Stop Asking Your Teen Daughter, “What Do You Want to Be?”

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Welcome back for the second of a 3-part #Back2School series where I share probing questions to ask your daughter to better gauge who she is in three critical areas.

Last week we tackled questions to help assess her mental and emotional well-being.

Today we’ll delve into questions to help her realize her future aspirations.

Starting with two better questions to ask your daughter rather than, “What do you want to be?” 

They are: “Who do you want to be?” or “What problem do you want to solve?” 

And here’s why…

The answers to both of these questions will provide you with much more insight into your daughter’s dreams, passions and purpose than simply learning her career choice. 

I think one of the most rewarding things for a parent is to see their child living their best life while fulfilling their purpose. 

Besides, I’m sure we all know someone who simply picked a career when they were younger without doing the work to figure out what made them come alive.

Only to spend most of their adult life miserable in their career of choice. 

The question, “What do you want to be?” could also lead your daughter to believe her worth is defined by what she can achieve vs. who she can become and how she can serve. 

And in the words of Martin Luther King Jr., 

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

Does Your Daughter Know Her YES?

If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you know my philosophy is that it’s easier to prevent teens from having sex, or participating in any other at-risk behavior for that matter, if you help them find their “YES.”

Their YES is their reason for living, their purpose, their calling…

…The thing they want so badly they won’t allow anything to keep them from getting, or becoming, it. 

“Out of all of the helpful information that you’ve given us, the one thing that will always stick with me is that before I do anything, I need to find a greater YES.”

“I’m also very thankful that you talk about ‘what is your yes?’ You said if you don’t know what your yes is, you will say yes to anything. I noticed all the things I had been doing wrong. Not precisely sex, but other things that if I had said no, I could have had a better outcome.”

Just imagine how much more you’ll learn about your daughter and she’ll learn about herself, if you engage in discussions with her about the following questions:

  • If you had a million dollars and you had to give it all away to someone or an organization other than your family, who would get the money?
  • How do you want to be remembered when you’re gone?
  • What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?
  • Do you have a bucket list? What are two or three things on that list?
  • If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
  • Who inspires you the most? What qualities do they have that inspire you?
  • What are you most proud of right now?
  • What would you do if you did not care what others thought?
  • You’re given one wish… but you can’t use it on yourself. What would you wish for?
  • If you could follow someone around for a day, who would you follow and why?

Afterwards you can help her map out a game plan of steps she can take to become the young woman God has purposed her to be.  (Jeremiah 29:11)

Be sure to remind her that whoever she is, is more than enough. 😊

Don’t forget to share your answers to the questions as well so you can both get to know each other better. 

And then come back next week for the final post in the series when I’ll provide you with questions to ask your daughter regarding your relationship with one another.

This is one you don’t want to miss!

FREE DOWNLOAD: The Letter Every Mom Should Write Her Teen Daughter A step-by-step guide to building a connection that lasts. Learn more in this FREE Guide.

P.S. Show me a teen girl who doesn’t know her “YES,” and I’ll show you a young lady who will struggle with allowing other people to define who she is and how far she can go in life. When we both know the sky’s the limit for her, so long as she believes in herself. That’s why it’s important to stop asking your daughter “What do you want to be?” and start asking her, “Who do you want to be?” or “What problem do you want to solve?” The latter two will move her closer to realizing her God-given purpose, and there’s nothing more empowering than that!

P.P.S. Please share this post and series with every parent of a teen you know. Today’s questions are invaluable conversation starters that will not only help empower their daughters to realize their future aspirations but strengthen their relationship with one another as well. Thank you!

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