I have always loved observing the inquisitive nature of children. Watching them interact with a new experience is magical. The unadulterated and raw curiosity can reveal something extraordinary in even the most mundane places and experiences. But curiosity, like many other things, has to be nurtured and encouraged in order for it to thrive.
“Kids are born curious about the world. What adults primarily do in the presence of kids is unwittingly thwart the curiosity of children.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson
Not Now. Not Ever?
A lot of things we interact with as adults are novel to kids, so it is natural for them to want to learn and examine our experiences. Life’s little moments are often the best opportunities to embrace children’s curiosity, but life gets in the way. Because we are often too busy, we unwittingly eradicate curiosity from our children.
I discovered this when I was rushing to get to dressed and my first born asked to help me with my belt. I won’t lie, it was hard for someone that lives by “early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable,” to stop and be present. Especially when I am trying to be on time! But that day I stopped and spent a couple of minutes showing L how the belt works and how to properly latch it.
The ecstatic look on her face reminded me that there are simple joys in life that are worth pausing for. I could see her fighting the excitement as I gave directions and then beam with pride when she was able to buckle and tuck away my belt, just like I showed her. I could tell that the impact of that lesson went far beyond her learning how belts worked. I promised myself I would do my best to gift as many of those moments as I could to my children.
Life’s Little, Yet Impactful, Moments
Moments like the one I described are the reason I learned to question things as a kid. My parents, both trained engineers, would explain physics, trigonometry, and chemistry concepts to me as a child. I would ask a lot of questions, and l was lucky that my parents could answer them.
Now as an adult, I can pass that torch of curiosity to my children. Nourishing their inquisitive instincts with little bits of time and attention here and there will make all of the difference for them; arriving to work a couple of minutes later won’t. I have always believed that people should never stop learning, and as parents we have to provide a conducive environment for our children.
Take the extra minute. Give your children the opportunity to explore and watch them transform.