“What Makes You Say That?”

What Makes You Say That

Our goal is to grow:

  • thinkers,
  • feelers,
  • self-aware human beings.

Sometimes we jump to conclusions about what our kids mean before we understand what motivates the thinking behind what they say. This simple phrase “What makes you say that?” gives your child a moment to reflect. It also gives you a minute to hold back a reactive reply. And it allows you to discover the powerful ideas and viewpoints that drive a child’s initial comments or outbursts.

The phrase can be used when a child is angry: “She’s always mean to me.”

“What makes you say that?”

It can be used to deepen insight: “I liked the book.”

“What makes you say that?”

It can be used for strong opinions: “No one should eat meat.”

“What makes you say that?”

If asked with genuine respect—not in a snippy or suspicious tone—a child is often happy to elaborate. You find out there’s a story there you didn’t know. There may be depth, insight, or even misunderstanding. By asking, however, you teach your children to learn to ask themselves why they think what they do.

This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!

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