One of my favorite quotes about encouraging curiosity in our children is by Dr. Bruce Perry in his online article “Curiosity: The Fuel of Development” on Scholastic.com: “Curiosity dimmed is a future denied.” That sentiment holds so much truth. Curiosity has led to innumerable world changing inventions and innovations, and stifling it not only does a disservice to the individual, but also potentially the world.
Dr. Perry is an internationally acclaimed authority on brain development and children. In his online article, he discusses how important curiosity is in the development of a child. As a child grows, he is more and more curious. If he is encouraged to ask questions, explore, discover new things, and share his discoveries, he will grow in confidence and knowledge.
Dr. Perry also discusses how we parents can hamper curiosity. Three common ways are through fear, disapproval, and absence. If a child is afraid, he will not be curious. He will not want to take a chance and ask a question. He will seek comfort with the status quo and conforming.
If a child hears disapproval from his parents, he will not be curious. What forms of disapproval are parents using? Examples begin with the word “don’t”. Don’t touch that; don’t get dirty; don’t ask questions! When your child knows that you are disgusted or upset when he does a particular thing, he will not want to do it or anything similar to it. A child seeks approval from his parents and if his parents do not approve of him being inquisitive, he will not be. Plain and simple!
A curious mind also needs a parent who is supporting and motivating. A smile, kind words, a look of encouragement – all of these and much more encourage a child to continue asking and seeking. If a parent is absent, the nurturing that a child needs is not there.
Encourage your children to seek, explore and discover. Who knows – you may have a budding Einstein in your family!
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