If you have followed Parenting Pathway for very long, you are familiar with my love for spring break. That love is more than just getting a break in the busy school year—spring break is the ideal time to commit to connecting with your kids. You know, those little humans you have been shuttling between school, church, and activities in a blur for months. I encourage you to take this week to look more deeply into your kids’ lives, dig below the “How was your day?” and get to really know them again. Every year, I am surprised by some new insight I gain or change of perspective I see in my son as we head off on a new adventure together.
To help you make the most of this time, I put together a list of questions to use as conversation starters. The older your kids get, the harder you must work to get to the heart of their world. But first, I have a disclaimer… You don’t have to go on an amazing spring break trip. You don’t have to spend lots of money to make connections. What you do need to do is spend some time one on one with each of your children. Have lunch in a new place, go on a hike, take a drive to someplace you have never been, get lost along the way, and let your guard down. Share your story, and your child will also.
I confess I ran these questions by a test audience of teenagers this week and only got a few eye rolls, but got several, “Ooh, that’s a good one” comments. Give these a try and let us know how it turns out.
“If you had/could” type questions:
- If you had $20, $100, $1,000, $10,000 to do anything you wanted with, what would you do with it?
- If you could be invisible for one day, what would you do?
- If you could change one thing about the world, what would you change?
- If you could build anything in our backyard, what would you build?
- If you weren’t afraid of anything, what adventure would you go on?
- If you had a superpower, what would if be? What would you do with that superpower?
- If you could change one thing about our family (besides getting rid of brothers and sisters) what would that be?
- If you could outlaw one vegetable, what would it be?
Dream type questions:
- If money and time were not an issue, what would be your dream vacation?
- What places do you dream of visiting/living and why?
- What do you dream your life will be like as an adult?
- What goals do you have for your summer or next year, and what goals have you given up on?
“What is” type questions:
- What is your favorite word and why? (It’s okay if your fourth grade son is fascinated with all words related to potty humor—that’s developmentally right on.)
- What is the one thing you couldn’t live without?
- What is the worst thing about being ______ years old?
- What is your favorite song right now?
“When/What/Who” type questions:
- When are you (or have you been) most afraid?
- What book, Netflix series, or YouTube channels are you reading or watching now? Why?
- Who is the one person at school you wish you didn’t have to see again? Why?
- Who is your favorite persona at school? Why?
- What three things would you take if you had to leave your home in a hurry?
- What are two things you like about yourself, and one thing you would like to work on?
- What are the top three things you worry about when you go to sleep at night?
Additional resources to help you think outside the box for family adventure:
One of our favorite games to play is “Would you rather…?” For example: Would you rather live in the dessert or on a deserted island? Would you rather be friends with Spider-Man or Superman? The list is endless. Take turns asking each other questions.
This is a picture of my son and me on spring break last year, minutes before we headed off to zipline—the reason I still have a smile on my face.
Christine Clark is the Ministry Coordinator for Family Ministry at Stonebriar Community Church. She has a passion for supporting parents and helping them gain confidence and tools to be spiritual leaders in their homes. She is blessed to be the mom of a high school freshman and the wife of her college sweetheart for more than 20 years. She is also an avid sports fan who loves all things football, especially in the fall in Texas.
You can read more about my passion for spring break by reading our blog post: Restoring the Soul