Have you ever thought about the seeds that you are planting in your child’s mind? Every time we interact with our children, we have an opportunity to plant seeds, seeds of thought, knowledge, curiosity. We plant seeds on a regular basis.  Once we plant these seeds, we are, in essence, the gardeners of their minds, nurturing the seeds to help them grow, develop, expand, and thrive.

When we sit down for a family meal, we might bring up a subject that offers food for thought. We can dive beneath the mundane conversations of simply what is on the plate and go deeper. Here are a few examples:

Perhaps we discuss how important nutrition is and ask our children what foods they think have the best nutrients and why. You might think that this sounds like we are asking our children a question about what knowledge they already have, which is true, but we are also engaging in conversation that, through contribution from everyone in the family, offers new ideas, thoughts and information that they might not have thought about otherwise. This is a seed.

In the car, for example, we might talk with a young child about a career. Many young children think they know what they want to be when they grow up. I can remember my brother wanting to be a trash man. Instead of wondering why he would choose that profession at 6 or 8 years old, it might be an opportunity to dig deeper and discuss and plant seeds about careers. For example, what do you think a day would look like in that job? How do you think people choose what they do? This begins the thought process about “careers.” It offers space to ask questions and plant seeds, rather than us offering what we believe are great careers. When we question without suggestion, we are planting seeds.

Technology is another great way to empower our children and continue the process of planting seeds. When our children want to play with a particular app or game, it is a wonderful opportunity to help them learn about the game or the developer. Allow children to think about what is behind the scenes. In these opportunities, we can encourage our children to ponder the development and creation of their favorite game, or we can join them to learn about it together. Again, this is planting seeds about creativity and the origins of things they enjoy.

When we water and nurture the seeds we plant, we are fostering opportunities to help our children connect with thoughts, ideas, curiosities. Every thought can be developed and expanded upon.  This is how we help our children formulate, ponder, and question their thoughts and ideas to create inquisitive minds in our future generations.

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