How to Raise Inquisitive Children
Nuria from the The Adventures Archive is here today to share useful tips for raising inquisitive children…
Children are natural born explorers. As babies they mainly use their hands to make sense of the world around them. But as soon as they start talking, asking questions is their way of fueling their never ending curiosity.
Your child may use questions to get your attention. He may want to establish contact with the adult world or he may be seeking clues to build his own opinion on things. Whatever the reason, encouraging him to ask freely about anything and everything will boost his confidence and promote his curiosity.
When the physicist Isidor Rabi accepted his Nobel Prize in 1944 he dedicated it to his mother: “Every other mother in Brooklyn would ask her child after school: So? Did you learn anything today? But not my mother. ‘Izzy,’ she would say, ‘Did you ask a good question today?’ That difference — asking good questions — made me become a scientist.”
There are many ways to stimulate your kid’s inquisitiveness and help him to be even more perceptive. Here are a few ideas:
- Ask questions: if you ask him often about things he will learn to ask too.
- Talk to him about arguments that will make him think. Start conversations about love, values, the world… You will activate his capacity to build his own opinions and you will learn what sort of things interest him.
- Establish an open atmosphere at home: create an environment where your child feels free to express himself. If you talk openly about everything your kid will soon learn that no question is uncomfortable and that any argument is valid to start a conversation.
- When reading a story or watching a movie stop before the ending and ask him “How do you think this is going to end?”
- Ask “Why do you think this is?” You will develop his critical thinking and motivate him to find answers by himself hence promoting his independence.
- Don’t make up the answers by yourself: when talking about delicate matters it’s better to be honest than to invent improbable answers that would only confuse him more. Be brief, no need for long explanations, a concise straight answer will probably satisfy him. If your kid senses that you are making up your answers he will lose trust in you as a confidante.
- If you don’t know the answer just say so. Tell him “Let’s find out!” and find time to search for the answer with him. That way your child will learn that it is okay not to know things and will be less embarrassed to ask next time.
- Have a special place at home for the “Question of the Week.”