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.
Oh I love this! It is so hard to find the joy and patience in the mundane questions and not to just roll your eyes when you hear MOOOOOMMM!! But I agree- I want them to ask me more, and I want them to know I want to ask them more.
It’s such a challenge some days! This morning I made the mistake of looking at some pictures and some video that were at least three years old. Oh my. They were so little…were does the time go!
Fabulous post. I would like to encourage you that the #AskMeMore day will come. My oldest is a middle school boy who has recently started asking me every day how my day was and if anything particularly fun happened to me that day. He actually listens when I tell him my day was great and if I say it was hard he digs a little deeper wanting to know what made it rough. He asked me just last night how many slaves didn’t pursue freedom because someone told them “This is just the way it’s done and you can’t change it.” He asks questions about life, about faith, about girls, about love, about current events, about justice. I never thought I’d see this day but let me tell you, it is breathtaking and I am amazed by the depth that my sons questions add to my day.
Until that day comes for you, hang in there mama and keep answering the little questions. You are proving to them that the things important to them are important to you as well and that opens more conversation than anything else in the world.
Thanks for the encouragement, Dawn!