Ask This Crucial Question to Foster Self-Reflection​

Building self-reflection skills is crucial for students. Knowing how to reflect on their actions helps children learn their his mistakes, build resilience, and make better decisions. When you’re discussing a situation in which your child make a mistake, after asking what happened, how they feel about it, and what they learned from the mistake, the next step is to ask a simple, but crucial question:


“What would you do differently next time?”


I have found that students are used to answering those first few questions and may even run through them without much critical thinking. Asking this last question makes them stop and think. It helps them examine what they did and look for ways to improve.


It activates their problem-solving skills. It invites an opportunity for reframing and perhaps seeing the situation in a more positive light, or striving to act in a more positive way the next time the situation arises. It also puts them in the driver’s seat. Rather than telling them what they should do differently, asking this question and giving them time to reflect on it gives them the opportunity to come up with a solution on their own.


What they come up with might surprise you. Finally, once they have thought about how they might approach the situation differently, you can work together to create an action plan they can use in a similar future situation.​