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E is for Empowerment
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The Gift of a Reflective Question

A reflective question is one that requires the mother to think about facts and feelings, link to her knowledge and experience, and formulate a purposeful response.  For health action planning, reflective questions help the mother clarify what she wants for herself and her child, clarify what is currently supporting or in the way of her desired outcome, and clarify the next step. Hint: a Yes or No question is not reflective.

Home Visitor Asks
  • Demonstrates it matters what a mother knows
  • Builds mother's confidence
  • Creates a teachable moment
  • Suggests a way to think about a current problem
  • Presents the mother opportunity to recognize & apply her knowledge & experience-to use her power
  • Presents the mother opportunity to notice gaps in her knowledge & to seek info
  • Teaches responsively-leaves the power with the mother by supplying info only in response to her request
  • She empowers the mother

Mother Reflects
  •  Feels respected, knowledgeable, self-confident in caring for herself & baby
  • Taps into her experience, uses her knowledge
  • Evaluates her experience, values, knowledge, feelings
  • Applies and so learns from her experience
  • Recognizes her need to know & need for info
  • Asks for info-takes charge of her learning
  • Increases knowledge
  • Develops her life skills-problem solving, resource utilization, info seeking
  • Changes behavior
  • Improves baby care, interaction, teaching
  • She is empowered

Baby Benefits
  • Has his/her needs met
  • Establishes trust in the mother
  • Achieves secure attachment
  • Enjoys improved health & well being
  • Learns appropriate behaviors
  • Reduced risk of abuse & neglect
  • Innate curiosity is supported
  • Improved school readiness

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