Childhood is the time of our lives when we are most inquisitive. But this constant asking of questions and the phrase “but why?” can drive some parents to madness. However, these questions should be celebrated and embraced. Encouraging your children to ask questions can help promote a safe environment where they feel comfortable learning from someone they trust and tackling difficult subject matters.

To take it one step further, you should use these questions as opportunities to enhance their learning and critical thinking skills, as these will help them prosper in their education and future careers. Rather than outright answering your child’s questions each time, give them a chance to use reason and perform their own research, and turn it into a larger discussion. 

How Can You Encourage Your Children to Ask Questions?

If you find that your children are not asking questions, it could be due to the fact that they have been ignored or judged in the past, either by family members, teachers, or their peers. As a parent, it is your responsibility to foster a safe environment for your child to explore their questions. There are a few key ways to do so.

  1. Be careful that you do not judge or laugh at your child’s question. It might take enough courage for them to ask something, especially if it is a question they once got made fun of for asking. You should embrace this moment, even if their question is a little odd, as an opportunity to explore potential answers and applaud them for being brave to ask.
  2. One proven way to get your children to ask you questions is by reading books with them. This might be a practice best done when they are in their younger years, but it is still a beneficial way to have intellectual conversations with them. As you read books, questions will surely arise out of the plot of the book. Feel free to bring up questions of your own to stimulate your child’s mind, and encourage them to do the same as you make your way through the story.
  3. As a parent, you play an influential role in your child’s life. One way you can have a positive impact on them is by actively listening to them. Children go off on tangents many times, telling made-up stories and asking questions about everything under the sun. However, it will motivate your children to explore their inquisitive nature if they see you taking an interest in listening to them. Even just giving your children a listening ear can show them that they are in a safe place to ask the questions that come to their minds.