When parents don’t have appropriate answers to queries our children shower on us, or if we’re too busy catching up on our TV shows, we hush them up and change the topic hoping the child forgets and the curiosity gets sucked in a black hole.

It doesn’t really happen. Kids are clever, smart and receptive. They may appear distracted but deep inside, their curiosity lives on. And with the endless resources available to children these days, it may be a mistake to brush their questions under the carpet. I prefer to be the person answering my children’s questions in a well designed format, not a random website or an equally confused classmate of my child.

What has worked with me is — not be a reactive parent. I like to listen carefully when my children are discussing an issue with me, however insignificant or uninteresting it may seem. Often times, just the narration of a thought is enough to release a concern and an answer or clarification is unnecessary. And sometimes, a brief answer or tactful example can be satisfactory for the tender minds.

I feel that asking questions helps develop a child’s creativity as well as establish a strong bond between the parent and child. At school we reward our students when they answer questions and discourage when they ask because the time is never right! At home, we often get agitated when they come to us. I think if parents help children redirect their thoughts to productively question, we may be able to motivate them towards becoming possibility thinkers.

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