The Power of Inquiry

What You Need:


What You Do:

  1. Ask your child to come into a mindful body and take a few deep breaths into their belly. Tell them to visualize a friendly animal (e.g. a puppy) breathing in and out.
  2. Guide your child to breathe naturally. As they breathe, ask them to notice their breath at one point on their body (at their nose, throat, belly, etc.).
  3. As your child holds their attention at one point, mention to them that it is normal if their mind wanders. If it does, patiently ask them to slowly bring their attention back to their breath.
  4. Tell your child that they can use labels when they notice a thought. In their mind, they can notice the thought and label it as "Thinking...thinking..." Then, they should gently come back to the feeling of their breath.
  5. Pause, and allow your child to practice this for 2–3 minutes.
  6. Afterwards, guide them to take one more full breath into their belly and exhale. Ask them to slowly open their eyes when they are ready.
  7. Ask your child what they noticed and how they feel. Did they notice thoughts rising in their mind? Were they able to label their thoughts as "Thinking...thinking..."?
  8. Explain to your child that there is never anything wrong with thinking, and that having thoughts is completely normal.
  9. Ask your child if everything we think is always true. Explain that not everything we think is true, and most of the time our thoughts are not correct.
  10. Write down the following two questions that we can use when investigating thoughts: Is it true? How do you know it is true?
  11. Give your child an example of a thought you have had. For example, you can say, "My friend never listens to me."
  12. Move through the two questions one at a time, using your thought. First ask, "Is it true?" Then respond, "Well, kind of..."
  13. Next, ask "How do you know it is true?" Respond, "I guess, sometimes they listen to me. They aren't always like this. There are times when they do listen."
  14. Share with your child the "Man on the Subway" story from Steven Covey: "One Sunday morning I was on a subway in New York. People were sitting quietly – some reading newspapers, some lost in thought, some resting with their eyes closed. It was a calm, peaceful scene. Then suddenly, a man and his children entered the subway car. The children were so loud and rambunctious that instantly the whole climate changed. The man sat down next to me and closed his eyes, apparently oblivious to the situation. The children were yelling back and forth, throwing things, even grabbing people’s papers. It was very disturbing. And yet, the man sitting next to me did nothing. It was difficult not to feel irritated. I could not believe that he could be so insensitive as to let his children run wild like that and do nothing about it, taking no responsibility at all. It was easy to see that everyone else on the subway felt irritated, too. So finally, with what I felt like was unusual patience and restraint, I turned to him and said, 'Sir, your children are really disturbing a lot of people. I wonder if you could control them a little more?' The man lifted his gaze as if to come to a consciousness of the situation for the first time and said softly, 'Oh, you’re right. I guess I should do something about it. We just came from the hospital where their mother died about an hour ago. I don’t know what to think, and I guess they don’t know how to handle it either.' Can you imagine what I felt at that moment? My paradigm shifted. Suddenly I saw things differently, and because I saw differently, I thought differently, I felt differently, I behaved differently. My irritation vanished. I didn’t have to worry about controlling my attitude or my behavior; my heart was filled with the man’s pain. Feelings of sympathy and compassion flowed freely. 'Your wife just died? Oh I’m so sorry! Can you tell me about it? What can I do to help?' Everything changed in an instant.”
  15. Have your child share what they learned from the story in relation to the two questions "Is it true?" and "How do you know it's true?"
  16. Move through the Skit: Is it True? worksheet with your child, using the two questions to investigate whether they must believe a particular thought.

Add to collection

Create new collection

Create new collection

New Collection


New Collection>

0 items