How to encourage your child to ask questions

Human beings are born with an innate need to satisfy their curiosity at all times. We are the only creatures smart enough to wrack our brains about anything and everything happening around us, to the point where it becomes mandatory to find an outlet that can answer all our questions, while simultaneously allowing us to expand our horizons and attain as much information as possible.

Unfortunately, most human beings tend to live in a culture where knowing everything is considered to be an indication of strength while asking questions is generally seen as a sign of weakness. This backwards mentality is prevalent in society, which means that most people don’t end up learning about the basic fundamentals merely because they’re too intimidated to pose a question in the first place.

This can prove to quite a hurdle, especially for a child whose mind is a blank slate that’s just waiting to be scribbled on. Instilling the mentality in these children that asking questions is perfectly fine is the first step that needs to be accomplished in the process of in-taking as much information as possible during these formative years. Here are the best ways through which you can encourage your child to ask questions constantly.

1. First and foremost, questioning should be considered as a perfectly normal thing to do: It’s understandable that most children might perceive the act of questioning to be intimidating mainly due to the negative stigma attached to it. However, this is the most crucial aspect of questioning that needs to be rectified – a child should not feel that asking a question is a sign of weakness. The concept of an “ego” being weakened should not even come into play, in the first place. It’s only after overcoming this seemingly impassable obstacle that a child will be able to expand their horizons by asking the relevant questions. Basically, what we’re trying to say is that questioning should be – and this is putting it very simply – “cool.”

2. An element of playfulness and interactivity can be added to questioning: Gamification is taking over the world by storm, and something so simple as the act of asking questions can also be integrated with this concept as well. This will compel more and more children to ask questions and attain knowledge. There are many ways through which this can be accomplished –incentivising the act and adding certain levels to the questions being asked are both great ways to achieve this goal.

3. Questioning should not be easy: there should be a challenge and reward element to it: The act of asking questions should never be easy. If this is the case, then every Tom, Dick, and Harry will start asking questions left and right without any sensibility. To counter this, these queries should involve a fair bit of effort. Pondering over a problem, connecting the logic threads, and deciding upon a proper conclusion is infinitely more rewarding than a simple Google search.

4. It shouldn’t take any effort to pose a question: Rather, it should be natural: Children shouldn’t push themselves to ask questions. If even a bit of effort is required to ask a question, then something somewhere has gone wrong. Asking questions should become a habit for children since it will allow them to observe situations from an analytical angle and attain quality insights as a result.

Therefore, by following the points mentioned above to a T, you’ll compel your child to develop an inquisitive mindset that will allow them to push the boundaries of their mind and attain a better understanding of the world around them as a result.

2 thoughts on “How to encourage your child to ask questions

  1. Questioning indeed is the vehicle for learning, but out here in India the teachers do not seem to respect questions. The reason is obvious: poor recruitment policy and a system of education which rewards rot memory. I wish the critical method is given importance in schools and in the institutions of higher learning in India. Pearson’s present article is timely and relevant.

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