He explores, he questions, he experiments. He is curious. Congratulations! He meets the basic and the only requirement to be a scientist. This article dedicated to such little scientists.
Children are blessed with the ability to question everything around them. They would want to know how the remote control can change temperature in air conditioner as well as help select channels in television. They would try to rotate the tire of their car/scooter/tri-cycle to understand how it helps them go around without the feet. This inquisitiveness helps them understand the nature and hence laws of physics.
As parents, it is our responsibility to be a part of their journey to exploration, encourage them to ask questions fearlessly and answer them in the simplest and most suitable manner
There are three common ways we crush the enthusiastic exploration of our curious child:
Fear: Fear kills curiosity. When the child is afraid, he will not like novelty. He will like to stay in his comfort zone, unwilling to leave and explore new things.
Disapproval: “Don’t touch. Don’t climb. Don’t yell. Don’t take that apart. Don’t get dirty. Don’t. Don’t. Don’t.” Children sense and respond to our fears, biases, and attitudes. If we convey a sense of disgust at the mud on their shoes and the slime on their hands, their discovery of tadpoles will be diminished.
Absence: The presence of caring parents provides two things essential for exploration: a sense of safety from which to set out to discover new things and the capacity to share the discovery and, thereby, get the pleasure and sense of accomplishment.
Children learn through experiments. They may succeed sometimes while hurt themselves at another moment but they have their antennas set for reception all the times. Accompanying your children during such experiments help you connect with them, ensure their safety along with teaching them through means that are interesting. We all know that knowledge that comes through reading technical books is incomplete without experiments. So why not join your little angels when they lookout for new ventures and have fun with them.
But along with fun, we need to be very cautious about when and how do they try things out. We have to make sure that they do not try to explore things without the help of an elder round and their trials do not harm others or themselves.
Many of us stay in a multistoried apartment and we often find kids throwing stuff from their balconies. For the kids, it is their curiosity to understand where do the things vanish once thrown from the balcony but it can anytime prove fatal. I had similar concerns when my son started walking. Initially, I would follow him at all times when the balcony door was open. But then I realized I am blocking his learning. That day I decided to make him understand a little about gravity. Also, I showed him with a help of a soft toy how things fall down when left from a height. I also had to make sure that he does not try those tricks of throwing stuff on his own, I did the experiment with a little heavier stuff.
This time I showed him how it could hurt someone when left from a height. I asked him to leave it from a height and would let it fall on my foot. I enacted to scream in pain to make him understand that it has hurt me. His face had a grave look. Things from a distance/height can hurt was a new learning for him. He had learnt the complete lesson.
From then onwards, I do not have to follow him to the balcony all the time but I do keep an eye on his movement. If he is holding anything, he knows it that he cannot take it to the balcony and keeps it inside before heading outside.
By turning the light switch on and off over and over again, the toddler is learning about cause and effect. By pouring water into a dozen different-shaped containers and on the floor and over clothes, your school going kid is learning per-concepts of mass and volume. A child discovers the sweetness of chocolate, the bitterness of lemon, the heat of the radiator, and the cold of ice. Explore the world with your baby, who knows; even you might discover something new.
I am free-spirited, full of positive energy mother of a 2-yr old cute boy. Different shades of my life’s rainbow come from being a daughter, a wife, a sister, a mother, an engineer, a blogger, a cook and a traveler. Life is colourful with everyone around me.