Friday, February 6, 2009

Non-Stop Questioning

One thing I do all day long is answer every question my boys ask. I decided long before I became a parent that this is an important habit I must consciously cultivate. 

I don't think I have ever ignored a single question from my kids, be it simple or complicated. 

A typical stroll or outing with my 2yo for instance, is almost always accompanied with a string of the 5W1H's. Like what he asked me today in our half hour stroll...

What happened to that man? Why does that girl cry? Where is the dump truck going? Why is the door closed? Where is the bird going? Why does the digger stop working? Why are the clouds moving? Is the moon sleeping? Why is it so noisy? Why is the woman running? ... 

And a selection of what the 4yo asked me today ......

How do we know the trees are old? Do the apples feel pain when I bite into it? What does a rhinoceros eat? Why doesn't the Leaning Tower of Pisa collapse if it doesn't have a strong foundation? Why do God want to live in Heaven? Where does garbage truck take all the garbage to? .... 

Friends often remark how my 4yo seems to be asking endless questions. Many mums who came by for playdates noted that even my 2yo started asking questions when he was  as young as 18 mth old. Many ask what did we, as parents, do differently to encourage such inquisitiveness.

I certainly think our diligent effort to satisfy their curiosity makes a big difference. It also helps to be attentive to their interests, so I can feed them with more questions when they aren't asking me any. I heighten their awareness to their surroundings. I raise issues which haven't cross their minds. I answer their questions with more questions, prompting them to think for themselves. 

Frankly, it can be exhausting. Especially for me, as a stay-home mum. I face them all day long, so I get the bulk of their questions. By the time E gets home, he is spared the most of it.

But I won't change any bit of this. I enjoy opening their eyes and minds and feeding their hunger for knowledge. Like what M said today, 'if I don't learn anything, my brain will not grow because I am not feeding it any food'. That, was a concept I explained to him a while back. It sticks ever since! 

2 comments:

Alice Law said...

LOL! Until now I still wondering how my girl did it... she started to ask " What is this?" and "Why?" when she was 11 months old!

Domesticgoddess said...

Yes, some kids are very expressive and curious right from an early age. Your gal must have started talking very early! My boys used to love to ask 'what is this?' very early on too and we used to chuckle at the way they asked. Such a cute stage.

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