We are born curious. All through our lifespan, it is curiosity which encourages us to understand our surroundings and makes us adapt to face life’s challenges.
Curiosity broadens a child’s mind, helps them in exploring; enough to comprehend their environment. Quite literally, as a parent, you are the doorway to the child’s world of knowledge, love and learning. A child’s curiosity is first focused on you parents, with them gazing intently on your facial features and contours, to your warm voice and your even warmer touch. Continual interaction encourages natural learning within them.
No sooner has the child started moving its arms and legs. It has started shaking a rattle and putting toys in its mouth in an attempt to understand its wonderful surrounding. As a toddler, curiosity reaches its hilt with the joy of discovery. He would throw things around because it amazes him to see it break into pieces, he would turn the lights on and off again to learn more on cause and effect. She would like to pour water into differently shaped containers to learn about size and volume or pretend to be a character as she wonders what it would be to fit into someone else shoes.
The wonderful cuddly baby has now stepped into the terrible twos and threes zone – their curiosity about the world is more than infectious; it now heralds a slightly antagonizing era for parents. Their latent inquisitiveness needs answers and soon would you be loaded with a deluge of “What is that” to “how do you do this” to “what happens if we..” In the midst of our working hectic lifestyle, parents often feel irritated and tend to discourage them and constrain their curiosity. Technology becomes our saviour and we find ourselves providing them with the latest of gadgets in an attempt to restrict their physical activities. Inadvertently we are gradually killing their interest about external exploration and thereby curbing their development.
Below are some tips that would enable you to nurture your child’s curiosity:
- Develop interesting play activities with your child – Play is the primary engine of growth. Encourage it by building things together, making a hurdle game, engaging in clay activities – all these would fashion their imagination into reality
- Model interest in your surroundings – Walk through parks, gaze at the stars, bury your feet in the sand, garden. Children explore with their senses and these activities will foster their understanding of nature in turn making them appreciate their surroundings
- Respectfully listen and respond to the child’s questions – If the questions are awkward or difficult to respond, redirect if required but don’t discourage. Stimulate open-ended discussions.
- Encourage curiosity with simple hands-on experiments – Spend time in making art and craft, cook together, teach them basic concepts visually. Children get enthused by the most basic things as long as you are involved enthusiastically; you just have to let your child’s curiosity be your guide.
And Above all
- Devote time! As a parent, you alone play a pivotal role in the mental, physical and intellectual improvement of your child. Invest your time in them, seek out new experiences together, and instil the love of learning!
Curiosity dimmed is a future declined!