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Why Do Kids Ask So Many Questions?
posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - October 12th, 2016
Why DO Kids Ask So Many Questions?
A UK survey of 1,000 moms from a couple of years ago showed that preschool-aged girls ask approximately 288 questions per day – and if you’re the parent of an inquisitive preschooler, that’s around one question every two minutes and 36 seconds. You’re probably more exhausted than your child is by bedtime!
Fun Facts from the UK Study:
Girls aged four are the most curious, asking an incredible 390 questions per day, averaging a question every 1 minute 56 seconds of their waking day!
Mothers are called on by their children to answer 23 questions per hour.
From breakfast at 7.19am to tea time at 7.59pm, the average mum faces a testing 12.5 hour day of questioning – working out at one question every two minutes 36 seconds.
The most questions are asked during meal times–average of 11 questions. Then the next is going shopping – 10. And then 9 are asked during the bedtime story.
In all, a mother’s knowledge is in such demand they get asked around 105,120 questions a year by their children.
These Questions are Important!
However, academic studies* have shown that preschoolers’ questions play a crucial role in their cognitive development, as it helps them gather necessary information needed to develop effective problem-solving skills and broaden their understanding of how the world works.
So the next time your child asks “Why is the sky blue?” or “If heat rises, why is there snow on top of the mountains?” Take a deep breath, remind yourself that the endless barrage of questions is helping develop your child’s problem-solving and higher-order thinking skills, and if you’ve got a son rather than a daughter, look forward to his 9th birthday… because by then, he’ll be down to a mere 144 questions per day (that’s one every 5 minutes, give or take a few seconds).
Here are some other ways to help promote cognitive development:
• Don’t try to solve all your child’s problems. If you do, you’re missing an opportunity for your child to use their own developing problem-solving skills — and if you’re constantly directing exactly how things “should” be done, your child will look to you for the answers rather than trying to figure things out independently.
• Encourage experimentation. It’s rare for there to be only one correct way to solve a problem, so you should praise and applaud your child’s different attempts to find the right answer… even if it doesn’t work on the first few tries.
• Teach your child how to embrace adaptability. If your child’s initial attempt at problem-solving didn’t work out, simply demonstrate that you can go back, reevaluate the issue and then try something else. The ability to accept different ways to approach new problems is critical for succeeding in our dynamic, ever-changing world.
• Let go of control. This is especially hard for some of us to accept, but parents who constantly exert control over their children can unintentionally inhibit their creative spirits. So the next time your child starts building a castle out of twigs in back yard, BACK OFF and let the young architect’s imagination run wild — because this is where your child gets to experiment, explore, think and try out different ideas. The true value of playing is found in the play itself, not what is produced… although a hut made of sticks can become a turreted castle if you squint hard enough!