How to Raise Inquisitive Children

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.

How to Raise Inquisitive Children

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.

How to Raise Inquisitive Children

 

  • 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.”

 

Do you have any other tips to increase your kids curiosity? If so, leave a comment below. I would love to read them!

 

Nuria

Meet Nuria Pérez Paredes, a supernova mama, world-class creative director, and random-acts-of-creativity renegade. Nuria sparks genius by teaching creative-thinking techniques in schools and helping families improve their parenthood skills. She holds a MA in Advertising from Accademia di Comunicazione in Milan and a diploma in Executive & Creative Coaching from Noble Manhattan in London. Nuria loves writing, playing the ukulele, and dunking biscuits in tea. She lives in Madrid with her two daughters and enjoys blogging about their creative endeavors over at The Adventures Archive.

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  1. My curious children are now curious adults with children of their own – also curious. What I appreciate is that they enjoy being problem solvers today, just as they were as children. Presenting little ones with lots of different environments, experience, books, people, stuff — all that contributes. I remember taking my son to the Houston Ship Channel when he was not yet 3 years old. We just… LOOKED. LISTENED. SMELLED. That’s what we talked about. I feel who they are today is a direct result of all that. I’m proud of them and glad I was able to be that kind of mother to them. Thanks to hard-working husband.

  2. These are all great suggestions Nuria! I especially like the “Question of the Week” idea. We have a “When I’m bored jar” where my kids wrote down on strips of paper their own ideas on how to “cure” their boredom (put on a magic show, jump rope, write a comic, etc) which most often result in some sort of a family “presentation” afterwards. Adding their questions which they could research and then present their discoveries to the family would be a great addition to the jar!

  3. It’s so nice to know there are other parents out there wishing to expand their children’s imagination and inquisitiveness. Thank you for your inspiration! Especially the question of the day…

  4. Joey – I love your idea about putting their questions in a jar, and researching the answer. so refreshing to find parents out there like you all!

  5. At my school the children from 3-7 design their own learning. A wide ranging topic heading is chosen and then the children are asked to think about what it means to them and what they would like to find out. Prompts or pictures are sometimes provided to help generate ideas but the children come up with amazing queries.

  6. In my preschool class we use what is called the Wonder Wall. It is hanging in our main entry for anyone to use. We keep sticky notes and markers out all the time. We get lots of questions to investigate that way. This often gives us teachers a “jumping off” point to begin a deeper learning project.

  7. My son was for ever asking questions then one day he was being looked after by a friend who is a teacher and she had the kids sitting at the table and they all had to ask a question. My then 6 year old son asked “what is the purpose of life? Why are we here?” My friend was gob smacked and did not know what to say as the question was too complicated to try feed with a simple answer according to her

  8. When my kids would ask me a question like, “Why is the sky blue?” Instead of launching into a lesson I would be quiet for a bit and then say, “hmm… I wonder. Good question. What do you think?” They always had very wonderfully imaginative ideas. Sometimes we would go to the library to find out more. I really wanted them to wonder and imagine and not rely on me for all of the answers. One time my son said while looking up in the sky, ” I know why God lives up there in the sky. So he can get all the balloons. I loved that image.

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