Thought of the day – " A questioning mind"

From the moment I get up in the morning the questions start rolling…. the three year old is going through a “what happens if” phase with an alarmingly gruesome theme these days; “Mammy, what will happen if your eye ball falls out and you stand on it and squash it?” is just one of his recent gems!  Before I have even had my morning cuppa I have attempted to answer a fair whack of questions.  The process continues throughout the day… from the back of the car, while we do the shopping, during meals and all the way through to bedtime… he can literally fall asleep mid question!

But why the incessant bombardment of questions?…

"Mammy, what will happen if...?"
“Mammy, what will happen if…?”

There are over 100 billion cells in the brain of a newborn child.  These cells need to start forming networks and connections with each other or else they will be “deleted” by the body in favour of more active cells .  It is the child’s interaction with its surroundings and its social contact that greatly influence the amount of connections made within its brain.

The brain of a three year old is two times more active than that of an adult!

 

By the age of three the child is often actively developing its ability to think and question what is happening around it in every aspect of life!  This is when the real deluge of questions come! This phase of heightened questioning supposedly lasts until the child is about ten years old.  So I am blessed with three children in this busy questioning stage of life.
As exhausting as it may be, listening, answering and encouraging these questions is highly important to the development of the child’s brain…. it literally “Lights it up!”  I think it is equally important to promote this questioning so that the child develops it as a habit they carry with them right through life!  If you were to think of some of the scientific greats, who pops into mind…. Da Vinci, Darwin, Einstein, Newton maybe?  Now would you say their work has left an impression on you because of their ability to learn or their sensation for questioning?  Newton, at the age of 19 abandoned the norms of college learning and instead set himself a list of 15 questions that he explored for the rest of his life!
Questioning Minds - Einstein, Newton, Darwin and DaVinci.... notic any common feature? (hint - the hair)
Questioning Minds – Einstein, Newton, Darwin and DaVinci…. notic any common feature? (hint – the hair)
Interestingly, I find that my own ability to question life has been greatly enhanced since my children were born.  I consider this a blessing and hope to continue learning how to question as they do.  However, there are times, I must admit, when the answer to one of their questions is “just because!”… well I am only human!

…. just a thought!

nao

Science blogger and writer; Owner of Dr. How's Science Wows; Mother of three junior scientists who have taught me that to be a great scientist you need to look at life through the eyes of a child!

8 thoughts on “Thought of the day – " A questioning mind"

  • March 31, 2014 at 9:52 am
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    Ah that explains a lot lol I’ve had the gruesome ones too, one that sticks out is “Mom if a car knocks me over and my head falls off and rolls down the road will the doctor stick it back on with glue?” Lol
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    • March 31, 2014 at 9:57 am
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      Oh that’s brilliant Sara 😉 they certainly keep us on our toes, don’t they!

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  • March 22, 2014 at 9:44 pm
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    I can relate!!!! However, I don’t recall the older two being as inquisitive at that age. The almost 5 year old has me DEMENTED. and the almost 3 year old has an extremely active imagination. Love the eyeballs question. Too cute!
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    • March 23, 2014 at 10:07 am
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      I don’t remember all these questions with the older two either, but maybe we just blank it out 🙂 It is a lovely, if exhaustive, phase, isn’t it? Some of the questions are just priceless!

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    • March 20, 2014 at 4:08 pm
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      I know it can be challenging… and they don’t let up until they are fully satisfied with the answer!

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  • April 17, 2013 at 10:45 am
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    Great blog as usual. I never stop answering questions. Can’t bear to say “it just is” or “that’s the why”. I’m guilty of responding with “ask your dad” though…

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    • April 17, 2013 at 11:11 am
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      thanks Kim, yes it is really important but not always easy! We forget how important we are to their development (scary really) …. funny when I answer a question and then get told I am WRONG… especially the science ones ;0) …sure what do I know ;0)

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