Elementary-Aged Kids Aren’t Usually Asked Deeper Questions: It’s Time We Start
Parents and other adults often ask questions of elementary-aged children quickly like a laundry list to address physical and immediate emotional needs. Adults don’t usually ask kids questions in exploration, but as a way to gather concrete data about socialization or academics. Kids aren’t typically asked what they’re feeling, wanting, needing, playing with, or discovering about the world, their family, their neighborhood and themselves.
While we give kids plenty of space to play, it’s often hard to get close to the millions of new experiences or thoughts they have each day. Kids are smart and their lens of seeing the world is fresher, newer, and full of wonder and imagination. They also don’t hold back. Therefore, a kid really needs to have space to talk about their experiences, rather than simply perform and listen. They need space to have their ideas–however messy–heard and thought of in conversation with adults.
Asking elementary-aged kids deeper questions builds trust, play, curiosity, consistency, and holding by and with an adult. It not only strengthens the relationship between an adult and child by getting to know a kid as themselves, but the child can also learn to ask adults questions that are curious. They can learn that answers might change from day to day, and that they can be seen as an individual who feels, experiences and witnesses a lot.