How to nurture a kid's unending sense of curiosity. (They are only children once.)
Today’s guest blogger is Monica Parker–actress, writer, producer and author of OMG! How Children See God. (Seriously, when does she sleep?!) In the book, Monica queried hundreds of kids, ages 4 to 12, about God. Questions on everything from His special abilities to His appearance. (You can check out some of the inspiring kids’ drawings from the book here.)
In this guest post, Monica shares tips for raising a child with a sense of wonder.
When I meet children, I am immediately drawn to those kids who are curious about everything. Yes, it can be exhausting to answer their endless questions. “How come birds can fly, and we can’t?” “Why can’t dogs talk like we can? Parrots do.” “Can God swim?”
And it’s certainly not fun when your child or grandchild arrives at your room at 3 a.m. to ask, “What are lungs for?” The temptation is to say, “For sleeping!”
But the rewards are so worth it. When a child asks those kinds of questions, we shouldn’t ignore them as if the question had never been asked. And we don’t have to know the answers. We can start a conversation, no matter how odd the question, by asking, “What do you think the answer is?”
That’s how problem solving starts. More importantly, kids will leave the conversation feeling like they’ve been heard. With so many of us glued to our various electronic devices, we have a tendency to close ourselves off to those around us.
To open a child’s heart and mind to wonder, be physically present. Really be with the child in the moment. Give them memories and your attention. Take them fishing. Paddle a boat. Blow bubbles. Wash the dog. Watch fireworks. Take in a sunrise. Have a picnic on the floor of your living room. Visit a farm. Milk a goat. Show them where eggs come from. Run outside in a rainstorm. Jump in puddles.
Wake them up when the moon is full. Talk about heaven and then spin some dreams with them. They are only children once.
Take the time to open up to the really, really big questions. Have a conversation about who they think God is, what they think God can do and what they wish God could do. Then have them draw what they think God looks like.
They will have even more questions…but isn’t that great?