Encouraging an inquisitive nature will bring huge benefits to your child’s learning and development. You can also help your child to foster a love of learning byexploring their interests and stimulating their curiosity.
I have teamed up with an independent school in London to share the following advice on how to raise an inquisitive child…
Model a love of learning
One of the best ways to raise an inquisitive child is to show them that curiosity leads to new discoveries. You can do this by modelling a love of learning yourself. For example, when readinga book you could sharefascinating facts with your child; or whilst exploring a park you could point out interesting wildlife. Your children will seeyour excitement and be inspired to ask more questions.
Try new things
Another way to develop an inquisitive nature in children is to encourage them to try new things. You can start with something simple like tasting a new food and then move onto a bigger challenge like going camping. This is a great way to take your child out of their comfort zone and it will help to bring out their adventurous side. Camping will also give your child plenty of opportunities to learn and explore.
Make new discoveries
Give your child plenty of freedom to play and explore. This means letting go of any routines or rules. Allow your child to choose what to play and let them get messy when playing outdoors. This will encourage them to test new theories, problem solve and use their imagination.
If your child asks you a question and you don’t know the answer, use it as an opportunity to learn together by researching in books or online. You will both benefit by learning lots of fascinating facts. This will also teach your child that it is okay when you don’t know an answer, and they should never feel embarrassed to ask questions.
Parents are often tempted to reward children for achieving good grades. However, it is more important to praise your child’s curiosity when you see it in action. For example, when you notice your child solving a problem on their own or looking up an answer independently, be sure to acknowledge their efforts. Children need to know that you value their motivation to learn.
Finally, it is important to promote an open and honest family environment, where your child feels free to express their own opinions and ask questions. If you talk openly about all subjects, your child will learn that no question is a silly question and they have your full support. If your child asks you a difficult question, try to be honest rather than making something up just to please them. If your child discovers later on that you were not honest, it could damage their trust.
It is natural to be concerned about how certain facts might affect your child or if they are age appropriate. A good way to deal with delicate questions is to ask your child what they think the answer is. You may be surprised by how much they already know.