Most parents agree one of the more annoying questions a child will ever ask is a single word – “why?” Nearly every child reaches a point in their development where the word “why” is their response to just about everything.
As Heathline agrees – it is a stage that becomes exhausting when a child asks questions about “why” something is the way it is that a parent doesn’t truly know the answer to. In some cases, the “why” stage is so extreme that children will even ask “why” to something a parent has already explained.
According to a study recently published by Pediatric Research, it may be time for parents to start embracing their extra curious children instead of finding the curiosity to be annoying and frustrating.
After giving an assessment to a little over 6,000 kindergarteners as well as their parents, researchers found a connection between curiosity and academic achievement in various areas of school including math and reading.
According to Healthline, academic performance and success ranks as one of the top three concerns for the majority of all parents. So, the results of this study may be just what these concerned parents need to have some peace of mind.
The biggest question the result of the student leaves medical experts with is whether curiosity is just a trait some children have and some don’t, or if this is a trait that can be taught and nurtured so all children can improve their chances of academic success.
Lead researcher Dr. Prachi Shah told Healthline the question was difficult to answer as the answer falls somewhere in the middle of a “yes” and “no.” And, this is largely because there haven’t been any longitudinal studies conducted on the curiosity of a child.
“So, we don’t know how curiosity changes or grows with age or experiences. However, I think we can align experiences with a child’s innate passions, and in that way, we can cultivate their interests and their engagement in topics that can help foster early learning.”
Pediatrician Susan Buttross does believe curiosity is a trait parents and caregivers and nurture and foster. However, this effort can also backfire if too much pressure to embrace the trait is placed on a child. While a parent might mean well in their strive to raise the perfect child, paying too much attention on fostering the trait can actually hinder a child’s ability to naturally develop the trait.
Researchers and medical experts agree the most fascinating finding during this research was that a child’s socioeconomic status did not appear to be a factor. Meaning, whether a child came from a poor or wealthy family, the child still had the same drive to be more academically successful thanks to their curious nature.
“The literature talks about the achievement gap associated with poverty, but according to our findings, if you are from a low socioeconomic environment and have higher curiosity, your academic achievement is the same as if you are from a higher SES and have higher curiosity.”