Speaking our thoughts aloud tends to surface what is true and bury what is foolish. That’s why it is important for us to build a relationship so trusting that our grand-
children can safely explore with us what’s real and what’s not, what’s loving and what’s cruel, what’s biblical and what’s counterfeit. (See Prov. 2:1-7.) As our grandchildren make their own discoveries, they can express faith more effectively.
Make the question-of-the-day a regular part of your interactions with your grandchild — in person, online, or on the phone. Let him ask a question some days, and you ask a question other days. When asking questions are already part of your routine interactions, your grandchild will more readily bring up what’s on his mind.
At the heart of these dialogues is the desire for your grandchild to make wise choices as she recognizes what pleases God and what does not.
Making a list of questions can be fun. Start with thinking questions, brain teasers, interest questions, and silly questions. Find more ideas on memes and in books. Customize the questions to each grandchild’s age and interests to show her you genuinely want to hear what she says.
Here are 28 questions, one for each day in February.
1. What’s the news this week?
2. What silly thing has happened to you? If you tell me your silly story, then I’ll tell you mine.
3. What are 10 items you can think of that have been used as bookmarks?
4. What makes someone a good friend?
5. What is a good way to tease? What type of teasing causes pain?
6. Whom do you trust? Whom do you not trust? What actions show you can trust — or should not trust — someone?
7. What makes us think the way we do?
8. When have you been embarrassed? What did you do about it? What would you do if it happened again?
9. What are five questions that start a conversation?
10. What’s a good way to have fun? What’s a hurtful way to have fun?
11. What are your favorite seven games?
12. How do kids put other kids at ease?
13. Would you rather fly or see through walls?
14. What bugs you about people who win? Who lose? About people who don’t win fairly?
15. What are three books you like? What makes a book a good book?
16. What do you like in grownups?
17. Would you rather play a musical instrument, listen to music, or dance to music?
18. Why do we need both work and fun? How do you have fun and get your work done?
19. How have you shown kindness to someone this week?
20. When is it time to pull back from a friend — to still be nice but to not share details or spend tons of time together?
21. What kind of person do you want to marry?
22. What temptation is easy to resist and what temptation is harder to resist? (Make this general so grandkids can talk about their temptations without saying it’s theirs.)
23. Would you rather cook or clean up the kitchen?
24. Who makes you happy? Why? What makes you sad? Why?
25. What are five ways to make someone
happy? What are five ways to avoid making someone sad?
26. What do you wish people would do? What do you wish people would not to?
27. What makes a teacher a good teacher?
28. What do you have power to do? What do you not have power to do? What should you do when you feel powerless?
Conversations are not about giving a quick fix but rather about gathering insight to help you as you pray for your grandchild. At the heart of these dialogues is the desire for your grandchild to make wise choices as she recognizes what pleases God and what does not. Even better, she’ll learn to listen to God while she thinks.
Your goal in conversation is for your grandchild to think out loud, not for you to tell her what to say or think. To help this happen, show L.O.V.E. in every conversation:
Look into your grandchild’s eyes with avid interest as you listen patiently; don’t be uncomfortable with silence while he thinks.
Omit criticism, lecturing, or stealing the spotlight.
Veer the discussion toward biblical wisdom, but let your grandchild voice it.
End the conversation by
repeating at least one biblical truth your grandchild expressed.
Your love will encourage your grandchild to ask the right questions so he can discover God’s answers in His Word.
About the author
Karen Dockrey’s grandfather taught her to converse. He took a didn’t-talk-to-anybody preteen and turned her into a care-what-others-say-to-get-them-talking adult. Her books include the Student Bible Dictionary: Revised and Expanded (English and Spanish, 2014).