In our first article in this series, we looked at how our current entertainment and device-driven culture tends to stifle the natural curiosity of children. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the ways you can recognize whether or not a child is developing a healthy curiosity or not. You may be surprised at some of the clues which everyday, ordinary activities can reveal about a child’s level of curiosity.
Though much emphasis is placed on the development of foundational skills such as science, math, and reading, creativity is also vitally important. When a person moves from school into the workforce, there are countless instances where they’ll need to be able to come up with “outside the box” ideas and think quickly on their feet. All the head knowledge in the world won’t make up for a lack of creativity.
So what are some clues that will reveal whether or not a child is learning to be curious?
Spontaneity is a major sign of healthy curiosity. For example, does your child always ask you what they should wear each day, or do they sometimes just dig through their drawers and come up with their own eclectic style? Do they always have to have the same snack after school, or do they sometimes seek to mix things up and try something completely new?
Daydreaming is another good sign that a child is developing the skill of being curious. If you notice that your child seems to be in their own world and wants to talk about hopes and dreams for the future, don’t stifle them. Even if their dreams seem a bit far fetched, this ability to imagine themselves traveling to a far off place or doing a specific job someday points to a creative mind.
Entrepreneurial plans are a hallmark of a curious child. Once they find out that being productive in some way can help them to raise money for items they want to buy, many children will start seeing their curiosity levels soar to new heights. They’ll come up with all sorts of plans, whether it’s a bake sale, car wash, or dog walking, to earn money for that desired toy or game.
Doodling is a sure sign of curiosity. If you meet a child with the edges and backs of their school worksheets covered in elaborate sketches, cartoons, and even abstract designs, chances are you’ve found a curious individual. Rather than lecture them about keeping their pages looking “neat and clean,” praise them for their creativity.
Probing for deeper answers to questions is another characteristic you’ll find in curious children. They don’t want pat answers to difficult questions. These are the children who are less likely to just dutifully take notes and memorize the answers for the test without really grasping the subject at hand. Instead, they want to dig deeper, discover more, and come to a more complete understanding of the world around them. As a result, these children tend to ask question after question and participate in in-depth debates and discussions.
Now that we’ve looked at some clues that can help identify curiosity in children, we’ll turn our attention in the next article to some of the advantages of being curious.