Nurturing a Sense of Wonder

A child’s world is new and fresh, filled with excitement, joy and mystery. Yet, seems that what is awe-inspiring and beautiful often gets lost before we reach adulthood. From the child’s viewpoint, the most important dynamics of life and learning are social and emotional. They are good at being really present in the current moment. With an eye to the future, adults often focus on what needs to be learned or what needs to be done. You can help your children hold on to their sense of wonder by:

  • Slow down. Be present in the moment and let your child’s sense of time lead.
  • Be curious. Model excitement, joy and interest in the natural world and its happenings.
  • Invite exploration. Allow children to choose play and activities based on their own interests and curiosity.
  • Focus on experiences. Take a walk, read a story, visit a friend, play a game. Children value the time they spend with you more than the things they have. (Yes, even teens, but they won’t let you know it.)
  • Accept and validate emotions of children. Allow them to talk about hurts and fears.
  • Encourage children’s efforts. The sense of wonder is damaged by criticism and correction.
  • Play. Allow yourself and your children to get lost in the joy and creativity of play and exploration.
  • Take care of physical needs. Ensure children are well-fed, rested, held and cuddled, with lots of time and opportunity to run, jump, explore safely, play creatively.