“The First Time My Son Asked Why…” Omoni Omoli Shares 5 Tips for Raising an Inquisitive Child

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We love catching up with Nollywood actressOmoni Oboli when it comes to mum duties. The movie star is a mum of three boys and we are sure that can get really tasking.
Thankfully, she has a blog where she shares bits and pieces of her life as a mum. In her latest post she shares the story of how her youngest son asked her the dreaded “why” question when she told him to do something. She explains how it can be easy to rebuff a child in that instant but why it is important to use it as a learning point.
See her post below.
It was a sunny Saturday afternoon, started out on a busy note. Well, the weekend is always busy especially for us mums. So many chores and as always, so little time to handle all of them but I managed to get all of them done. Phew!

Oh oh who messed up this place again? Who else would it be if not him? I said to myself. My little son! There he goes again running round the house. I felt so angry at first and wanted to spank him hard, but somewhere inside me an inner calm surfaced and I changed my mind. But, not without a hard warning of “The next time you run around on a wet floor I will beat you, you heard me? Yes, he answered. Now go inside and sit quietly okay. “It is bad to run on a wet floor” I said, as he made his way to find a seat. As soon as he heard those words he turned and asked, ‘but mummy why?’ Several emotions ran through me… Did he just ask me why? I think I felt challenged and the only thing I could say was “I said get inside” in a more defining tone and he left.

Getting back to my chores, I replayed our little scenario and I smiled. My son is growing and he is growing healthy and today he’s asked his first question ‘why’? I should have answered his question I thought. Yes he deserves to know. So I made my way back to him where he was gently seated and sitting beside him I said “Do you know why I said that it is bad to run on a wet floor? No, He said. So I took out time to explain the danger in doing so, after which I hugged him tight.
Of all the wonderful attributes of a growing and healthy child, perhaps one of the most easily recognizable is their peculiar nature of being inquisitive, which they actively express by asking a barrage of questions in their never ending curiosity. I have noticed this in a number of children even before I became a mum myself but more of it especially with my personal experience as a mother.
The truth is that children are born learners and natural explorers and as soon as they start to speak, they exhibit their innate eagerness to explore, asking questions and seeking answers and most times even your best answer only leads to yet another question. However, rather than see this period as a time of unnecessary trouble, caring parents should see this stage as one of the most important stages to express love, care, understanding and commitment. I believe that the more inquisitive and curious a child is, the more his ability to learn.
With the ‘Grow Every Day’ campaign, every child has the right to be properly developed in their journey to adulthood and being inquisitive is part of the ways a growing child exercises this right. Your child’s ability to ask questions is a natural manifestation of his inquisitiveness. The implication of this is more questions which help to improve your child’s intelligence. In fact a study proved that Children with higher intelligence usually ask more questions with both visual and linguistic stimulus.
Here are five things that you can do in raising an inquisitive child. I have found them effective in making the most of the curiosity of my kids.
1:Create an arousing environment: it is important to create an environment that arouses the child’s curiosity, this is because children spend much time of their hours in focused gazing, so create the scene, amazing toys and objects that allows the child explore should also be made available. Natural environments like parks, zoos, beaches and others can also increase curiosity.
2:Ask questions too: Children are not the only ones who should ask questions, it is imperative that caring parents ask their children questions too, to help them improve their urge to ask. Ask him questions like; why do you want this? What do you think about this? And get his mind and view on events and occurrences. It is a mutual exercise, if you ask him often about things; he will learn to ask too.
3:Answer questions according to the child’s development stage: Be attentive and sensitive to the growth stages of your child and answer questions according to his/ her development. This will allow you to progressively move up with your child in the growth process and reflects your deep care, concern, love and commitment.
4:Follow up on your child’s interest: Endeavour to make your child’s interest a priority; Children learn a lot when they engage in activities that capture their attention and imaginations. Look out for what interests your growing child. If he loves to dance, play him some good tunes, if its soccer, provide a ball and spend some time to play with him/her.
5: Allow open ended activities: I have tried this approach and have found it effective, don’t be rigid in your engagement, let your child’s curiosity be the guide sometimes as you allow them play with toys and play materials creatively and imaginatively in their own way. You can find great joy in making the most of the inquisitive nature of your growing child; remember to stop seeing the inquisitive child as disturbing kid. Be assured that your kind efforts through this process can be both rewarding and productive.
I love reading your experiences because I also learn from you. So please leave a comment and don’t forget to keep smiling!

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