New Year’s Day is a time to finally stop and reflect after the intense and fast paced holiday season. It is the beginning of winter, a time for the earth to rest and draw inward. During this season, while the days are short and our hearts are full, it is important to pause and acknowledge all that has occurred, what we have learned, lost and gained. In doing this, we may be able to glean a bit of insight into where our hearts long to take us.
 
As a therapist, I hear often clients create goals that are shame based, seeking to be something they are not, willing themselves to cultivate a new skill or discipline without taking the time to truly understand why they do the behaviors that got them there. But if you listen to a child, they speak from a position of self acceptance and kindness. They are thankful, proud and eager for what they can accomplish in the future. As adults, we can learn from them, opening our hearts to all they have to say. 
 
These are the questions I ask every member of my family each year. Not only do we ask both our daughters, but we take the time to note what God is teaching us too. Through the years, as they accumulate, we then have a map of all God has done, where we have been, and where we feel inspired to go. I truly hope you find this tradition as rewarding as we have.
 
Questions for the kids:
What is your favorite color?
What is your favorite activity?
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Who are your closest friends?
Where is your favorite place to go?
What new skill or activity do you want to do over the next year?
What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy?
What is your favorite thing to do with Mommy?
What is your favorite thing to do with your sister?
What makes you scared?
What makes you laugh the hardest?
What makes you sad?
What are you doing when you are the most happy?
What is your favorite thing about yourself?
What have you learned about God over the last year?
What do you want to learn more about over the next year?
If you could change one thing about your school, what would it be?
If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
Who do you look up to and why?
What do you wish your parents knew?
 
For people taking  video:
Show me your favorite thing.
Show me the most meaningful thing you made over the year.
Show me a new move you learned your body can do.
Sing me a song.
 
Questions for the Parents
What new attributes did you learn about your child this year?
What does your child need the most from you right now?
How does your child make you smile?
What does the world see in your child?
What memory do you not want your family to forget in the coming years?
What has your child taught you about yourself this year?
What do you hope to teach your child this year?
What currently is your most common prayer for your child?
Write out a blessing for your child over the next year. Consider what God wants your child to hear? 
 
Example of our blessing from last year
May God’s light guide you, may the angels protect you. And may you know you are loved just the way you are. We say this to each child before they leave for school.
 
Questions for Daddy:
What makes you smile?
What makes you sad?
What makes you scared?
What keeps you up at night?
What are you proud of over the last year?
How do you hope to grow?
What is your favorite thing to do with Mommy?
What is your favorite thing to do with Eden?
What is your favorite thing to do with Shiloh?
What would you like to do more of if you had more time?
Where have you succeeded a parent?
How would you like to grow as a parent?
What have you learned about marriage over the last year?
What do you hope to learn more about over this year?
What is a favorite memory from the previous year?
What do you wish your family knew?
What does your family need from you this year?
 
Questions for Mommy:
What makes you smile?
What makes you sad?
What makes you scared?
What keeps you up at night?
What are you proud of over the last year?
How do you hope to grow?
What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy?
What is your favorite thing to do with Eden?
What is your favorite thing to do with Shiloh?
What would you like to do more of if you had more time?
Where have you succeeded a parent?
How would you like to grow as a parent?
What have you learned about marriage over the last year?
What do you hope to learn more about over this year?
What is a favorite memory from the previous year?
What do you wish your family knew?
What does your family need from you this year?
 
I truly hope this brings you thankfulness and intimacy, with the people you love most!
 

You May Also Like: 50 Questions To Ask Your Kids Instead of Asking “How Was Your Day”

 

Whitney Herrmann

Whitney Herrmann is a licensed therapist serving women, families and marriages throughout the greater Denver area. She regularly accepts speaking engagements offering powerful insights, tangible steps for change, with a bit of fun and humor along the way. She is married to a wonderful man, Ryan and has two beautiful daughters, Eden and Shiloh. Please see her biography on Grace Counseling's website for more of her work or to schedule an appointment. http://gracecounseling.net/