Inquisitive minds are a natural part of growing up
HANDS up all those who have everything figured out. What… no-one?
While we have had a glimpse into what it is like to be born and having our needs met, thus giving us a sense of hope, and toddlerhood in which we start to develop a sense of autonomy and willpower, now we move onto the pre-schooler stage in which we start to figure out cause and effect.
Preschoolers can be infamous for asking the question "Why?". Why does that happen?
Why did you do that? Why do I have to? Why does it matter? Why? Why? Why?
Some parents can get confused by this (bless em') and think that the child is just being wilful and difficult.
Some may even think the child is doing it deliberately to be antagonistic. Not so.
Children at this age, now that they have taken some steps to separate themselves from others, and have started exploring their world have become fascinated by figuring out how one thing causes another.
Short of having a huge technical manual with which all the mechanics of the universe is laid out in easy to understand terms the pre-schooler has to continually ask why.
Indeed, it could be argued that the pre-schooler already has this amazing manual already uploaded into their brain, and this is called magical thinking.
How does it work? Well, magic. Enough said.
But the pre-schooler is a theory tester, and will continually want to test that theory, and will do so through creative and imaginative play.
Thus we have one of the most vital and amazing periods of learning imaginable in which exploration is coupled with reality-testing.
They can also learn more about their power in relationship to the rest of the world. Testing what will happen if I continually poke my sister with my finger.
Pre-schoolers will also look to their parents as role-models, and ask themselves: "Why is a man? Why is a woman?" and "Who am I then?"
Girls will often role-model from their mothers, and boys from their fathers.
Having a chance to bond with them by spending time and attention towards them will allow the child to become more secure in understanding so much more of who they are in relation to the world.
It is at this stage that we start to conceptualise the adult tasks of knowing who we are.
Of recognising that we have value and that we can have purpose in our lives. The importance of recognising that we are someone, and that we have a sexual identity.
For parents, the healthier they are in themselves, in understanding who they are, and their ability to have a healthy and positive intimate relationship with a partner, the healthier the development for their children.
It amazes me that parents can live their lives in crisis, and then somehow believe they can mask or cover this up and shield it from their children.
Almost like saying "do what I say, not what I do", to children who are absorbing every single thing that a parent does.
A controlling parent can become angry and punish the child for not falling sway under the parent's failing control.
The inquisitive child asking why can be shut down, with a corresponding shutting down of feelings and a sense of overwhelming guilt about their actions or beliefs.
Healthy kids require healthy parents. If you are an unhealthy parent, then get healthy. Do whatever it takes.