Did anyone guess this week's theme based on last week's post? I asked a question as a hint. Get it? Get it?
Ok, that's enough for my corny sense of humor. On to the actual post. Anyone who has ever lived with a 2-year-old (or talked to one for more than 3 minutes) knows that they like to inundate you with questions. I remember when my niece was two (way before I had kids) and had me going on a 30 minute conversation about the run I had just taken because she wanted to know why. Why was I going for a run? Why did I go that way for my run? Why do you run? Why do you wear sneakers when you run? It was so stinkin' cute. I mean it was also a little overwhelming and frustrating because, hey, I had just gone for a run and really needed to change and take a shower. I also could not for the life of me understand why she had to ask me so many questions. Remember - this was pre-children. Now that I have two kids who are (barely) older than 2, I get it now. I really get it.
Even though the questioning becomes less incessant as they get older, that curiosity never really leaves kids. As they grow and develop, they need to make sense of the world around them and asking questions is one of the best ways to do that. Yes, it can get a little overwhelming, but try to see it from their perspective. Let's say you go to visit another country where you don't speak or read the language, don't understand the transportation, and most of the people are twice your size. If you had a guide to lead you around the country, wouldn't you ask about 1,000 questions every hour. What is on this menu? Is it safe to go down this street? Where is the bathroom? What's the #1 place I have to visit? No seriously, where is the bathroom?!?!
But you would also want the guide to ask you questions. To guide you so that you would eventually be able to make sense of everything on your own. You wouldn't want them to tell you every answer all of the time, but to help you figure it out for yourself. To become self-reliant. Because isn't that what we want for our kids (I mean really, yes! Moving out prior to age 30 is preferable)? Keep in mind that the guide doesn't know the answer to every question all of the time, but they can and should help you find the answer. Because if you asked the question, you need to know.
So how do you, oh wise guideperson, help your little one through questions? Here are a few suggestions:
What questions will you ask your little ones? What questions have you been asked about diversity lately? What will you ask your kids first? Leave a comment below.
Don't forget to check back next week as we continue on to letter R! We're winding down towards the end of the alphabet. I hope that you've been enjoying the series. What has been your favorite letter so far? Which ones have you tried? Haven't seen the other posts? Check them out here on the blog and then sign up for the newsletter so you don't miss another one! You'll get weekly tips & tricks to help you make sense of raising a child with this essential 21st century skill.
Dr. Sweeney is a licensed school psychologist and cultural competence expert. Here are her musings on life in a multicultural world.
Interested in writing a guest blog post? Contact me for more information!