Curiosity Leads to Happiness
Many thanks to Kizanne Walker for writing this article.
A show of hands please from all the parents/carers who have been asked 453+ questions today (or at some point) by a pint sized human? It’s exhausting, isn’t it? My sons’ curiosity is constant. I read somewhere recently that by the time kids turn four, they can have asked as many as four-hundred thousand questions!
Another show of hands please, from all the parents/carers who have happy kids? Gratefully, my hand is up again too. Interestingly, regarding this curiosity and happiness caper (they’re a bit like Yin & Yang) it’s unlikely that you’ll have much of one, without the other. Cats may not fare so well from being curious, but we humans, do. Certainly, curiosity can lead to identifying and fulfilling meaningful, personal challenges.
When I take a moment to consider my own curiosities, my tummy starts to feel uneasy. The first things that come to mind are either adventure challenges or dreams I’m daring myself to fulfil. Funnily enough, the same can be said for my kids. Over our Christmas holidays at Lake Moogerah, having got the hang of the tube and ski trainer, our five year old son emphatically decided that knee boarding was his next holiday pursuit. Just as my own curiosities tend to make me feel disconcerted, regardless of how excited he was about adding this notch to his bow or how much reassurance his older cousins offered, at crunch time, he felt markedly vulnerable and understandably frightened.
As a loving mum who is always available for comforting cuddles, seeing either of my boys in a situation that frightens them heightens my senses and ignites my fierce, motherly instinct. My heart instantly wants to reach out, pluck them out of their uncomfortableness and cuddle them calm once more. One thing I’ve purposely worked hard on since becoming a mum is learning to let my head make the decisions before my heart jumps in full throttle. My head is what evaluates the safety of the situation; the likelihood of their success and the possible effects on them if they don’t succeed.
As challenging as it can be providing considered answers to arduous questions and constantly evaluating the circumstances our kids’ curiosities lead them into, I strongly feel that encouraging the inquisitive nature of our little people is imperative. Curiosity leads to questions, but it also leads to learning, development, personal challenges and improved life skills.
For me, the upshot of our kids being curious that we as parents must elevate to the highest degree, is the elation, the sense of accomplishment and pride that they inevitably feel when they have indeed, added that notch to their bow. Don’t you agree that the ensuing, long lasting happiness bestowed upon them, after quenching their curiosity, is worth a fleeting moment of anxiousness? I do.
The Parenting 101 section of our website offers many tips and tricks to help you along the path of your parenting journey, including Back to School Tips for Parents of Prep Students and Talking to Your Kids About Storm Safety.