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Turning the everlasting questions into true communication

Every parent has experienced the days where it feels like a nonstop Q&A session. Small children not only thrive on information, they are cataloging and building their inner encyclopedia of knowledge and experience to use for the rest of their life. Some days it feels like we never get out of the same old series of questions. It's tedious. But if we remember why how children learn, we can make this into a more enriching experience, and teach our children new skills.

Let's imagine a morning. You are toasting a bagel for your child. The inevitable question "What are you doing?" followed by "Why?" . So what do you do? Many times we just answer "I'm making you breakfast", "Because I don't want you to be hungry". But is that really what's needed? If you've already answered those questions a bunch of times, probably not. A few simple phrases can spark a child's observations skills, start a conversation, and enlarge their vocabulary.

"What do you think I'm doing?". Pretty simple. But it engages so many parts of your child's brain. Do they remember the name of that food? Is it something they asked for? Are they hungry, and are asking to convey that? Once they give you an answer, you can validate it, remind them of words, or give a correct answer.

"I think you know what I'm doing, do you remember what this is called" Especially for little ones, being asked to name something is fun. And you can enlarge their vocabulary by adding descriptors. "Yes, this is a bagel. It's a blueberry bagel, yesterday you had cinnamon raisin".

For the older kids, a wrong answer can spark a funny conversation. "I'm building a car!" Not only is it engaging, they might come up with a bunch of funny activities you might be doing.

Conversation and logical conclusions are a huge milestone for children. Pulling them out of the rut of obvious questions is the first steps. I will often turn those questions around, by just asking back "What am I doing?" Sometimes this leads to the real question. In our bagel scenario, that may be who the bagel is for, or what flavor it is.

So lets get those little minds busy and engaged!

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