Our children are sharing their interests with us all the time, our role is to get curious, listen and tune into any spark of an idea. I know I have many a time missed the spark of an idea because I was too busy looking for the learning. I would be so excited that my child had shared an interest with me I would jump straight on it with gusto. I'd share everything I knew, thrilled at the idea to help them, I might even buy them a book or suggest a trip. Little did I know that for my kids that's a sure fire way to send them running for the hills.
The trick is to listen to what they are curious about and encourage them to pursue that idea with gusto. The key to helping them make their idea a reality is to walk alongside them and be available if they ask for help. For this role I quickly learnt I had to be a good listener and great question asker. Initially those questions did not come easily and so my curiosity kicked in and I made that my learning challenge. I had to discover the questions that would help my children to develop their interests.
Here is my go to list of questions to ask your children when they share with you a spark of an idea.
I am all ears, tell me everything.
Cool idea, I wonder how we could do that.
That is a great idea, tell me all about it.
That is so cool, we could start that now, what do you need?
It sounds like you know what you want to do, can I help or are you okay on your own?
Wow I don’t know much about that, but I’d like to, can you share what you know with me!
You sound very excited about that; how can you make it happen?
You could explore that idea, it sounds amazing. Where can you start?
Did that idea just come to you, that idea needs someone like you to make it happen. How cool would that be
That sounds very interesting, tell me more.
Great idea, do you want to learn how to do it and then perhaps you can teach me?
Sounds fun, you’re in charge so lead the way, what’s first?
We are definitely going to need all our super brains for this idea, I’m ready, are you?
Let me know if you use any of these phrases and what ideas your child discovers as a result, I'd love to hear about them.