One important aspect of a child growing up is his curiosity. Children are curious by default – it is what drives most of their early behaviour. Parents may sometimes feel overwhelmed by the curiosity of their children, but remember that it plays a huge role in how they grow up and how their personality develops. If channelled in the right direction, curiosity can definitely influence the lives of your children in a great manner.
What Motivates Curiosity in a Child?
A curious child is nothing new in society. Children are explorative in their early years, and this means that they will try to have as many sensations and experiences as possible when they are growing up. However, what actually motivates this sense of curiosity?
Part of it is owing to the safe and sheltered setting in which most children grow up. They are curious about breaking out of the safety net that the adults around them have set up, and seek novelty in life. Therefore, parents will have to ensure a balance between safety and novelty in setting up the early stages of the life of the child.
Of course, the style of exploration in many young children can be dangerous – however, care should be taken to remove the danger, rather than discourage curiosity in the child.
Benefits of Curiosity for Kids
The importance of curiosity in children’s learning can never be underlined enough – it is a major pathway for knowledge to reach their little minds. The ability to ask questions, and to ask the right questions is important even in the lives of adults as well. Innovation is the backdrop to any sort of progress, and this will be extremely relevant when the child grows up.
How Does Curiosity Change with Age?
Obviously, the way curiosity manifests changes according to the age of the child.
1. 0-2 Years
In the first couple of years, the child is as curious about his own body as he is about the outside world. Everything is new to him – therefore, he tries to explore as much as he can of not only the setting around him but also his body parts.
2. 3-4 Years
By this age, children already have a sense of understanding about themselves and their immediate surroundings. Now, novel events and things are their focus. You may find them asking innovative questions, like what happened to the rain or what a measuring tape is, and proceeding to try and use them further.
3. 5-6 Years
At this age, they start to think substantially – the questions children ask reflect that too. This means that parents may have to face questions like whether ants can hurt them, why they hurt them and even where babies come from. The curiosity may even be laced with anxiety at this age.
Does Curiosity Fade as a Child Grows Up?
Though no evidence shows that children’s natural curiosity to discover and explore reduces over time, the fact remains that many adults are not as curious as they once were. It does seem to occur – but it is not exactly known why it does. However, a curious fact is that the decline does coincide with age and exposure to formal learning.
What Kills Curiosity in Children?
Some people believe that the way formal learning dumps information on the child is a reason why it gets eradicated – some others believe that fear of disapproval from adults is a leading cause. If curiosity is not encouraged, it can definitely end up in children not being curious.
How to Encourage Curiosity in Kids?
Some methods can definitely help you in developing curiosity in children. You can opt for some curiosity activities for kids, too – some of which are mentioned below.
Occasional changes in their daily habits can have a huge impact on the way they think since it exposes them to something new – even if it is something as small as a new bar of soap.
Positive surprises can go a long way in improving curiosity in children too – it could be a small treasure hunt or even inviting someone for lunch by surprise.
3. Kidnap Your Child!
This is a development of the surprise action – you can take a day off and get your child from school by surprise. Go on to have a good time in the outdoors, and your child will treasure it for a long time.
Your child would definitely love cake, but would have no idea how it is made. You can bake cakes together, and the process of mixing ingredients and setting temperatures may awaken a dormant giant in their minds.
5. Open-Ended Stories
Reading the same stories for your child gets boring for both parties – so why not keep them open-ended? Ask them for their opinion on how it should end, and encourage them to think of other possibilities.
6. Prepare Yourselves
Children will definitely ask a lot of questions – and you must ensure that all their questions are answered at some point or other. Understand them, and clarify their questions quickly.
Always keep encouraging your children to ask even more than they currently do.
8. Question Them
Be involved in their questions, and occasionally ask them questions regarding their doubts and grievances. This will encourage them to think further.
Do not let your child think that the culture he grows up in is the only one. Expose them to different ethnic cultures, as this can open up their minds and broaden their acceptance of cultures that are not similar to their own.
Travel is a great exercise in curiosity-building for children, and it reawakens curiosity in the adults too.
Music promotes lateral thinking in the brain, and studying it from a young age can have a wondrous effect in the development of the child.
12. Let Him Be!
Try not to encourage your child to grow up before he has to. Let him explore his surroundings as much as he can, but ensure that there are no big dangers involved.
Encouraging curiosity in a child can be difficult, but it pays off both in terms of satisfaction for the parent and development for the child. Therefore, ensure that your child does not lose his sense of curiosity by the time he grows up.
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