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.