Here’s some insight Paul Tripp gives on understanding the biblical function of our hearts. He shares that the order of the questions must not be changed. You can change the verbiage but its important to walk through these question in the order given.
- What was going on? This question is designed to simply get a sense of what was going on. Don’t worry about biases. It’s impossible to recount something without biases. Your child does it. You do it.
- What were you thinking/feeling as it was happening? This question gets after the heart. You need to understand that no matter where you are, no matter what the situation is your heart is endless operating…you’re always interpreting, always worshipping, always desiring or wanting something.
- What did you do in response? This goes after words and behavior. With this question we’re teaching our children (and ourselves for that matter) that the behavior and words that came out in the situation were not formed by the situation but by how my heart reacted to the situation. This is very important!
- Why did you do it and what were you seeking to accomplish? This question gets after motives, goals, purposes, etc. What we’ve done is bracketed behavior with the thoughts and motives, interpretations, desires of the heart…Hebrews 4:12-13 – the heart is always thinking and always desiring. Your behavior is always the result of what you’re thinking and what you desire?
- What was the result? This question gets after consequences.
For more on this topic you can visit his resource page here.
4 thoughts on “5 Questions To Get At Your Child’s Heart by Paul Tripp”
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I just wanted to say that I started using these questions with my 4 and 5 year old, and it has made a world of difference. I had read other parenting books and been to parenting conference by well-meaning Christians, but the over riding theme was complete and immediate obedience and consistent discipline. It did not allow any time for kids to express negative emotions and deal with them in a healthy way. Since I started using these questions, I can just see them melt as they feel that their feelings are validated and important. It doesn’t mean they get out of the consequence, but it allows them time to feel and process their thoughts and feelings and be instructed on a different way to respond next time.
Thanks for taking the time to comment AND we’re thrilled that it’s making a difference!