The Bedtime Hoops: 4 Important Questions to Ask Your Kids Every Night

The Bedtime Hoops: 4 Important Questions to Ask Your Kids Every Night

by Christine Leeb

I love my kids, but by bedtime, I’m just exhausted.  At 8pm, my patience shuts off.  It’s like I have some sort of glitch in my mommy code, or maybe I just missed the patience upgrade with each kid or something?

So when I have to jump through so many drinks-of-water hoops, tickle hoops, tuck-in hoops, bedtime-song hoops, pee-pee hoops, and brush-your-freaking-teeth-already hoops, I feel that if they don’t get away from me as soon as possible, I’m going to jump through the I’ve-lost-my-mind hoop and escape into a dimension where only brownies, beaches, and books exist.

But that’s not reality! (Oh how I wish it was sometimes though—minus the losing my mind hoop).    The reality is that motherhood doesn’t stop at 8pm.  And even though some of the hoops I jump through annoy me, there are four hoops that I would never miss jumping through no matter how tired or impatient I feel…The 4-Questions Hoops.

I started asking my kids these four questions every night and it has changed our relationship.  It has brought us closer.  It has created a more positive shift in their focus throughout their day and in mine.

  1. What was your favorite part about your day?  This question allows us to jump through the hoop of positivity together.  It helps my children focus on the best parts of their day, and gives us another opportunity to reflect on them, laugh even more about them, and find joy in those special moments one more time before they close their eyes.
  2. What was your least favorite part about your day?  This question allows us to jump through the hoop of reality together.  No one is perfect.  Everyone makes mistakes, so it’s great to have the opportunity to be real and talk about those things in their day that didn’t go well—bad choices, disrespect, being irresponsible.  This question has allowed for me to model unconditional love and has given me many second-chance teachable moments.  Even if I lost my temper the first time around, I have one more chance to walk them through what they should have done differently.  It’s great for kids to be reminded that tomorrow is a new day to try again.
  3. Do you have any questions about your day?This question allows us to jump through the honesty hoop together.  It establishes a habit of always letting them know that they can ask me anything and can trust me to listen and love.  It shows them that I’m a “safe” person who isn’t going to judge or get angry or be upset if they want to talk about the tough stuff.
  4. How did you show kindness or love today?This question allows us to jump through the integrity hoop together.  It encourages them to be kind and loving to others even when no one is watching.  It is the most powerful, life-changing question I have asked!  My kids have learned just how simple it is and how capable they are of showing kindness or love every single day.  When I first started asking this question, my eight year old had trouble coming up with an answer, so I would step in to tell what I saw him do–he was thoughtful to take his plate to the sink, he played with his sister nicely, he gave his little brother a turn with his squirt gun, he washed his hands the first time I asked him to.  Creating an awareness of the little ways that he can show kindness and love has empowered him to do even more.  Plus, I find myself looking for those positive things that each child does throughout the day so I can share it with them that night.  They love hearing all the great things they’ve done.  Kindness and love…this is the focus I want my kids to have throughout their day!

The 4-Questions hoops have helped me learn more about my kids: baseball game play-by-plays, storm fears, favorite colors and movies. But I have also taught more to my kids:  answering questions about abortion, smoking, appreciating the differences in others and I’ll never forget the night we cried together about a little boy in a wheel chair.
Because of jumping through the 4-Questions hoops of positivity, reality, honesty, and integrity every night, I have laughed louder, cried more, snuggled closer, and taught lessons about life that I would not have had the opportunity to do in the busyness of the day.  Dear mom, at bedtime, won’t you join me in fixing that glitch in your mommy code, upgrading your patience level, bending your knees, and jumping through these four extra hoops with me every night too?  I promise that these are the hoops you will never regret jumping through for your kids.


Instead Of Asking “How Was Your Day” –by Leslie Means

Instead Of Asking “How Was Your Day”

Written by Leslie Means

  1. What made you smile today?
  2. Can you tell me an example of kindness you saw/showed?
  3. Was there an example of unkindness? How did you respond?
  4. Does everyone have a friend at recess?
  5. What was the book about that your teacher read?
  6. What’s the word of the week?
  7. Did anyone do anything silly to make you laugh?
  8. Did anyone cry?
  9. What did you do that was creative?
  10. What is the most popular game at recess?
  11. What was the best thing that happened today?
  12. Did you help anyone today?
  13. Did you tell anyone “thank you?”
  14. Who did you sit with at lunch?
  15. What made you laugh?
  16. Did you learn something you didn’t understand?
  17. Who inspired you today?
  18. What was the peak and the pit?
  19. What was your least favorite part of the day?
  20. Was anyone in your class gone today?
  21. Did you ever feel unsafe?
  22. What is something you heard that surprised you?
  23. What is something you saw that made you think?
  24. Who did you play with today?
  25. Tell me something you know today that you didn’t know yesterday.
  26. What is something that challenged you?
  27. How did someone fill your bucket today? Whose bucket did you fill?
  28. Did you like your lunch?
  29. Rate your day on a scale from 1-10.
  30. Did anyone get in trouble today?
  31. How were you brave today?
  32. What questions did you ask at school today?
  33. Tell us your top two things from the day (before you can be excused from the dinner table!).
  34. What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
  35. What are you reading?
  36. What was the hardest rule to follow today?
  37. Teach me something I don’t know.
  38. If you could change one thing about your day, what would it be?
  39. (For older kids):  Do you feel prepared for your history test?” or, “Is there anything on your mind that you’d like to talk about?” (In my opinion, the key is not only the way a question is phrased, but responding in a supportive way.)
  40. Who did you share your snacks with at lunch?
  41. What made your teacher smile? What made her frown?
  42. What kind of person were you today?
  43. What made you feel happy?
  44. What made you feel proud?
  45. What made you feel loved?
  46. Did you learn any new words today?
  47. What was the hardest rule to follow today?
  48. If you could switch seats with anyone in class, who would it be? And why?
  49. What is your least favorite part of the school building? And favorite?
  50. If you switched places with your teacher tomorrow, what would you teach the class?




70 Faith-Focused Question to Ask Your Kids Each Day – by Leslie Means

70 Faith-Focused Question to Ask Your Kids Each Day – by Leslie Means

  1. Is there anyone who needs your prayers today?
  2. What is something you want to thank God for today?
  3. How did you show the love of Jesus today?
  4. Is there anything happening in your life today that you need to ask God for help?
  5. Are there any worries or fears that you need to release to God?
  6. Who do you see everyday that needs to have a friend like Jesus? How can you be that?
  7. How were you like Jesus today?
  8. What was the kindest thing you said or did today? Who needs an extra dose of your kindness?
  9. Are there any things you said or did today that you need to ask for God’s forgiveness?
  10. Did you notice if anyone was having a rough day today? How did you help them?
  11. Who did you talk to about Jesus today?
  12. Did you ask anyone if they needed you to pray for them today?
  13. Did Jesus put anyone on your heart today at school?
  14. Was there a need that you saw and how did you or could you meet it?
  15. How did you demonstrate a servant’s heart today?
  16. What did God do for you today?
  17. What did you do for others today?
  18. What’s one way you know mommy loves Jesus?
  19. What’s one way you struggled to obey?
  20. What’s one thing you are grateful for?
  21. What do you have that lots of other kids around the world don’t have?
  22. What’s one beautiful thing in God’s creation that you saw?
  23. How did you see that you need Jesus today?
  24. We don’t necessarily ask a daily question but rather encourage them to build relationships with others on a daily basis. In light of this, we encourage our girls to be invitational, whether to a play date to get to know the kiddo better or to a church event or activity. When an event is coming up, we will ask our girls, “Whom do you think would be interested in going with us to ____ (event/activity name)?” This only works, of course, if you first have the relationship.
  25. God loves you each minute of every day. Do you remember that when things are hard?
  26. Who did you see Jesus working through and what were they doing?
  27. Jesus calls us to love one another. Can you think of a time you saw someone showing love?
  28. What did you do to make God smile today?
  29. What do you want to pray to God about that is worrying you?
  30. What did you do this week that impacted eternity?
  31. Did you love the unlovely today?
  32. What do you think is the coolest thing God ever made?
  33. What is your favorite animal God made?
  34. What’s the funniest looking animal God made?
  35. When you’re scared, what can you remember about God to help you trust Him?
  36. Who do you think is stronger, God or _________?
  37. What are things God has blessed you with? How can you use that to bless others?
  38. How would people know you follow Jesus today without you having to tell them?
  39. Do you have any prayer requests since I last saw you and we prayed this morning?
  40. Is there anyone God placed in your path who needs prayer?
  41. How did God show up in your day today?
  42. Are you struggling with anything we need to pray about together? (I always pray with my kids on the way to school- both go to different schools at different times, so each gets a send-off prayer from me… sealed with them saying “Amen” right along with me. This is one of the best things I’ve ever started with my kids. I hope it will carry on well into their older years when they can begin their days with prayer on their own. I couldn’t think of a more perfect way to start the day, than to pray for protection, guidance, and the ability for them to shine the light of Christ in all their decisions that day. It gives ME great peace to know they are covered in prayer, and I truly believe it gives them peace too. Those rushed days when I forget- they remind me every single time!
  43. What’s your favorite Bible story?
  44. Who’s your favorite character in the Bible?
  45. What’s your favorite memory verse? Would you like to hear one of mine?
  46. What’s something I can pray about for you tonight? Is there anyone at school you’d like me to pray for with you?
  47. I sent my kids off every day – through the last day of high school – with a modified version of the Jabez prayer: “God bless (kids names), expand their opportunity for learning, friendship, faith, joy, love, happiness and understanding. Lay your hands on them and protect them from evil so they don’t feel pain or cause pain. Amen.” And I have to tell you ladies, I believe this prayer was a main reason for God’s protection over all three of my kids the day we had a school shooting in their high school. We can never underestimate the power of prayer. 
  48. I have a friend who, instead of saying goodbye to his kids says “don’t forget to let your light shine!” – How did your light shine today?
  49. What did you do today that Jesus would have done?
  50. My kids are little so when we pray we often follow Philippians 4:6, New Living Testament: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” When we are worried, we decide to pray. Then I say, “What do you need?” and then I say, “Now, what has God done? Let’s thank Him.”
  51. Was there anyone you struggled to love? Why? And how did you push through that? What was the outcome?


  1. Did you stop and ask if your attitude and actions were pleasing to God throughout the day? What did he say?


  1. In what ways did you see God move on your behalf today?
  2. What prayers is God answering in your life right now?
  3. Are there prayers that feel “too big” or “too selfish” to pray?
  4. Do you feel like God is with you always, or just some of the time?
  5. Did you feel shame or condemnation at any point today?


  1. What temptations did you face? Are you proud of the choices you made in those moments?


  1. What do you feel your peer group is learning from you?


  1. What scriptures did you stand on when you felt attacked?


  1. What are you and your friends specifically praying over your school right now?


  1. What burdens are you carrying? What do we need to lay at the cross?


  1. What have you been exposed to that we need Jesus to wash off?


  1. What did you do today that Jesus would be proud of?


  1. Do you feel sure of who you are and how loved you are by God and us?


  1. Is there anything that happened today you feel nervous to talk to me about, like it might shock me? Because it won’t.


  1. You remember nothing can break my love for you, or God’s love for you, right?


  1. How can I best support you as you go be the man God’s called you to be today?


  1. When my 3rd grader has had a tough day at school, I always ask him if he helped somebody else and I usually find that lifts his mood. We talk about his big heart and how that is more means more to Jesus, Mommy, and Daddy than test scores.


  1. Every day before school my dad would tell each of us kids to “have a good and godly day.” I thought it was kind of silly back then, but have adopted it as something I frequently say.



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