Why Why Why?
This weekend I celebrated my 31st birthday. On Saturday, I had the opportunity to spend some time with a friend’s daughter who is about to turn three. Throughout the day, she kept asking why about EVERYTHING. “Why are we here? Why is Daddy outside? Why? Why? Why?” It got me thinking about how children begin their little lives with such curiosity.
I consider myself a pretty curious person, but is that only because no one squashed the curiosity out of me? Children start out curious, but at some point many adults in their lives tell them in so many words, “Stop asking questions. Just do as I say.”
Before staying home, I taught third grade for years. One year, maybe four years ago, I had a student come from Germany. My student, Earnest, came to the US knowing only about five words in English, therefore it was a rough beginning of the school year! Quickly into the year, Earnest told me he brought a model of an airplane to show the class. He explained that he wanted to share his learning with the class. I was ready to use translation websites to translate the words Earnest used to their English counterparts, not that I have the knowledge of airplane parts in English, either. When Earnest started speaking about the airplane, I was shocked! His father had worked with him to learn airplane components in English! Barely knowing English himself, this dad went the extra mile to take his son’s curiosity and turn it into a rare learning opportunity. Earnest was able to stand in front of his peers, point out the details of an airplane, and do it in a language he barely knew.
Earnest’s parents always supported Earnest any way he needed so that he could excel in his education.
As a teacher, and now as a parent, I genuinely hope I support and help to encourage my son’s curiosity. He’s only one now so he is curious about everything! As parents, we need to help answer questions, or at the very least not get annoyed by every single thing they ask.
In a couple of years, when my son is asking the whys of his life, I hope I can inspire Brandon’s curiosity. That curiosity turns into learning and down the road, critical thinking. Critical thinking is lacking in our world today, and it makes me wonder, how many times do we ask why?
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All the Best,