Raising curious kids is part two of the mini-series on Family Core Values. In part one that you can read here, I explained how it’s important to have core values for your family just as it is for your business.
As it so happens, as I work on setting up my new project 193mysteries, our family values and the business values happen to be pretty much the same.
You know those kids that are always asking why, why, why? I was that child and a few decades later, I am still the same! Fortunately I was encouraged to ask questions and think outside the box. And I think that helped me to help the kids when I was teaching.
Encouraging kids to figure out the answer or to go and look for it themselves is a great way to empower them. It can be quite frustrating raising curious kids but the pay off it worth it.
Of course The Google has changed our lives forever with all that for good and for bad. Unsupervised googling can lead kids into all kinds of rabbit holes, as both you and I know – I am sure you have been there too. The difference is we have the street smarts to recognise a dodgy link… most of the time. Kids have yet to build up that filter.
Supervised research is a great way to help kids navigate the web and we need to help them as Google etc. are not going away any time soon.
Thanks to the tech, it does mean that we have all the answers to all the questions, right there at our fingertips.
Not like back in the day when you had to hope the info you wanted, was in a book you already owned, or in the head of an adult you could ask, who may or maybe tell you the real answer! Otherwise, it meant a trip to the library!
To think of all those unanswered questions I had as a child!
Smash And Grab Answers
One of the disadvantages of the instant answers we have now is that often we don’t have to dig deep to find an answer, Google will do that for us which means we miss out on the extra reading and research which comes with looking for an answer.
Especially if you have a device such as Alexa or Google home, just ask it a question, get your answer and you are on your way, that curiosity itch, scratched.
Compare that to when you found yourself going off on a complete tangent when looking for something specific because a thread of an idea has caught your imagination and you followed it?
These instant answers really are a double edged sword.
Keep a whiteboard or post-it notes in one place and whenever big questions come up, add them to the board. This works well if you are too busy, say in the middle of cooking dinner. You child knows you are paying attention to them and then when you have time or you want to distract them you can use their big questions and together find the answers.
Feed Their Curiosity And Make More Time For You
As a mom who needs to get stuff done, and as a mom who helps other moms get stuff done I know one of the big problems is to keep kids occupied. But here is a magic trick that I actually have to thank Dr Montessori.
Follow The Child, it’s a simple concept at it’s core. Observe your child, take note of what they are interested in and give them more of that.
When you do this you take the pressure off your shoulders of being ‘an educator’ especially if you are not trained as one but you are also giving the child what they are craving.
They are interested in the subject matter, will learn at a deeper level and stay focused on what you give them for longer because it’s something they are interested in.
Let’s imagine that you have bought yourself a new Instant Pot and you are excited to use it, you want to find some great recipes to try out BUT your partner keeps giving you books on gardening and sending you articles to read about gardening. Interrupting your research time with gardening related activities.
You’d soon get pretty annoyed pretty quickly even if you are a keen gardener because your itch that needs scratching is all about the Instant Pot.
It’s the same with our kids.
You might think they will love that amazing idea you found on Pinterest but the reality is that they are not in the learning cycle for art and what they really want to know more about is dinosaur bones.
Give them more dinosaur bones!
What About Introducing New Things?
Of course it is also part of our job to be curious with our kids and introduce them to all the wonders of the world and there are different ways to do this.
- Find a connection with what they are interested in right now and the topic you want to introduce them to.
- Start mentioning the topic to get them curious, share random facts as you go about your day.
- Watch a movie which introduces the topic.
- Read a book together on the topic.
- Leave new activities out without an explanation of what it is, wait for them to go and ask you.
Many of my community are travel and culture lovers but other than physically taking a trip it can be difficult to get kids excited about learning about another culture.
When Ebi-kun was little we would spend the day in ____________(fill in the country). We’d do this by watching YouTube videos, reading books, creating art, learning about famous people, cooking, and listening to music. Always a lot of fun but also a lot of work from my side of things.
With 193mysteries we plan to take the organising burden off the shoulders of the parents or caregivers so you can focus on having fun and building that curiosity muscle.
3 Easy Ways To Raising Curious Kids
To warp up, follow these 3 easy steps and you will be golden!
Pay attention to what your child is interested in, give them more of what that is. This might be activities, books, videos, anything that fuels their fire.
Keep a Big Questions Board. Write down any questions your kid has and on a regular basis go through and find the answers together. You can also use these to support point #1
Lead by example. Show your kids how you are curious about things. Drop snippets on information or leave activities around to help them get curious about the next thing.
If the next thing is learning about the world and your family loves cracking codes, solving problems and visiting mystery destinations, then try out a 193mysteries tour. Totally free…