October 18, 2016
We can empower a child’s sense of wonder just by asking questions. Rather than telling children what to do, we ask them how to do it, and let their imaginations start to thrive.
For example, we can ask “What is this for?” instead of telling them what it’s for. When a child asks “Why does this work this way?” we can Turn The Question Around: “Why do you think it works that way?”
A fully-developed sense of wonder is actually a powerful life skill, one that can help our children navigate uncertainty and take back a measure of control. So when a child doesn’t know how to do something, we can teach them the questions to ask themselves to solve problems on their own, rather than showing them the solution: “Why isn’t that working for you? What should you do first? What’s getting in the way? What’s working well? Is there something you haven’t thought of?”
Once I was a volunteer in a workshop where the leader was showing the kids how to make paper snowflakes. Step by step, she told them where to fold and where to cut out small triangular pieces. Guess what? All the snowflakes came out identical. The kids had learned how to make that kind of snowflake - but they didn’t learn how to make any snowflake. It could have been so much better! All she had to do was ask, “How is this made?” and the kids would have done the rest.