress.

Which begs the question, though I am barefoot, wearing leggings and a hoodie, might it be the case that my kids should #AskMeMore?  I might know more than where your shoes are or what is for dinner, despite the hoodie I wear.  It’s the same questions on repeat.  “Mommy, can I have some gum?  Can I have a snack?  Why do I have to take a bath?  Can we go swimming? ” Just to give you a sampling.  I would like for them to #AskMeMore or at least something different.  Here are some suggestions: “What is your favorite way to spend a day with me? What is your favorite book and why?  What are you passionate about?”  If one of my children were to ask me one of these questions, after I recovered from the shock, I imagine we would sit down with hot chocolate and banana bread and discuss the question at hand.

I have an eight-year old and I have two who are age six.  It may be awhile before they ask questions that would fall into the #AskMeMore division.  If that is the case, then perhaps I should limit them each to three questions a day.  That would mean nine questions per day, which I think I could handle.  As it stands now, I hear nine questions before we leave the parking lot after school.  I am not joking.  So, nine questions for the whole day would mean I could really delve into my thesis on the negative effects of swimming in February in 40 degree weather.

This whole #AskMeMore campaign I have started may lead to some tough questions.  As the kids get older the questions will become more challenging.  I am sure there will be a day that I will long to hear, “Can I have a piece of gum?” instead of “Why do bad things happen to good people?”  There will be a day when #AskMeMore moves into the house full-time and I will wish for the days of the tedious questions regarding stuffed animals and Playdoh.

Upon reflection, I think my plan moving forward will be to answer each question with patience, even if I have already answered it.  I will lead by example, and I will #AskThemMore.  I will ask open-ended questions about their day at school.  I will carve out moments to sit with them and chat over banana bread and hot chocolate.  I will make it a priority to get individual time with each of them.  I want to create an environment where they feel comfortable asking questions, even if its the mundane, “Where are my shoes?” so that, when it’s an #AskMeMore type of question the trust and honesty is already there.

One day I will have on my red hoodie with leggings and no shoes and one of my children will #AskMeMore.  That day will come.  Today, I will prepare for that moment.  Today I will lay the foundation for that time.  I will respond with patience and give them my attention because I want them to #AskMeMore.