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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Gifted Children with Never-Ending Questions - Tips for Parents

By Andrew Loh

Gifted children are endlessly inquisitive and enthusiastic. They never get tired of asking questions. Curiosity and inquisitiveness are two of the most significant characters of a gifted child. Parents of gifted children often get exasperated with their children because of their endless questions. If you are one of them, do not worry and just enjoy being with those questions and you will simply love it! Use the following techniques to help your children learn the art of asking meaningful questions. At the same time, learn how to cope with those endless series of questions.

Questions and questions!

Gifted children are often hungry for information and details. Their area of interest might range from simple fishes to highly technical aircrafts. However, most of them are very broad learners who are interested in learning about the periphery of subjects. In other words, many children who are gifted may simply want to know a bit about everything. Whatever the case, parents would need to tackle their endless questions that seem to come on repeatedly forever. Endless barrage of questions may simply sap the energy from children. Help children to set some boundaries to cope with the habit of asking too many questions on diverse subjects. Let your child stick to a limited number of topics so that he can acquire detailed knowledge and information about them before going to the next ones.

Learn how to be a good talk host and a great conversationalist

Everything starts with good and meaningful conversations. It is always good to learn the art of good conversation, especially with children who are gifted and skilled. Children learn fast and quick with parents, who can answer with confidence and courage. Good questions should always be met with great answers that are also meaningful and useful.

Here are some simple examples:

Tom: “Mom, You said that breakfast is good for body and it would improve my health. How does it do it?
Mom: “Tom, would you eat breakfast everyday without fail, if I explain you how it helps your health?
Tom takes some time before coming out with his answers.

He has just two choices:

  1. No, tell me now and I will think of eating breakfast later.

  2. OK, Promise that you will explain me. I will promise that I will eat breakfast from tomorrow without fail.

Mom too has one option:

“Please understand me now; both of us will come to an agreement now. You should eat your breakfast now and from tomorrow, everyday without fail. If you do that, I will tell you lots of stories on how eating well help you become stronger.”

With lots of conversations and persistent arguments, both Mom and her son Tom, benefit from an agreement that make them happy ad contended. Conversations can help parents to impart a great deal of knowledge and information for their hungry and inquisitive children.

Learning becomes mutual as both parents and children become enriched with knowledge

Some children are so excited that they come with their little gems of knowledge and information. Do not neglect children just because they are very young. Even children are capable of discovering something new in their own ways. In fact, even parents can learn a lot from their children. Here are simple examples:

Tom: “Mom, Do you know why star shine at night?
Mom: “No Tom, I do not know. Can you please give some reasons why they shine at night?
Tom: “What! You do not know! OK, I will explain now!
Mom: “Please go on

Now, Tom will start explaining why stars shine only during night and goes explaining in his own way. Mom should stay silent until Tom finishes his version.

Once Tom finishes, Mom may start with her own version of explaining why stars shine only during night. She may like to compliment Tom for explaining in his way and thank him for that. Now, mom should elicit more questions from Tom and provide answers for all those questions. A constant exchange of questions and answers is a great way to make your children and you more knowledgeable and informative.

Raise children's inquisitiveness by throwing return questions

It is always beneficial to throw back questions that elicit more questions from children. Both questions and answers should be open ended and it should lead to acquisition of additional knowledge and information. Here are some simple tips:

Tom: “Mom, Why does this plant flower?
Mom: “Tom, it is a good question. I will give a clue to you now and you should tell me more about it all by yourself.

Mom will give Tom a clue and asks her son to provide more details and ask additional questions.

Mom: “Flowers will help the plant to thrive and reproduce.

Tom will start giving his own explanation and ask additional questions. Now, mom's duty is to provide more answers to Tom's questions and satisfy his curiosity. In the same vein, she can ask more questions and elicit more meaningful answers.

In the end, parents should not treat their children with neglect nor should they answer questions with a terse “because I said so or I know it.” Questions could be from both end, but parents should give priority to their children first, because they are the learners. Questions could be very tricky. They could be very interesting too, both for children and their parents.

Featured Resource

When Gifted Kids Don't Have All the Answers: How to Meet Their Social and Emotional Needs
By Jim Delisle, Ph.D. Judy Galbraith M.A.

This book offers proven, practical suggestions for encouraging social and emotional growth among gifted, talented, and creative children and youth. The authors explain what giftedness means, how gifted kids are identified, and how we might improve the identification process.

Then they take a close-up look at gifted kids from the inside out (their self-image and self-esteem) and the outside in (challenges to their well-being from their family, school, peers, and society in general). Complete with first-person stories, easy-to-use strategies, classroom-tested activities, guided discussions, and up-to-date resources, this book is for anyone committed to helping gifted children gain insights, find solutions, and know they're not alone.


Featured Resource


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