Embrace Your Kid’s Curiosity

By Geetanjali Padoshi

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Why do we have day and night? Why is the sky blue in color? Does my brain sleep when I sleep? Why does mixing colors make new colors? Why do I feel woozy in my stomach when a plane takes off?

These are just some of the innumerable questions that kids ask adults day in and day out. How often do we come across hassled parents who complain to their colleagues or friends about the incessant bombardment of questions from their kids?

Well! If you are one of the parents who fall in this category consider yourself lucky. You are blessed with a curious child. It does become overwhelming to keep up with the constant barrage of questions on all topics under the sun. However, embrace your kid’s curiosity .

We all are curious by nature. We are bugged by the unknown. As adults we have greater means to seek solutions for things that we do not know. For today’s teens the internet has made everything available at a mouse’s click or a touch button on mobiles. The younger lot who still cannot use the above rely on elders or books to quench their curiosity.

We must take steps to nurture the curiosity in kids whether early learners or teens. The use of 5 senses can ensure that curiosity remains as a continuous streak in a child’s life. It has many far reaching impacts on the child’s development.

  1. It makes the brain active – When the hows, whys , whens and wheres become a child’s friend, they ensure constant brain activity. It also develops one’s creative horizons. The child while yearning to satisfy his curiosity may come up with plausible reasons. Thus, the habit of building multi scenario options for a specific task gets developed automatically.
  2. Persistence in tasks – The immediate effect of the above can lead to the second advantage of curiosity – a persistent child. The constant need to find answers to the questions popping up in a child’s mind leads to not giving up the quest of seeking them.<When a child tries to conjure multiple ways or answers for a question, he / she inherently becomes a relentless learner. The thought of quitting doesn’t occur to them easily. This can be very helpful in academic subjects where at times kids find it difficult to understand the concepts. This habit of continuous perusal to find answers makes them take the difficulty head on.
  3. Develop social skills – A curious child never shies away from asking questions or seeking help from others. White he / she may do it in order to find a satisfying answer, it inadvertently makes them open up to people and interact. Having people skills goes a long way in building one’s character in life.
  4. Curious kids are happy kids – It is self explanatory. In the process of quenching their yearning to seek an answer most kids enjoy the “Eureka” moment. This happens when they finally are able to find the answer to their questions. It brings in a sense of being elated, having done something good.
  5. It develops empathy – Imaginee a child going on a journey and making new friends. The interactions lead to knowing one’s interests , likes and dislikes.A curious kid by striking a conversation helps others to open up and forget about their worries. It may be a temporary phenomenon. Yet, it makes the other person forget the worldly woes while enjoying a boisterous conversation with a kid having questions about everything. Some may find this irritating, the child nevertheless engages the other person to interact and be more aware amongst the present group.
  6. A curious kid is achievement oriented – This premise stems from the fact that the child wants to know everything about the person / thing / event / phenomenon he /she is curious about.

Let’s take a small example – a child seeks to know why the sky is blue. Upon knowing he further wants to know why it is grey sometimes? Reddish at dawn and dusk? Where do the stars disappear when the sun comes up? Does the sun really set in the ocean in the evening?

The chain of never ending questions leads to knowledge increase. He doesn’t stop at the first question but tries to understand all related areas too. This further builds the trait of a single minded focus on solution seeking. This focus is what leads to great achievements.

The next question would be what role should parents play to keep the curiosity fire burning in the kids?

It can be done in the following simple ways –

  1. Allow the kids to imagine and conjure.
  2. Guide them towards the possible solutions, but make them choose the outcome themselves.
  3. Reinforce their curious behavior by accepting to answer or embark on a journey to do it with them
  4. Let them try new things and fail. Failure allows them to cancel out the negatives and reach the answers.
  5. Ask them open ended questions. This helps their minds to seek answers.
  6. Teach them the importance of observation, deduction and conclusion.
  7. Do not enforce your thoughts and dogmas on them. Give them the freedom to form their own opinions. One can correct it later, but the child must feel that he found the answers to his questions. Do not dish it out to them on a platter.

It is said that –

Knowing the answers helps in school:

Knowing the questions helps in life.

Let your kids question you. It is these questions that would build a lifelong passion of learning.

Don’t fear curiosity . Let your child embrace it wholeheartedly.

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