I recently read about a study about intelligence in children. The study said that children who are curious are more intelligent than the ones that are not.
In a million years I never would have deduced that. Seriously, who knew that “why” was such an important word. (FYI- where can I get paid to study the obvious…)
So, why is why so important? Because why makes you think. Why makes you look at possibilities. Why leads you to the next theory or the next question. Why opens up your mind. And anything that allows your mind to go a step further automatically makes you more intelligent because you are furthering your knowledge and starting to form conclusions and beginning to see patterns. Why opens up the mind. Opening your mind just lets stuff creep in. Guess what happens when you begin to accumulate knowledge? You get smarter.
There’s a parenting theory that you are never supposed to say “no” to a child. And if you’re like me, you know that this is not often practical, or reasonable or logical. Though the interpretation of this school of thought has been a little skewed, the theory behind it is decent. If your child is asking why, or how, you should let them explore, or you should explain to them why they can’t, and give them concrete examples. EG: Your kid wants to stick something in the light socket. You say no. Then, you find an age appropriate discussion about currents, or electricity or anything like that. Make it a teachable moment- tell them why you shouldn’t do that, but give them more than “You’ll get hurt”. They’re not stupid for wanting to stick something in a socket: they see you do it all the time. They’re curious- they think, well, if mom puts this plug in there, the light goes on. What happens if I stick my doll hand in there, will the doll light up? Their brain is searching for the next step. Help them get to the next step. Teach them to think. Remember for a three year old, considering what happens when you stick something in a socket is thinking out of the box. It’s not safe, but it is creative…
So the next time your kid is haunting you with “Why, why, why”, remember that they are just trying to expand their knowledge. They are trying to learn. Teach them. And, remember, learning doesn’t stop just because you leave formal school: learning is forever. Every blog I write starts out with a question in my mind: why is that so, how does that happen, when did it begin, what caused it… My blog is a testament to my thought process- whether or not I’m intelligent doesn’t matter- I keep trying to learn. I am constantly educating myself. Will I ever become intelligent? Who knows. But I’m going to keep asking questions and trying to find answers.
I’m curious that way…