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Values & Education

On Whys And Hows – A Reminder To A Doting Mind

My day begins with a question and ends with one. On an average day, I have to endure an onslaught of around thirty formidable questions and the day when I am more fortuitous, it might go upto fifty. These questions can neither be avoided nor can I beat around the bush to avoid or delay them. Instead, it demands attention and seeks immediate intervention. The lines above is in context to the deluge of questions being poured on me and my best half (my husband JB) by our only son AB.


Mr. Curious, who quite recently crossed his six years mark has always been that much attention seeker and an eager child with inquisitive mind, always ready with his barrage of questions to be fired on us. If we observe carefully, these questions are mostly valid and rarely vague.

Being a child is not just a preparation for life ahead but it is also a life in itself. At this point in his life like any other kid of his age, AB lives in this beautiful ethereal, dreamy wonderland, where every step excites him, every newness titillates him and even a mundane chore has limitless quest to be resolved.

The kid’s favourite Jungle Book author Rudyard Kipling once said:

I keep six honest serving men,

They taught me all I knew today;

Their names are What and Why and When

And How and Where and Who.

Mr.Curious is surely impressed with Mr.Kipling and following his footsteps diligently as he has covered many a Whys and Hows, Who’s and What’s in this meagre six years of his mortal existence:

Mamma, Why should we sleep?

How does the internet works?

Where does sun go every night?

Who is a government?

When will I have Moustaches?

What is a vitamin?

These and many more to be faced almost everyday is not an easy game. We all need energy and vigour to sustain. But more than that we all need time which we are falling short of in today’s world of affairs. We need time to work, to share, to love, to learn, to laugh, to relax, to communicate and to live above all. As we manage the entire day being a parent taking care of kids or family and us, somewhere we are bound to exert and rub off some stress and strain to each other being human. But with that how can we just forget that these little humans were ushered into our life with our own consent and welcomed to our home with love and joy abound. So, they look forward. They look forward to the guidance, to the path to be followed which knowingly or unknowingly, we weave for them in the process of nurturing and bringing them up to a self-reliant being.

Even before a child learns to speak, he or she learns to question. The novelty of this real world and the close people surrounding him are nothing less than an enigma. The only difference is that there’s no language at this point of time to be spoken. The unspoken language is manifested through the gesture, laugh, cry or may be that eager look in those angelic eyes which penetrates deep down your soul. With time the sound and the voice being developed in form of words of communication, we as a doting parent are left overwhelmed with the arrival of sudden outburst of queries to be acknowledged and resolved.

Being Curious is about questioning anything or many things which is almost everything that catches a kid’s attention or fancy. Curiosity is like a thirst for knowledge born out of one’s soul  to be quenched for. By definition, Curiosity is ‘a strong desire to know or learn something.’ Quite reasonably, the greatest natural resource today we have in our hand is the mind of our children. There goes a saying which says, “You can teach a student a lesson for a day but if you teach them to be curious…. the learning process continues and never ceases.”

If we pay attention intently, we will be revealed with the fact that when their inquisitiveness is neglected, kids indulge in silly pursuits or negative balking. The way we respond or how we attend, actually determines a child’s overall development. When a kid asks a why or how, it’s just not a why or how; it’s more than that. It’s a trigger to think, to feel and to imbibe. And if that trigger is channelised effectively, half the battle of parenting is won.

Knowing the answer will help you in school.. Knowing how to question will help one in life – Warren Berger

What a profound statement! Perhaps the biggest proponent of curiosity was no one other than the renowned scientist Albert Einstein. Einstein stated that “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity; of life. I am neither clever nor specially gifted. I am only very very curious.”

Those lines are absolutely wondrous and obviously genius, which every parent should by heart so that whenever a child comes to us running with a hope to know or to resolve something, we tenderly and sincerely attend to it. Let that fire or zeal to learn in them not get extinguished, amidst those day to day hardships as they are too precious to be ignored or disregarded.

But then the truth is that we don’t have answers to all the questions. There are certain times again when a question asked is not appropriate until a person is mature enough to appreciate the answers. Situation like this arises now and then. It’s better to handle them maturely yet delicately.

When asked how is motherhood treating me! I always tell my friends I am still struggling. Each day I question myself. Sometimes I wish I could have done it little differently. At times I feel, could have wailed lesser or have been that extra bit collected. But each day I try to learn and grow to be a better mother. I know things will not be the same. Mr. Curious will grow up and hurdles will be new, challenges will be smarter too. And I will try with new zeal and vigour as for me nothing is more cardinal or imperative than his well being and sound development.

The live school of motherhood with AB is a generous teacher. I have always felt that just as my child is learning, he too has taught me a lesson or two on life and parenting. It’s just that as a parent let’s not stop growing and let’s not always be rigid. Let’s be consistent though. Having an open heart and a porous mind to assimilate from the cues gifted to us everyday through our parenting experiences with our kids will help us in long run.

If ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’, I guess Curiosity is the father to it. Millions saw the apple fall but it was Newton who asked why and we know the rest is history. In today’s world while we prepare our kid to face the challenges in life and make an impression through their achievement, if we forget the very basic duty of watering the existing bud of eagerness within them, I suppose that would be the biggest mistake we can afford to commit.

Future belongs to those who will be asking the right questions as that will lead to innovative ideas, which in turn will help a child to stand out. Being curious is the first step towards it. Success or well being of a child is the prime objective and motive of every parent. To make this opportunity or situation more amiable, enduring, beneficial and fulfilling experience for both the side, we need to follow a positive approach of right dosage of motivation or moral boost and consistent loving nurture.

I remain here with a beautiful line by famous American president Eleanor Roosevelt,

“I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.”

These thoughtful words says it all. If your child is curious, feel blessed that he or she is a gifted one. And as we all know that, gifts are to be treasured, not to be wasted.

Now a Freelance Writer and Blogger and previously worked with a leading media and publishing house, I love life. A daughter, a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend…you tag me whatever you want to, I am a quintessential woman . Writing for me is not only an art of self expression but also something that affects eternity as it has the tremendous power to influence minds and culture.  I believe that Life is the most alluring gift by God and that I am still in the journey of unwrapping it. Each day, each moment with my fellow beings and own self reveals to me varied human emotions and life experiences. My blog ‘Love, Life and Whatever‘ is a humble endeavour to capture and encompass this