Have you ever been stuck for activities to entertain your child?
It’s hard, I totally understand. During the holidays you probably spend every year exhausting all the theme parks, activity centers, and even local parks.
Needing to entertain your child can very easily become costly, and time consuming.
A curious child will actively investigate and come up with activities to keep themselves occupied in a healthy way. They will find new ways to learn new things, become more independent, and also learn about themselves.
As a new parent, and leader of our Kid’s Martial Arts Programme, learning how to instill Curiosity into young minds is a top priority. It’s not that other attributes are less important, but with Curiosity I am confident that any child will develop, and maintain their passion for learning.
Why is curiosity so important?
Curiosity will keep your child from being bored, and rather than waiting to be entertained, they will find ways to entertain themselves.
By instilling curiosity into your child, they will actively learn through play. When they maintain their curiosity throughout their life, it encourages them to follow their passions through life.
This encourages their own sense of purpose, and place in the world… and isn’t that what we all want for our children?
Curiosity will help your child move forward, so they can explore the world, take risks and be the hero in their own story.
Keep reading to get your golden ticket to giving your child the Gift of Curiosity.
Benefits of curiosity
Relationships: Healthily curious people tend to ask more insightful questions to those closest to them. They actively discover ways to learn about, and understand their loved ones. This supports the development of good relationships, and helps children navigate the world as they interact with more people.
Resilience: Curiosity seeks facts, and facts support rationality. If we think with emotion, we don’t always find the honest and truthful answers. When we understand what happens to us through rationality rather than emotion, we become more resilient.
Intelligence: Curiosity is a common sign of intellect in babies and young children. It’s a sign that they want to know more, and they have the capacity to absorb more information.
Critical Thinking: Curious people strive to explore the inner workings of their mind to reach their potential, and can help others do so too.
“An unexamined life is not worth living” – Socrates.
Honesty: When children are curious to understand the workings of the world, people and situations, they are more likely to dig deeper until they find the truth. This can help children see the value in honesty and learn to be more honest and truthful as a result.
How to Spark Curiosity in your child
I get it, where is the manual on teaching your child to be curious?
It’s not so clear-cut, is it? It’s not like teaching your child the alphabet, or how to ride a bike.
Curiosity can’t be taught in theory, it has to be practiced and encouraged.
But here’s the best part…Kids Are Naturally Curious
And the question you should be asking is not ‘How do I teach my child to be curious?’
It should be ‘How do I make sure my child never loses their curiosity?’
Have you ever met a child that just asks “WHY?” to everything?
I know, it can start as cute, then become funny, but eventually we can start to dismiss the endless stream of questions.
Sometimes we think the answers are so obvious that children will find the answer themselves.
Other times, we don’t think they’re ready for the answers, you might think “they’re too young for that.”
And as much as we would hate to admit it, sometimes we just don’t know (and we don’t want them to know that we aren’t the super hero’s they think we are).
If you take anything from reading this, let it be this – Answer your child’s questions, and when you don’t know, go and find out with them.
Because if you are curious, guess what…they will learn from you.
Start encouraging curiosity in your child today
We all need a helping hand when it comes to guiding and encouraging our children.
For those of us working full-time, or even being full time stay at home parents, where do you get the time to research all the best ways to teach our children?
So, here are just four great ways to start encouraging curiosity in your child.
#1 Ask “Why do you think____?”
Has your child ever persistently asked you “why” to everything and anything?
Even when you answer, they continue to ask the same questions over and over again. It can almost make you think they are just doing it to drive you crazy.
But here’s the trick (and maybe what they need). When you reflect the questions back on your child it will give them the opportunity to find the answers for themselves.
You will find out the millions of possibilities they can come up with and you can start to explore their imagination with them.
Not only will you start having great conversations with your child, but you’ll get to know them in a whole new way. You will be showing them that you are interested in what they have to say, and you value their thoughts, opinions and insights too.
Promote your child’s curiosity by asking them questions.
- Use fun “Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?” questions. For example, “What would you do if you became a Black Belt?”
- Ask follow up questions to explore their opinions. For example, “How do you think a Black Belt would change the way you behave?”
One of the most valuable things about this one is, you’ll be teaching them that they have a voice worth hearing.
This is something they will carry through right into adulthood.
#2 Stop throwing away broken things.
Modern-day, western society has been labeled the ‘Throwaway Society’.
Gone are the days when people fixed things. These days if something breaks, we just throw it out and get a new one.
This kind of fast fashion trend is not only bad for the environment, but it is terrible for our mentality, especially toward valuing things AND people.
If it’s broken…FIX IT
So, next time your child’s zip on their jacket breaks, work with them to fix it. It can become an activity in itself. Not only will they learn how to fix broken things, but you will also learn too. * Added bonus, you’ll save some money too.
And if you’re thinking, that you might mess up, that’s fine! Kid’s learn through trial and error, and so do we.
In fact not only will you be teaching them to stay curious, but you’ll also teach them that it’s ok to fail.
Fear of failure
This has become a key root to child/teenage anxiety these days. When you can teach your child that failure is a step towards success, they will never be scared to take risks, and they will really work towards their goals.
Too many adults that I know are held back by fear.
Guess what…that is trained into us during childhood. Fear of bad grades, fear of looking silly, the fear of not being good enough. This leads to a lifetime of fear and staying in the comfort zone.
#3 Problem solve together.
As adults, we often see the solution before our children do, or we think we know the best way to solve a problem.
When this happens, we hand our child the answers without giving them a chance to explore the solution themselves.
This can take away those ‘aha’ moments from them.
This can encourage children to become complacent and lazy with their curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking.
So don’t eliminate these valuable parts of learning from their development. Provide encouragement, guide them in the right direction, and don’t just give them all the answers!
#4 Challenge the world around you
In an increasingly fast-paced world sometimes we need to stop and analyse what is happening around us and ask why certain things are happening.
When children are taught to question what they have been told, they develop their confidence and independence.
Seek answers which can be backed up by evidence.
Not only does this ensure they are not misinformed, but it also encourages them to be truthful in what they say too. This is because they too will learn how to back up their own claims with accurate data/evidence.
You can teach your child how to back up their claims by challenging their answers/statements. For example, “If someone defends themselves from an attacker on the street, will they get in trouble for injuring the attacker?”
Asking the right questions…
Tell them if they don’t know the answer, they can go and find it. They just need to learn how to ask the right questions, so they find the correct answers.
Encourage your child to ask for evidence when people make claims. This is a fantastic way to learn how to fact check, and how to defend an argument.
Not only will this teach your child to remain curious, but they will learn to be independent, they will stand for what is honest and truthful.
So that’s it.
You’ve got the tools to start encouraging curiosity in your child, but if you need a helping hand why not download my Gift of Curiosity Challenge Calendar now.
What are you going to do today to encourage curiosity in your child?
Comment below, I’d love to hear how you encourage curiosity in your child.