Children are naturally curious about the world around them. As they face countless learning opportunities and new experiences, kids absorb new information each day! It’s our job to encourage them to continue asking questions, seeking answers and exploring their environment as they grow. Keep reading for some easy tips to support your child’s curiosity.
Encouraging an Inquisitive Mind
As they encounter new experiences, concepts and phenomena, children find themselves with an abundance of questions. It’s important to embrace this curiosity by seeing it as an opportunity for further conversation. Asking questions allows children to guide their own learning and dive into topics that interest them. As they seek more information, kids are often able to relate to the subject and become more engaged and motivated to learn.
To help your child keep asking questions and fearlessly exploring, you must create an environment where they feel safe to do so. Approach their curiosity with excitement and understanding and allow them to feel comfortable expressing their thoughts. Teach them that it is OK to not know, and even better to ask why!
To empower your child to explore, you might try sharing prompts to help them open up and modeling good questioning behavior yourself by asking “why” and “how” throughout the day. Showing them to think deeper and then taking the time to hunt for answers together will set up your child for success by getting them in the habit of asking thoughtful questions and seeking knowledge!
Answering Tough Questions
Sometimes, kids ask challenging questions or inquire about subjects they may not be fully ready to discuss. From sickness to Santa Claus, children do not always realize the weight of the topics they are exploring or the questions they are asking.
To help navigate some tricky conversations, this NPR article shares strategies that make the situation easier to manage, including gathering clarification to determine the root of what they are trying to understand, helping kids process small bits of information at a time and offering to seek answers together.
Just because a topic may be heavy, uncertain or advanced, that does not mean we should prevent children from seeking answers or exploring those aspects of their lives. Rather, we should help them process information in a loving and safe manner.
Above all, allow your child to stretch their imagination as they learn to navigate the world around them. Making inquiries is one way that they can express their interests and expand their perspective — so don’t be afraid to embrace the curious questioning!
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For more ideas on how to encourage curiosity and help your child gain confidence in learning, we invite you to check out our blog.