In the world of business, there is an art to being successful. The same holds true for parenting. Business models are great as they offer practical applications for managing relationships. Often, these applications can easily translate into family dynamics. The QBQ (question behind the question) is one such business model. The creator of QBQ created a parenting book, written with his wife, based on his business philosophy of personal accountability. According to “Parenting the QBQ Way” by John G. Miller, if you are asking a question about your child’s behavior, this question can easily be turned around to put you back in control.
“When we ask better questions, we get better answers.”
‘Why doesn’t my daughter ever take my advice?’ [turned into a QBQ becomes]: ‘What can I do to understand her needs?’
What I appreciate about this premise is the focus is on yourself. The truth is, we only can control our own attitudes and behavior. This week, my youngest son didn’t follow the rules when walking home from school with his brother. Instead of asking, “Why doesn’t he listen to me?” I thought about it from a new angle. “What can I do to make my expectations for him to follow the rules more clear?” I sat him down and I told him exactly what I expected of him. Moving forward, he knows his brother, per my request, will report to me any time he doesn’t follow the rules. If he still chooses to break a rule, he now knows there will be a consequence and exactly what this consequence will be. I’m hopeful he will make some better choices, but if not, I’ll continue to ask better questions until this is resolved.
Written by Diana DeVaul MSW and Parent
Miller, John, G. with Miller, Karen, G. Parenting the QBQ Way . New York: Penguin Group, 2012