There was a generation that used the phrase, “because I said so,” as a reason for their children to listen to them. What was implied was that the parent had the right to speak and that the child’s place was to listen and obey. What was missing was the statement that this was God’s idea, not the parent’s.
So, the next generation missed out on the reality of why they needed to listen and obey. As a result, their parenting skills used the approach of being more sensitive to what their children might want to do. Instead of telling their children what to do, parents ended up asking them, “Would you like to wear your coat outside, dear?”
The next iteration of parenting is still being worked out.
However, every generation’s idea of raising children ought to include the desire to pass on the eternal truths that will help them be successful in life. To do this requires conversations about why children do what they do. Rather than telling them what you think their motives are, asking them questions about motives helps them examine themselves and gives them the perspective that you care about what they think. It also enables you to give a perspective outside them; that is something we all need.
God mentions that “the purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out” (Prov. 20:5). Parental questioning is invaluable in passing on what is most important – truth from God’s word.