12 Apr Learning with your children
Little kids seem to have an endless supply of energy as they run around all day. They are also more curious than cats as they explore this new world that they live in, asking, sometimes constantly, their three letter queries “How?” and “Why?” Parents answer these two questions in a variety of ways: hem and haw, try their best to give an answer, skirt around the subject, or just make something up. But there is another option.
The next time a child asks you “Why?” or “How?” try saying: “Let’s find out.” Not only are you not admitting that you don’t know the answer (if that is a problem for you) or telling them a lie (which doesn’t build trust), but you are teaching them how to take initiative, find things out for themselves and fostering in them a thirst and a joy for learning. Plus you might learn something yourself.
There are quite a few options of where you can go to answer a persistent questioner. One of my favorite places is the library. I was lucky enough to have parents who loved books and a trip to the library was a weekly occurrence, especially during the summer and while I was home schooled. Most of the time the books I checked out were for fun reading, but when I had a paper or project due I quickly learned that the library was where I needed to go for nearly endless resources and someone to help me sift through it all.
Another person who thinks libraries are amazing is author Patricia V. Davis. In her new book, The Diva Doctrine, Davis shares from her experiences 16 things women can do to become a Diva. Davis describes Divas as women (or men) who are confident, clever, classy, powerful, passionate, and compassionate. And going to the library is one of her suggestions. This is what she says:
“Want to try something new like painting or running your own business? Go to the library and borrow ten different books on the subject. Skim through them all, find the ones that have the most vital information and study them. Then fake confidence until you don’t have to fake it anymore.”
The internet is another excellent place to look for answers. Whether it’s on your phone or your PC, the internet is full of information. Google and Wikipedia are two of the more popular sites to search, but there are many, many, more out there. Find your own favorite. However, make sure you check the validity of your sources and where your children are searching for their answers. There are many people posting various degrees of accurate information, as well spammers and other people looking to take any advantage they can.
So the next time your child asks you why the sky is blue or how snakes can hear if they don’t have ears, don’t brush them off or make something up. Take them to the library or online. Help them learn how to learn. It is a skill that will open new worlds to them and benefit them through their whole lives. Because, after all, knowledge is power, and knowing how to obtain knowledge is one step higher.