There are several important elements of the character strength of curiosity. To begin with it is a strength most children are high on they are intensely interested in this new world they are discovering through all the senses. Remember everything is new for them particularly when they are toddlers. It is important to recognise Curiosity as a strength early, in order to not squash it by the day to day running of life. When lives are busy it is easy to hurry your child and not notice this important strength. It is also seen as negative when it is exhibited as being highly distractable.
Benefits of Curiosity for Children
Curiosity is so important because it fuels a child’s love of learning and assists their development. Exposing your child to many new experiences allows them to be open to new experiences throughout life. It is a strength which if not protected and promoted can fall by the way side towards adulthood.
Benefits of Curiosity to Adults
Curiosity is intrinsically linked to life long learning and openness to new experiences. Curiosity is strongly linked to many of the elements suggested to be high in those experiencing flourishing and high levels of well being, such as life and work satisfaction, living a pleasant, engaged and meaningful life. The character strength of curiosity tends to be very high in Successful entrepreneurs. When you are curious you are experiencing trait mindfulness as you are focused on something in the moment, which is a strong predictor of well being. In research it was found those high in curiosity had reduced use of aggression when angry.
How to encourage curiosity in children
- Take time sometimes when reading books to discuss what they are finding interesting rather than simply reading the book. Let them turn the pages themselves and point at things which you can then discuss with them.
- Even before they are able to walk alone let them lead you around the garden and discuss what you see let them explore as much as possible. This is extremely important around 14 months when they are learning about principles.
- Allow them to explore their home. Make it safe so they don’t need constant monitoring and let them explore. Give them the time to entertain themselves.
- Let them play with none toys. Keep small baskets or boxes of safe household items in each room with different textures and when they reach them don’t worry about the mess.
- When you are doing something, let them take part even if it takes longer.
- Hide objects around the house for them to find and explore.
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For interesting metaphors for Curiosity check out my Pinterest board.
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