Ask Questions – Tip #18
One of the things that we are all worried about doing is overwhelming our returning friend or family member with a lot of questions. While I don’t think it is a great idea to ask 100’s of quesitons all in a row and insist on immediate responses, it will be important that you ask questions to open up the lines of communication, let the person know what you are thinking and wondering about and to hear a little about what their thoughts and opinions are.
Soldiers returning from deployments, training, courses or exercises are coming back with BATTLEMIND – they have been trained to take action, think little about things other than their safety and those in their unit, squash emotions, live in the moment and do their job everything else comes second or not at all. Your family member will need time to change his/her mindset to live within a non-combat like home. Asking questions and encouraging them to express their thoughts, ideas, feelings and emotions will help them to ease back into lives at home and do some re-thinking.
Examples of Suggested Questions:
* What do you want to do today/tomorrow?
* What do you think about ________________?
* What did you think about the movie/TV show?
* What would you do if you were ____________?
* What things do you find have changed the most?
* What are you finding it hardest to deal with?
* What do you think would be fun to do together?
* What would you like to avoid doing?
* How will I know that you feel like talking?