Parenting an Inquisitive Child
Encourage Her Natural Curiosity
It can be tempting to lay ground rules regarding how many questions your child can ask, and it’s easy to even become so frustrated with the constant requests for information that you shut down completely. It’s important to keep in mind that if the special needs of your child aren’t met, she could begin to shut down altogether and fail to realize her full potential. Nurturing the thirst for knowledge will increase your workload as a parent, but it’s also one of the best ways to ensure that she stays engaged and eager to learn. Rather than discouraging your child from asking so many questions, look for ways that you can nurture her inquisitive nature.
Talk About Privacy and Respecting Boundaries
Curious kids just want to know more about the world around them, and they’re not always burdened by the knowledge of social mores. As a result, it’s not uncommon to find yourself making apologies for hurtful or rude questions that your inquisitive child asks without realizing that she’s violating the social contract. Making sure that you take time to discuss the importance of respecting others’ right to privacy and maintaining some boundaries can help cut down on these embarrassing situations. Letting your child know that it’s okay to ask touchy questions when it’s just the two of you will satisfy her urge to discover new things without subjecting unwitting friends and loved ones to a barrage of delicate questions.
Find Toys and Games that Fuel Her Inquisitive Nature
The technological advances in the toy industry aren’t restricted to shoot-’em-up video games. There’s a wide selection of toys and games designed to foster learning and knowledge in kids that can help encourage a habit of independent learning. When your child is able to find some of the answers to her questions or access new information on her own she’ll be able to take pride in her accomplishments while you escape at least a few of her questions about the world.
Make a Habit of Looking Up Answers Together
It’s embarrassing to admit that you don’t know the answer to a child’s question, especially if it happens on a regular basis. Rather than becoming frustrated as a result of your humiliation or offering an incorrect answer as a means of buying some silence, why not make a habit of finding the answers to her questions together? You’ll be able to make sure that the information your child finds is accurate, she’ll begin to learn the basics of independent research and you’ll be able to learn a few things in the process.
Keep Answers Age-Appropriate
When a child wants to know everything that happens around her, she’ll naturally stumble on a subject or two that’s beyond her maturity level. Whether you’re concerned about the ability of her young mind being able to grasp more complex concepts or you simply want to shield her from certain realities about the world, there will be questions that you won’t quite know how to answer. Rather than shutting your child down with a simple “let’s talk about it later,” think about the best ways to offer an age-appropriate answer. Remember, it’s okay to tell your child that you need to think about the right way to answer a question. There’s no rule stating that you have to present the unvarnished truth immediately upon being asked a question, so take your time in formulating a response. In some cases, your child’s quick mind and short attention span may mean that she’s forgotten all about her question by the time you find an answer that’s suitable for her developmental and maturity level and you won’t have to foist heavy knowledge onto small shoulders at a moment’s notice.
No one knows your child as well as you, so you may find that there are individual solutions unique to your child that will do the trick when sticky questions are asked. In the end, it’s important to make every effort to support her curious nature, even when the stream of questions is beginning to wear on your nerves. Remember that she’s still learning about everything around her and that the answers to even simple questions aren’t always so obvious to little eyes.