Tricky Questions

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Today at preschool, I overheard a veteran teacher speaking to a new teacher about yes and no questions with kids. The veteran teacher remarked, “Never ask a yes or no question unless you’re prepared for the child to actually answer with a no.”

For example, don’t ask, “Do you want to clean up the toys?” Instead ask, “Do you want to clean up your toys now or in five minutes?” Or, “Which toy do you want to put away first?” Don’t ask, “Do you want to do your homework?” Instead ask, “Do you want to do your math homework or your reading homework first?” Or, “Do you want to do your homework at your desk or at the kitchen table?”

Asking kids questions is great for giving them choices and giving them a say in what they are doing. However, rather than yes or no questions, ask questions with two acceptable responses like the ones mentioned above. This way, the child thinks he/she chose what to do when in actuality, he/she is doing exactly what you want.

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