Tag Archives: development

Kids and their Questions!


So I’m attending the VAEYC conference once again, and our keynote was about the power of questions.  Dr. Lindsey Godwin from the Appreciative Inquiry Center, an internationally renowned speaker and author, shared her work and perspective on questions.

Did you ever notice that we, as adults, often get annoyed by kids asking us questions?  We are busy, and it takes time and energy to stop and explain things, and quite honestly, why is it important to answer a “silly” question that isn’t important to us?  

Well, it’s valuable to respond so to encourage more questions.  Why on earth would we want to do that?  To cultivate creative thinkers, problem solvers, innovators, and open minds!  Dr. Godwin states, “As children, we get messages from adults that they want answers, not questions.”  And she’s right, we are always asking kids to tell us things, when we should really invite them to find their own answers by asking more questions.  

Dr. Godwin has two lessons for us to take back to our classrooms:

1. Inquiry is intervention. Inquiry leads to change.  Our questions set the stage for what we find, they determine what we pay attention to, and ultimately the direction of what comes next, whether it is curriculum plans and activities, or your next fundraiser or parent meeting.  Inquiry has the power to inform and shape opportunities for all of us.


2. What we ask about “grows”.  If you ask a question based on a deficit, that will be the focus.  Instead, shift focus from your biggest challenge to your most unique assets to  “magnify and learn from moments of highest engagement and enthusiasm.”  

This is how we accelerate the positive changes that we need to grow and learn, and ultimately how we grow the curious minds of the youngest members of our communities.  

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Elementary School: what’s going on with my kiddo?

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Now that school is back in session, I hear a lot of parents asking what’s up with my child? Is it a phase? Ugh! Kids are still reaching new milestones all the time, and I’ll get to what those are shortly.

But I think we, as parents especially, forget that there is still so much going on for our children socially, cognitively, and physically. In the early years, we see infants and toddlers grow so quickly and reach new milestones often. It’s easy to forget that our 6 years olds are meeting them too. And just like with toddlers, it’s scary to grow and learn. When a child is struggling with autonomy, for instance. The push-pull relationship between a child and caregiver/parent is something I’m sure you all remember: “carry me, I can do it. Help me, I did it”. So it’s only natural that our 1st grader will give us some of that action as well.

So here’s a little list of some of the things going on for your elementary schoolers. Remember that becoming more independent and skilled can lead to some angst, but your kids still need your patience and understanding, even if it seems like they hate you. Besides, I always say if they hate you, you’re doing it right!

Kindergarten
Social: easy separation from adults, turn taking
Cognitive: re-telling a story, self-regulation
Physical: run, climb, skip

1st Grade
Social: seeing the point of view of others
Cognitive: seeing patterns in words, numbers, and the world around
Physical: greater muscle development, increased stamina

2nd Grade
Social: judging own strengths and weaknesses , offering opinion that contradicts peers
Cognitive: understanding concept of money, mental math
Physical: knowing your own body, increased ability for repetition

3rd Grade
Social: group work, independent work, peer pressure awareness
Cognitive: more abstract thinking, apply ideas across situations
Physical: overall fitness and health awareness, ability to assess gross and fine motor skills

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