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By Jean Warren

Children are naturally curious. That's how they learn. It is our job to nurture and encourage this natural gift in our children. Often as parents, we get bogged down with the repetitiveness of some questions or the never-ending stream of questions.

It is important that we always show respect for our child's questions and answer them promptly if at all possible. Some things to keep in mind:

  • Don't be afraid to admit you don't know the answer to your child's questions.
  • Don't over answer, i.e., giving more information than your child really wants. Give simple answers. If they don't satisfy him, encourage him to ask more questions.
  • Ask your child what he thinks the answer is, or what he already knows.
  • Find simple, concrete ways to explain complex things.
  • Never answer a question to which your child could find his/her own answer.


If you notice that your child doesn't ask questions or seems hesitant to ask questions, you can encourage them to be more inquisitive by:

  • Ask questions of others yourself, when you are with your child. By example that others can help you understand things.
  • Ask your child questions that help her pay attention to her environment such as; "Where does the bird live" or "What are those ants doing?"
  • Play question games with your children while on a walk or while waiting at a restaurant.
  • When your child makes a discovery encourage him to share it with others. Children learn in many ways but we can help children fill in the blanks and make connections to speed them on their way.

Adapted from an article by Jill A Boughton