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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Curiosity should never be stopped even curiosity killed the cat

My eldest daughter (she's 4) is always curious about lots of things. It can be sometimes tiring for me and my hubby to answer all of her questions. We always try to give the answer to her questions in the simplest way possible. (though trust me, it's not easy). As her parents, we want to encourage her to have the interest and most importantly to nurture her curiosity into learning new things. However, there's a danger in providing all the answers to our children! When we have provided all the answers, we somehow have stopped the curiosity. They don't have to further think and use their imagination.

The reason for writing up this entry is because I want to share here about some questions that we can use to let our children to imagine, elaborate and tell stories. Using these open-ended questions will let them think creatively, solve problems and let them share more information. I got these from Peachgrove Playcentre and we (the mothers at playcentre) have been practicing this technique to enforce effective communication.
These are the questions:
I wonder what the problem is?
I wonder what might happen next?
I wonder what would happen if...
I wonder what might happen if we changed...
I wonder how it is similar to...
I wonder how it is different to...
I wonder how we can make it better?

I know that in Malay culture, we don't really listen to our children. (correct me if I'm wrong). Maybe because of the elders "makan garam dulu". We always wonder why do Malays are so shy and don't ask too many questions especially at school? I used to teach secondary school students (where most of them were Malays) and at the end of each lesson, I rarely hear any questions nor opinions even after I said that "I would appreciate if there's any questions or suggestions". The same thing happen in the tertiary level when again I seldom hear any questions from my Malay students. (I taught Engineering students in USM).

It's never too late to change this. The best time to start is when they are still young. The sooner we start, the better generation we would have. I'm not an expert nor a certified psychologist in this field. But I just want to share what I've learnt in the playcentre and through my own experinces in rearing my children.

I wonder questions create options
I wonder questions dig deeper
I wonder questions avoid "Whys"
I wonder questions avoid "Yes" or "No" answers
I wonder questions are empowering


Let's try this technique and you can tell me or share with me the result of this.

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