Nurturing Children’s Curiosity: The Key to Motivated Learners

Many parents come to me worried about their child’s motivation. In many cases, the problem is that we are trying to get them to be curious about things that they simply aren’t curious about. Children’s curiosity is not content-free. We need to pay close attention to what they are curious about and nurture those interest areas.

Why is curiosity important?

When kids want to know, they will learn. So, developing or encouraging kids’ curiosity is the best way to ensure that they engage with and enjoy learning. In fact, science tells us that curiosity and effort have been more strongly associated with success than IQ.

What are the biggest mistakes we make when it comes to curiosity?

  1. We assume certain things are good to be curious about versus others and dismiss what the kids are interested in.

This is a big one. We often have our own ideas about what is important for kids to learn about, and we can be quick to dismiss their interests as trivial or unimportant. But the truth is, all curiosity is valuable.

  1. We simply answer questions, without directing the child’s curiosity.

When a child asks us a question, our natural instinct is to answer it. But we can also use this opportunity to direct their curiosity. For example, if a child asks us what a bird is, we can tell them that it is a flying animal. But we can also ask them what they think birds eat, where they live, and how they fly. This helps them to think about the bird in more depth and to develop their own questions.

So here are some quick tips to nurture your child’s curiosity:

  • Follow their lead. Pay attention to what your child is interested in and encourage them to explore those interests.
  • Ask open-ended questions.
  • Provide opportunities for exploration.

Contact us to learn more about how you can nurture your child’s curiosity.

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