The Problem with Questions


I usually give my husband about two tenths of a second to answer my questions. After that I’m usually on to the next one. Why is it I need to have answers so fast?  Where did this expectation originate?

If you remember being in school (for me it was a few years ago…), doing well depended on answering questions correctly and quickly.  Maybe this works in a school setting, though I wonder about the kids that never raise their hands. What do they learn by listening to another student’s answers?  How much time do they need to think about the answer? How bad is it to answer a question after giving it some thought?  Do kids that think about questions ever get to finish their thoughts before hearing the answer?

You don’t have to answer any of these questions!  That’s because the best questions are those that provoke thought.  Instead of focusing on answer production, how about a little consideration?

It’s even more of a challenge these days to provoke thought when answers to just about anything are a click away. Why think? Someone has already done that!  But the best answers are those you thought up or researched yourself.

Next time I ask my husband a question, I’m going to try my best to wait.  Until the answer comes.  And when I ask one of my kids a question, let it be a thinking question. Help me let it go at that and let them ponder.


Mary Thibodeau-Gagnon

About Mary Thibodeau-Gagnon

Mary homeschools her two sons in a rural area of Maine, while her daughter goes to school. She strives to meet the needs of all her kids while maintaining her sanity.