“When my child was one year old, I used to wonder when would he start talking but once he started talking I started wondering when he would shut up!!!” One of the most common lines that you hear every new parent say, which is followed by laughter by everyone around. “So what?”, you will say. “Its such an harmless and innocuous statement”. Not so harmless if that becomes the way of thinking of the collective society. I know it can be quite a pain answering those endless questions, but imagine yourself as an astronaut and you land on this new planet. Won’t you have endless questions too? That’s precisely is what happening to the child, they are experiencing a wonderful new world with so many new things and who else will they direct their questions to? Isn’t this a simple equation, the more questions they ask, the more they are going to learn. Lets take an example from nature, when an egg hatches and a new life emerges from it, it attaches the image of the mother to the first living being that it sees. For example, if a tiger is the first thing that a baby deer sees, then it will think that the tiger is its mother. Then it depends upon the reaction of the tiger to this situation that will determine the final imprint of the tiger in the mind of the baby deer.
If we discourage the child from asking questions then we are slowly killing their natural curiosity. If they get a negative reinforcement when they ask questions, then they will associate that reaction to the process of asking questions. The best thing that we can do is be patient and answer. Answer all those thousand questions. No matter how silly they seem, answer them… without belittling them or their questions. Remember when we were in school, the boy who raised his hand in class was always laughed at? This is the culture that we need to change. Our job doesn’t end with encouraging our child to raise their hands and ask questions in school but also ensure that our child is not the one who is laughing at his friend asking a silly question. We need to re-inforce the behavior that no question is right or wrong. All it does is give a new perspective. It gives a new side to the coin. This will ensure that our child appreciates every point of view. This will help him take decisions as then he would be able to look at a problem from various perspectives and make a much informed choice.
So don’t just raise a child, raise a curious child… Raise a Thinking Child!!!