If you've ever spent time around young children, you know how inquisitive they can be. Sometimes, it feels like they have an endless supply of questions and never tire of asking them. Young children are constantly observing and absorbing the world around them and trying to make sense of things, so it's only natural that they’re so curious. In fact, young children typically ask a question roughly every two minutes – though this drops to about once every two hours once they start school.
Trying to answer a child’s questions can be exhausting for any parent, and it’s okay not to have all the answers. What's most important is to show an interest in your child’s curiosity. This lets them know that asking questions is a healthy part of the learning process.
When children begin attending school, teachers tend to bear the brunt of this constant questioning. As anyone who's ever stood in front of an elementary school classroom knows, it's pretty much impossible to answer the incredible number of questions that students ask while also successfully delivering the curriculum.
Teachers (and parents) also have the difficult task of helping students learn where they can find reliable sources of information so they can find out answers for themselves. And perhaps the most difficult aspect of this process is to encourage children to never stop being curious about the world around them, even when it no longer seems "cool" to ask so many questions.
Why so curious?
- Warren Berger, author of A More Beautiful Question, states that kids will ask approximately 40,000 questions between the ages of two and five. Children may also ask questions through non-verbal means of communication, such as facial expressions and gestures.
- To help parents demonstrate to children that they value curiosity alongside knowledge, Berger suggests asking "“What great question did you ask today?” instead of the usual "What did you learn at school today?".
- Research indicates that girls tend to ask fewer questions than boys, as do children from lower-income families when compared to children from more affluent families.