The great artists and innovators have all been very curious people. Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, Leonardo da Vinci and Elon Musk to name a few.
Young children start this way – we are born naturally curious about the world around us. As we get older, that curiosity can be diminished if it is not nourished. It’s important to know what diminishes curiosity as well as how you can nourish it.
Read on to learn how to feed your son’s curiosity and three factors that stop children being curious.
Factors that stop children being curious
- Fear – if they don’t feel safe and secure children focus more on surviving than exploring.
- Disapproval – when children are constantly reprimanded for trying new things and asking questions, they learn that they shouldn’t do it.
- Absence – mentally or physically absent parents can cause children to put their energy into trying to get more love and attention instead.
“The important thing is not to stop questioning …
Never lose a holy curiosity.” Albert Einstein
Those are some telltale signs to watch for so your son has the best chances of staying curious about the world. Nourishing his curiosity needs your active and conscious involvement. Here are four ways to feed his curiosity.
Model wonder about the world
If you are constantly curious and demonstrate enthusiasm for learning, your son will naturally follow in your footsteps. Children learn by observing and imitating, and you are his first and most important role model. Point out fascinating things in nature and share interesting facts with him. The best part is seeing his eyes light up in wonder.
Encourage him to keep asking questions
It can be frustrating when children keep asking “why?” questions – but that is because they are curious. As tempting as it can be to quash that, be patient and feed his curiosity with great answers packed with interesting facts. If you don’t know the answer, why not admit it and suggest jumping online to learn more together?
Teach the value of failure
John C Maxwell authored a book called Failing Forward and it is a great read. The book is about how to learn from mistakes and create stepping stones to success. Create a safe environment for your son to explore freely. We’re not suggesting setting him loose to take any risk he wants, but to feel free to try new things and not be too worried about it not working out perfectly.
Limit their time on devices
Of course technology is useful and can be used as an educational tool. But it is also a source of constant distraction and a world of 24/7 push notifications from social media and messaging platforms. Be structured but reasonable in your expectations – if your son is old enough, you can create limits through an open discussion with him. That way he will be on board and feel a sense of ownership over the decision.
A burning curiosity about the world around him will turn your son into a lifelong learner. This is arguably one of the most important traits for him to have in a 21st century workplace. Job titles come and go with changing industries and he needs to be able to adapt quickly. Feeding his curiosity will give him a solid chance of developing this trait and experiencing future success.
Learn how your son’s curiosity is harnessed and nourished at The Scots College by downloading a copy of the Brave Hearts Bold Minds handbook.