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What Questions Should You Ask Your Sponsored Child?

By MOHI on Jan 8, 2024 8:15:00 AM

Building a personal relationship with your sponsored child helps you build a connection based on more than just financial support. It's about providing emotional encouragement, fostering a spiritual connection, and encouraging mutual growth.

Engaging with the child on a personal level lets them know you value and support them, helping to create a more meaningful and fulfilling relationship for both of you. Sharing about spiritual beliefs can deepen the connection and provides an opportunity for spiritual development. 

Building a relationship like this is an important step on the path to ending poverty in Africa. But how should you start the conversation? What kinds of questions should you ask? We put together this guide of helpful advice and a list of questions you may want to ask to help you kickstart your first letters.

Tips for communicating with your sponsored child

Consider their age, education, and background

The age of the child you're sponsoring will affect how you approach the conversation. Just as you would with any child, be sure to adapt your writing style to their age.

  • Start simple regardless of age. Younger children will probably need this anyway, but it’s possible that an older child entering the program hasn’t previously had the opportunity for education. Couple that with cultural differences, and communications may not flow in the way you’d expect. Start with the basics, be patient, and meet them where they are!
  • For younger children it will usually make more sense to start with conversations about straightforward things like their hobbies, favorite colors, and animals.
  • With older children you may want to engage in more complex discussions about goals, community, or reflections on faith.

Be sure to include open-ended questions

Open-ended questions are essential in getting to know your sponsored child. Unlike yes/no questions, they encourage expression and provide insights into their personality, values, and experiences. They are a powerful approach for building understanding and trust.

Questions to ask your sponsored child

Building a relationship with your sponsored child begins with simple topics. Initial conversations about daily life, hobbies, and interests create a foundation. As you share your support and build trust with them, you can share about yourself and ask deeper questions about their family and community. Gradually, you may want to explore more personal topics like life challenges and questions of faith.

Consider some of the following questions to start your early conversations with your sponsored child:

Family, community, and social life

  • What are your friends like?
  • What's your favorite place to play with friends?
  • Can you tell me about your family?
  • How do you help at home?
  • What do you like to do outside of school?
  • What's your favorite family tradition?
  • Do you have any siblings, and what are they like?
  • What's your favorite meal that your family cooks?
  • How does your family spend time together?

Education and learning

  • What's your favorite subject in school?
  • How is school going for you?
  • Do you like to read books?
  • Who is your favorite teacher and why?
  • What did you learn in school today?

Hobbies and interests

  • What do you want to do when you grow up?
  • What do you like to do for fun?
  • What's your favorite food?
  • What's your favorite color?
  • What's your favorite animal?
  • What's your favorite place to visit?
  • Do you like to draw or paint?
  • Do you enjoy playing or watching any sports?
  • Do you enjoy cooking or have a favorite recipe?
  • Do you have a favorite holiday? How do you celebrate?
  • Do you have a favorite game or toy?

Faith and spirituality

  • Do you attend a church?
  • Do you have a favorite story from the Bible?
  • Do you have a favorite song or hymn?
  • Do you have a spiritual role model? Is there someone you look up to?
  • How do you feel about your church community?

Parting tips on building a relationship with your sponsored child

Building a meaningful and fulfilling relationship with a sponsored child is a rewarding journey that takes empathy, patience, and understanding. Here's some parting advice that can guide you:

  • Be patient and consistent: building trust takes time. Regular and consistent communication helps foster a sense of connection and shows that you genuinely care.
  • Show genuine interest: ask questions that reflect a sincere interest in their lives, dreams, and daily experiences.
  • Respect cultural differences: recognize and embrace the cultural differences that may exist between you and your sponsored child. Being open and respectful of their traditions and values can deepen your connection.
  • Share about yourself: don't hesitate to share stories and experiences from your own life. This reciprocity helps create a more balanced and relatable relationship.
  • Encourage and inspire: offer words of encouragement and inspiration. Your support can be a powerful motivator for them to pursue their dreams and overcome challenges.
  • Maintain appropriate boundaries: while building a close relationship is wonderful, it's also essential to maintain boundaries that are respectful of their privacy and age-appropriate.
  • Celebrate milestones: acknowledge and celebrate their achievements and milestones, whether big or small. This recognition can boost their confidence and reinforce your support.
  • Pray or reflect together: if your relationship develops a spiritual component, sharing prayers or reflections can be a meaningful way to connect on a deeper level.
  • Stay committed: building a meaningful relationship is a long-term commitment. Stay engaged and invested in their growth and well-being, and you'll likely find the relationship to be a source of joy and fulfillment for both of you.

Child sponsorship has the opportunity to be more than a financial commitment: it's a personal connection that can transform lives. The team here at MOHI is here to support you every step of the way, providing guidance and resources to help you build a mutual relationship that's rewarding and meaningful.