Questions to ask kids about themselves

26 Questions to Help Kids Know Themselves Better

Children grow and change rapidly, both physically and emotionally. As parents, we strive to help our children understand who they are, what they believe in, and how to be independent and competent adults. We arent trying to raise clones of ourselves, but recognize that our children are separate and unique and we need to help them grow into their authentic selves with love and acceptance.

Developing a sense of independent self is one of the primary tasks of adolescence, but children desire to understand themselves and the world long before they reach their teen years. Self-understanding helps all of us navigate life and build meaningful connections. Without it, we feel lost and alone.

Benefits of understanding yourself include:

  • Ability to regulate your emotions and moods
  • Satisfying relationships with others
  • A strong sense of self-worth
  • Achieving your goals
  • Independent thought
  • Acting in alignment with your beliefs
  • Ability to respond rather than react
  • Thoughtful decision-making
  • Self-acceptance

From the very beginning, our goal is for our children to eventually individuate or separate themselves from us; not just physically (move away from home), but also emotionally. We want our children to understand and recognize their feelings, to be able to calm themselves when theyre upset, and to have the coping skills to overcome struggles. We want our children to think for themselves, to develop their own ideas, and to recognize that they can have feelings and beliefs different than our own.

The self-awareness exercises below were adapted from the original 26 Questions to Help You Know Yourself Better that I wrote for adults. These proved to be so popular, that I was encouraged to create a similar list to help children come to know and understand themselves better.

Some notes about the 26 Questions to Help Kids Know Themselves Better: These questions or journaling prompts are generally appropriate for children ages 10 and older, but please use your judgment when giving them to a particular child. These questions can bring up strong feelings or memories for some kids. Its important that you provide an opportunity for them to process their answers and feelings with a supportive adult, but also respect a childs privacy (unless you are concerned about safety).

  1. What are yourstrengths?
  2. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?
  3. What are your goals for this school year?
  4. Who do you talk to when you have a problem? How do they help?
  5. What do you like to do for fun?
  6. What are you worried about?
  7. What do you wish your parents knew about you? What do you wish your friends or classmates knew about you?
  8. If you could have one wish, what would it be?
  9. What do you feel ashamed of?
  10. Where do you feel safest?
  11. If you werent afraid, what would you do?
  12. What does failure mean to you? Have you ever felt like a failure? How did you cope?
  13. How can you tell that youre getting angry? What does your body feel like? What are you thinking?
  14. How are you different?
  15. Whats something that adults (parents, grandparents, teachers, etc.) say to you thats really stuck with you? Do you think theyre right?
  16. What do you do when people dont seem to like you?
  17. What isyour proudest accomplishment?
  18. What things are in your control? Whats out of your control? How does it feel to notice that some things are out of your control?
  19. What do you like about your school? What do you dislike?
  20. What do you do when youre stressed out?
  21. Whats something nice you could say to yourself?
  22. What is your happiest memory?
  23. What do you do when youre feeling down? Do you think its OK to cry? Do you think its OK to yell?
  24. What is your favorite book? Movie? Band? Food? Color? Animal?
  25. What are you grateful for?
  26. What do you like about yourself?


2016 Sharon Martin, LCSW. All rights reserved. Photo by stockimages on

60+ Get To Know You Questions to Ask Kids (& Free Printable)

One of the biggest challenges busy families face is finding quality time to connect with one another. With work, school, extracurriculars, screen time, friends, and more all competing for time, parents can be left feeling unconnected as their kids quickly grow into themselves. Many parents worry their kids are growing too quickly and that they're not creating lifelong memories. If that’s how you’ve been feeling, you’re far from alone.

More: The Ultimate List of Would You Rather Questions for Kids

Sometimes when you’re just trying to connect with your child it’s easy for them to shut down, oftentimes hidden behind a screen. But having the right tools and questions to ask can help facilitate conversation.

We’ve created this list of personal and creative questions to help parents get to know their kids better at any age!

 Pin it to save these for later or download our free printable: 60+ Get to Know You Questions Printable and get talking! This fun and educational game is sure to spark conversation between you and your kiddo on a long car ride or before bedtime.

Dr. Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills family and relationship psychotherapist, author, The Self-Aware Parent, regular expert child psychologist on The Doctors, CBS TV, and co-star on WE TV weighs in on the importance of talking with children. She says,

“During the early childhood years younger kids are more forthcoming about everything including who played with them and who didn't, what they are thinking and feeling, and their friends/social life. Older kids (7-12) withdraw and go underground to deal with internal conflicts on their own. Younger children (0-6) do the opposite and are more open because their defenses have not yet taken shape and gelled. They are more likely to show you and tell you what they are thinking, wondering, and struggling with.”

“By the time children hit 7-12 years of age, Dr. Fran says, “It takes more work to chip away at what they are thinking and feeling. In other words, don’t ask your child questions that require a yes, no, or one-word answer. Say things like, ‘Tell me about what you did, and who you played with at recess in school today?’ and encourage them to tell you more.”

We love the idea of daily conversation starters that can easily be built into your routine. Whether it’s on the way to after-school activities, at the dinner table, or really anywhere! Conversation starters are a great way to make a slice of quality time to engage with your kids. One open ended question can spark a conversation that isn’t forced or quickly shut down.

Open-ended questions give children time to think and be creative. However, you don’t want to overwhelm them by peppering them with questions non-stop. That’s why we think the idea of a daily conversation starter is so great. Even if you only have small slices of time, you can really make it count by engaging your kids in meaningful ways.

If you want to get your kids talking, these 60+ questions will help them open up.

Questions To Ask Toddlers and Preschoolers

What is Your Favorite.

  1. What is your favorite book?
  2. What is your favorite song?
  3. What is your favorite color?

If You Could…?

  1. If you could be any animal, what would you be?
  2. If you could open a store, what would you sell?
  3. If you could grow anything in the garden, what would it be?

Just for Fun Questions

  1. What is the best smell?
  2. What would you do if you made the rules at home?
  3. If you got to choose what’s for dinner, what would you pick?

Questions to Stimulate Imagination

  1. If your favorite toy could talk, what would it say?
  2. What’s the silliest thing you can think of?
  3. Would you rather be as small as a mouse or as big as an elephant?
  4. When you become a grown-up, what’s the first thing you want to do?

Personal Questions

  1. What is something you are really good at?
  2. What do you want to be when you grow up?
  3. What makes you feel nervous?

If You Could…?

  1. If you could be a superhero, what would your powers be?
  2. If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would it be?
  3. If you could be any age, what would it be?

Just for Fun Questions

  1. If you had $50 what would you spend it on?
  2. What is the hardest part about going to school?
  3. What is the most annoying sound?
  4. What is the funniest thing that has happened to you?

Questions to Stimulate Imagination

  1. If you could be a character from any book, who would you be?
  2. Who is the best superhero and why?
  3. If you could get rid of one thing in the world, what would it be?

Personal Questions

  1. What is something you want to learn how to do?
  2. What was the best part of your day?
  3. When was the last time you made someone smile?

Questions to Ask Elementary Kids

What is your Favorite?

  1. What is your favorite joke?
  2. What is your favorite day of the week?
  3. What is your favorite thing to do with friends?
  4. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

If you could…?

  1. If you could eat one thing every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  2. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
  3. If you could make up a new holiday, what would it be?
  4. If you could be any Disney character, who would you be?

Just for Fun Questions

  1. What’s the worst smell in the world?
  2. What three things would you grab if the house was on fire?
  3. What job would you never want to have?

Questions to Stimulate Imagination

  1. If you could invent something to make your life easier, what would you create?
  2. If you could do anything, what would be the perfect day?
  3. Why do we wear shoes?
  4. What qualities make a best friend?

Personal Questions

  1. What does it mean to be a good friend?
  2. What motivates you?
  3. What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?

Questions to Ask Pre-Teens and Teens

What is your Favorite?

  1. What is your favorite family tradition?
  2. What is your favorite time of year?
  3. Where is your favorite place to go on vacation?

If You Could…?

  1. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  2. If you could go back and do something differently, what would it be?
  3. If you could be a famous person for a week, who would you be?

Just for Fun Questions

  1. Do you think it’s more important to be rich or kind?
  2. If you were a teacher what rules would you make?
  3. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
  4. If you had a million dollars what would you spend it on?

Questions to Stimulate Imagination

  1. What do you like dreaming about?
  2. If you wrote a book what would it be about?
  3. If you could design a house, what would it look like?
  4. An Amazon box shows up, what do you hope is inside?

Personal Questions

  1. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
  2. What made you laugh today?
  3. What makes you feel loved?
  4. What do you worry about the most?
  5. If your friend asked you to keep a secret that makes you uncomfortable, what would you do?

The Key to Getting to Know More About Your Kids

When it comes to getting your kids to open up and talk, asking open-ended questions can be great conversation starters. Don’t get too caught up on the question since there are no right questions or wrong ones. You just want to engage young children and pull older children out of their one word answers.

Think of your child’s interests, their favorite subjects, TV shows, video games, and formulate some great questions. Make sure to answer the questions yourself to model the give and take of quality conversation. This may quickly become a favorite part of everyone’s day, and you will feel a closer connection to your child while counteracting their desire to withdraw inwards.

You may learn some wonderful things about each other and strengthen your family bond. The best part is this can be a totally unstructured activity, perfect for car rides, waits at the doctors office, or dinner table conversation.

PRO TIP: These are perfect for a long car trip to keep kids distracted and entertained. Download the Get to Know You Questions printable to have these fun child-friendly questions on hand at all times!

20 questions to ask your child instead of “How are you?”



“Smeshariki”. Animated series




“Chick-chirp English”

June 24, 2020

These questions will help not only start a conversation, but also make your relationship closer and more trusting.

While the child is just learning to communicate, it is important that he feels the pleasure of this process, learns to fantasize, understand your sense of humor and develop his own. Of course, you should not criticize his answers to your questions, hint at the “wrong” or “inappropriate” option, or immediately express your opinion. It’s better to ask additional questions - this will help you learn more about how the child’s personality develops, and he will learn to think more clearly, formulate, better understand his emotions.

Ask your child this:

  • What activities or activities make you feel brave?
  • What super powers would you like to have? How would you apply them?
  • What did you like most about today's walk (trip, on the playground)? Why?
  • What did you not like at all from today's walk (trip, on the playground)? Why?
  • Why do you like taking care of our dog (cat, parrot)? What would they say to you if they could speak?
  • What are five jobs or activities that you would like to try when you grow up?
  • What kind of monster or magical creature would you become for a while? Can you draw?
  • If your favorite toy suddenly became real, what would you do together or talk about?
  • What animal would you like to be?
  • What do you do best?
  • Do lizards have ears?
  • What would happen if cats had fins?
  • How tall is dad?
  • If you could fly, where would you go first?
  • Where and why are these clouds floating?
  • What is your favorite activity? What about the unloved?
  • Who is your favorite person?
  • What makes you sad? What about rejoicing?
  • What is love? What about happiness?
  • What do you like most about dad (grandmother, sister, teacher)?

By the way, these questions can be asked to a child every year, for example, on his birthday. Surely the answers will change, and he himself will be very interested in a few years to read what he was like, what he liked and why.

See also:

My child is talking all the time!

How to resolve conflict on the playground: 4 steps to quick reconciliation

10 fun exercises to develop logical thinking


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  • . you need to develop the imagination, and the desire to know more is wonderful. Let's also show curiosity and support the conversation with counter questions.

    Children ask a lot of questions. Sometimes they are repeated, and we answer them again and again. And sometimes - let's be honest - we simply ignore the endless hows and whys. By the way, the researchers calculated that young children ask more than 300 questions daily. Is it possible to answer everything, right?

    The trick is that children's curiosity should be encouraged, and it turns out that there is a good reason for this: when you answer a child's questions, you help develop his intelligence.

    Parenting expert Michele Borba adds that you should set the example for a well-formulated question.

    Children need to develop their imagination, and wanting to know more is great. Let's also show curiosity and support the conversation with counter questions.

    What to talk about with a child? Catch 50 Cool Themes!

    1. What do you dream about?
    2. What makes you happy?
    3. What are your friends' hobbies?
    4. What would you like to do right now?
    5. What do you think about when you wake up?
    6. Have you ever wanted to change the colors of ordinary things?
    7. Which character makes you laugh the most?
    8. If you were to open a store, what would you sell there?
    9. What is your Superhero's name and what powers does he have?
    10. Imagine that you are on the beach now. What will you do first?
    11. If you could grow something in your garden, what would it be?
    12. When do you feel brave?
    13. What fills your heart with tenderness?
    14. How do you show you care?
    15. How do you feel when I hug you?
    16. If animals could talk, what do you think they would talk about?
    17. If you had $100 for charity, what would you do?
    18. What would your tree house look like?
    19. What do you like to do for other people?
    20. Did anything cheer you up or make you laugh today?
    21. If you were to write a book, what would it be about?
    22. If you could draw everything that comes to mind, what would it be?
    23. If you were a fashion designer, what would it look like?
    24. Do you enjoy making gifts and giving things to other people? Why?
    25. Imagine yourself as a chef and tell me about your restaurant. What food would be on his menu?
    26. What will you think about before going to bed today?
    27. When do you feel grateful?
    28. What sounds do you like?
    29. Where would you like to travel? And how will you get there?
    30. If you could build yourself a house or a cave in the forest, what would it look like?
    31. If you could ask any question to a wild animal, what would you ask it?
    32. Imagine being outdoors all day: what would you do?
    33. What makes you stronger?
    34. What invigorates you?
    35. If you were the hero of a computer game, who would it be?
    36. How do animals communicate with each other, in your opinion?
    37. What do you like most about wildlife?
    38. Suppose you have to take pictures all day. What or who will you be filming?
    39. What memory makes you happy?
    40. What annoys you?
    41. Describe your best day. Why is he the way he is and what are you doing?
    42. What animal would make a first-class driver?
    43. What makes your friends so amazing?
    44. What makes you so amazing?
    45. Do you come up with any inventions?
    46. Do you think learning a foreign language is fun?
    47. What three things would you like to do this summer/autumn/winter/spring?
    48. If you had to come up with a new holiday, what would it be?
    49. What makes a person smart?
    50. If you had friends all over the world, how would you communicate with them?

    Don't worry if your child is initially reluctant to answer questions, and don't rush him or her to answer questions too quickly. Such a playful, but confidential conversation will demonstrate to your child that you are sincerely interested in him, and not mechanically asking.

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