Three letters that form my favorite question. I love asking why! Not to be obstinate or needling but to genuinely understand. When my curiosity is satisfied and I understand the inner workings of people, processes, or phenomena I find I’m able to be more effective, thorough or helpful.
All pragmatics aside, understanding why also makes me feel a rush and thrill as the world around me makes more sense. I see myself as a perpetual student and remaining curious presents me with so many opportunities for continued learning, no matter my age, maturity or season in life.
This is something I really want to instill in my children: A belief that their curiosity is important, worth feeding, and valuable to foster. Helping them remain curious and pursue their ideas is one of my favorite aspects of being their mom!
It doesn’t have to cost a lot to help them wonder and step into awe. Here are some of my favorite ways to do exactly that.
Be their Guide
One of the easiest and no-cost ways to help your child chase curiosity is to not answer every question they have – at least not right away. If they make an observation and ask a why-based question, flip it back on them. Here’s an example…
Kiddo: “Mom, why do birds fly south in the winter?”
Me: “Great question! What are some ideas you have about why they do that?”
You don’t have to belabor it, if your child appears frustrated or not interested in this exploration, but give it a try first! This will help their minds practice churning around new topics and self-discovering knowledge.
Go to the Library
The public library is one of the most amazing resources a community has! I love taking my kids to this glorious building full of books and allowing them to self-select what resonates with them. It is a no-cost way to let them go down rabbit trails of knowledge and determine if they have an interest they want to foster further. You can take a big stack home to let them flip through and read on their own or you can read with them and step into the learning, too. I have found it fun to see all that I learn through my kids interests!
Go to a Museum
My family recently received an invitation to go visit the Science Museum of Western Virginia. It was amazing! Our kids couldn’t take it all in quickly enough. They were captivated by all the opportunities to explore and wonder. My son is a highly hands-on learner and the amount of opportunities for him to do exactly that were amazing! One exhibit had a series of large, clear tubes and he was able to put red foam balls into it and watch them zip through the tubes. It helped him understand how blood moves through our bodies. To my shock, my daughter LOVED the reptiles – eeek! Without any hesitation she reached out to touch a bearded dragon. She also loved the tarantula. What!? Case in point, pursue their curiosities because you may be surprised what you uncover along the way.
Why is curiosity important?
I want my children to continue to approach life with zest and awe as they grow and mature. I hope to raise life-long learners that realize they can pursue knowledge on their own. I also want them to be aware of tools they have to learn in a self-guided way. Bigger and more important, I want them to see the world as unlimited possibilities. My goal is to raise two amazing children who become two amazing adults, characterized by curiosity who are bold with their dreams.
It is also important for adults – this is not just the work of childhood. As we learn more about the world around us we will continue to keep our minds fresh, our interests piqued, and our souls young. Chasing curiosity is important for YOU, too! Be bold with YOUR dreams!