Get Curious, Not Furious


Annette Clarahan, Parent Educator Coordinator

Have you ever watched a robot vacuum get stuck in a small space, trapped as it attempts every angle for escape, repeating the same unproductive moves over and over again?  I felt like that robot in my head and in my life. Making the same mistakes. Revisiting the same unhelpful thought patterns. Getting stuck. Curiosity, I’m finding, is really great for opening the door and helping me get free from those old thought patterns.

In talking with parents and educators who are visibly upset with a situation I let curiosity do the work, without judgment, or I might as well be that robot vacuum repeating the same patterns. Curiosity can extinguish the flame, if the questions asked are appropriate, timely, and delivered with empathy.

  • Let the person talk without interruption
  • Ask questions rather than targeted statements
  • Ask open ended questions

And remember, sometimes we just need to let silence do the heavy lifting.