An inquisitive child is a blessing and a curse for parents. On one hand, a parent should be happy his/her child has an interest which allows them to question things. On the other hand, sometimes it can be embarrassing if you don’t know the answer. It’s also difficult when children question EVERYTHING and you spend a lot of time answering questions when you may want to be doing other things.
Encourage the Inquisitive Child
By and large though, parents should want inquisitive children. These are the children who typically participate in school and understand more concepts because their questions have been answered. While I was a teacher, the most inquisitive children were typically the leaders of my classroom.
Many times, learning the subject matter wasn’t enough. It was more important for children to go above and beyond by asking the right questions. The process of going above and beyond is what made a ‘B/C’ student an ‘A’ student.
Ideas to Build Inquisitiveness
The following ideas really helped in terms of building a child’s inquisitiveness. My hope is you can use these lessons at home. The simple formula is inquisitive children = successful children.
- Model inquisitiveness at home. For example, start statements with “I wonder how to …”. Another good beginning is “What would happen if …”. Modeling these behaviors over time will likely be repeated by the child when they have a question or problem. Please remember this process takes time, so if you do this once and don’t repeat it, odds are the child isn’t going to pick up on what you are doing.
- Take an active role in finding the answer. When my eldest child had a question about humpback whales, we looked it up using Google (I didn’t know much about them anyway). We received a plethora of information and great videos. I took his question seriously and helped him research it in an entertaining manner. He was encouraged to be equally as inquisitive on future topics.
Helping a child learn to be inquisitive can be a lot of work, and time consuming if the child isn’t naturally inclined. I can tell you that fostering inquisitiveness is one of the most worthwhile things I do as a parent.
What techniques have you learned that help nurture your child’s questioning nature?