Have You Asked Lately?


Have You Asked Lately?


Have you asked your children lately?

“How are you?”

“What do you need?”

“What do you want more or less of?”

“How can I help?”


Check-ins with our babies are essential, especially as they get older.  As they get older, their feelings become more complex, their issues more layered, and they find themselves wrestling with far more than we likely ever did at their age. As they get older, they are more likely to process and hold a lot on their own or only share with trusted friends. It’s not uncommon to see them retreat to their rooms, or their separate spaces.  However, we can create habits and rhythms that invite them into safe spaces that foster open and fluid lines of communication. 


Our children need check-ins. On occasion, you’ll notice them bearing the weight of it all, so you’ll be prompted to lean in and ask. The pressures, expectations, and constant messaging bombarding them on the daily can be a lot. It can quickly become exhausting and draining for them, so they need a moment where they can release what they’ve bottled up. 


Check-ins with our children are essential as they get older because their schedules become busier, and suddenly we are pulled our own separate ways. It’s easy to pass each other by and keep conversations surface and at a minimum.  Before you realize it, busyness snatches time to sit and talk, to observe and notice their countenance, to hear what’s on their hearts. Therefore, it becomes essential to find time to ask, “How are you? What do you need?”



Mommies, we’re good at asking, “Do you have your school lunch packed? What time does practice end? Did you finish your homework? Have you cleaned your room?” But let’s also ask the questions that tend to their hearts. These babies are navigating a big, difficult, and sometimes unkind world.


If you’re thinking, “I’m pretty good at reading my child; I know how they’re doing,” don’t be misled. We won’t always know immediately what they’re feeling, going through, or wanting; especially as they grow older. Don’t think, “They seem fine. They’ve not said anything, so they must be okay.”  Mommy, don’t assume and misjudge.


In our family, check-ins have occurred while riding in the car, over a meal, or via a short text. Sometimes at the beginning of the day, other times at the close of a long day. We are mindful to not let days or weeks go without checking in. Our heart’s desire always to have a pulse on what they’re feeling, experiencing, or needing in the moment. The key is to remain in proximity and present to ask the question. Sometimes you’ll have to push past your own feelings of  exhaustion, apprehension, or selfishness.


I do forewarn, though, if you ask a question, be ready for the response and sometimes for no response. Either way, remember to position yourself in humility, ready to receive what they may share. Honor the space to hold their precious thoughts and feelings with care, no matter if you think it’s a big deal or not. Be careful to not minimize, invalidate, or blow off their feelings and thoughts. And … be mindful of your own facial expressions and body language! Sometimes, in these moments you will also realize your limitations and you may assess that there is now need for an outside party. Do not discount the help of a professional counselor who can help your child process their feelings and their context in a safe space and even equip all of you with healthy tools to live wholly.

Whatever age your child is, it’s never too late or too early to begin check-ins. If you have young children, resolve to start now in simple ways: use emojis or GIFs! This will lay the groundwork for later years when feelings and issues become bigger. Start building trust, establish a safe space, and get into the habit. Check-ins will convey that their voice matters, that you have time for them, and that their world matters to you. 


I leave you with this: during a recent morning meeting, a group of sixth graders were asked what they wanted more or less of this year. This is what they shared:


“More time with my parents.”

“Less time at tournaments.”

“More sleep.”

“Less time on my device.”


Mommy, make room to ask.

Ask them what they want more or less of.

How do you think they will answer?




  1. Beautiful article. Thank you for the reminder and tips on how to check in. It is so important and easy to forget when life is so busy.

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