They creep toward toys, put objects in their mouths, pull on mom’s earrings. Everything is interesting to them. But they can lose it.

I remember a frustrated second grade teacher asking me to observe 3 of her students. None of them would try. "I don’t know," was their only answer to the easiest of questions. I knew something had happened between infancy and childhood because their curiosity spark had died. Parents, don’t let this happen to your children. There are solutions.

In this article you’ll find how to:

Keep your child’s enthusiasm alive.
Ask questions that encourage a passion for seeking answers.
Consider the do’s to promote learning and the don’ts that block interest.
Increase your child’s wonder with positive self-talk.
Foster curiosity with the poem, ‘The Uncurious Kid’.

10 Discussion Questions for Discovering Your Child’s Interests

Building character starts with getting your child to talk. Well-thought out questions help your child think more deeply. When the questions are warmly asked, and their answers listened to without interruption, children tend to open-up. Use the questions below to build character because of their enthusiasm to know.

What does boredom feel like?
What is a way of getting out of boredom?
Does anything block your curiosity? Please explain.
What would you like to know more about?
If you could focus on one subject, what would it be? Why?
What skill would you enjoy developing? Why?
Have you ever lost track of time because you were so curious? If so, how did it feel? Tell me about it.
What do you like to daydream about?
What fills you with wonder? Please share.
How can I help you pursue your interests without getting in your way?

Use one or two questions per discussion. Too many questions may blunt his time to think and turn him off. Avoid ending your child’s curiosity by taking over and trying to get him to do things your way.

Checklist of Ways to Shut Down Your Child’s Interests

Shutting down your child’s curiosity is easy. Some parents show disinterest and others get way too involved. Balance is the key to becoming an encouraging parent. Try to avoid these 7 mistakes.

Being too busy to answer her questions.
Ridiculing his questions as silly.
Acting as if her interests aren’t important.
Becoming way too involved and taking over.
Insisting your interests are better and should be pursued.
Drowning excitement by talking too much about the topic.
Controlling your child’s curiosity and not following his interests.

Checklist of Ways to Promote Your Child’s Learning
Use these 10 parenting tips to increase your child’s curiosity:

Answer the questions he wonders about.
Act and speak like you care about her thoughts.
Listen well when he’s excited about a topic.
Suggest where to find the answers she seeks
Ask, "What do you think?" or "What would happen if…?
Use the words, "I wonder about…" to spark interest.
When you can’t answer a question, say, "Let’s find out."
Encourage his enthusiasm, "Your ideas about…are so interesting."
Surround her with fascinating books. The library is free.
Share your excitement about what you’re learning too.

9 Positive Self-Talk Mottoes for Kids

People everywhere have conversations in their heads. These conversations influence how they feel and act. If your child says aloud thoughts like, "This is boring. It’s too hard. It’s no fun," you’ll know her inner conversations promote discouragement. Have her pick a motivating motto from below to post on the fridge and repeat often. Tell her she’s free to change it from time to time. Better yet, have her create her own.

Wanting to know helps my brain grow.
I love to embed new views in my head
Curiosity’s the key that fascinates me.
To be curious feels luxurious.
When ideas appeal, I feel such zeal.
I feel enthused with exciting new views.
Learning new things gives my brain wings.
Thinking’s the thunder that fills me with wonder.
Curiosity sparks wonder in me.

When a curious child is filled with wonder, her smart brain lights up. Encourage her curiosity whenever you see or hear it. Now check out the poem and share it with your kids.

A Poem For Kids
By Jean Tracy, MSS
A Poem for Kids

There once was kid
Named Uncurious Sid.
He had no thunder
To make him wonder.

His mom did cry,
"Don’t you wonder why
There are spiders and stars
And fast moving cars?"

"I've no interests to share,
With friends who would care."
With nothing to do,
Sid feels bored and blue.

Perhaps I should try,
To wonder why,
There are spiders and stars,
And fast moving cars.

He googled "wonder,"
To find his thunder.
And found a great trick,
For teaching magic,

He googled more,
And opened the door.
To interests and tools
And how learning rules.

The kids at school,
Now say, "Sid's so cool!"
'Cuz' Uncurious Sid,
Became a Curious Kid.

Conclusion for Raising a Curious Child

To keep our children’s curiosity alive, let’s ask the questions that encourage them to explore their interests. Let's practice ways to promote their learning and avoid the don'ts that shut-down their wonder. Let's help them develop the positive self-talk that motivates them to thirst for knowledge. If we do, they will be equipped to live vital fascinating lives. They might even make this beautiful world a better place for all whom they touch. Wouldn't that be great?

Author's Bio: 

Jean Tracy, MSS is a 22 year veteran child and family counselor with foundational experience as an elementary school teacher. As a teacher, and again as a counselor, she worked with children and families who had profound challenges. Many of these challenges can be avoided or treated with the early application of a variety of strategies, tools and techniques. Finding effective and loving ways to help these children and their families continues to spur Jean’s continuous research and outreach.

Jean reaches parents and children on social media platforms, as well as with videos, blogs, strategy kits, and books she has authored. Jean is also a professional speaker.

Jean Tracy lives in a love centered home with her husband in the Seattle area. Their children and grandchildren live nearby.