Children are naturally curious. They can ask what seems like a million questions and get into things they aren’t supposed to if you don’t keep an eye on them. This is a trait that not only pushes them to keep exploring and engaging in their world but can lead to them growing up to be someone who asks questions and looks for answers, such as a scientist, an artist, or a journalist. Unfortunately, too often, parents and teachers squash that natural curiosity, even when they mean well. While you may not be able to answer every question and you have to prevent them from doing things that are harmful to themselves or others, there are healthy ways to encourage a kid’s curiosity.

Balance the Digital World

There is much that can be said in defense of digital technology and our daily lives. There’s a lot to be learned from going online, and some children’s curiosity may manifest in the realm of computers as they delve into such topics as programming or artificial intelligence. However, the digital world can also be a time sink, and even at its most beneficial, there needs to be balance between the world as experienced through a screen and the real world. Encourage your child to engage beyond screens, taking part in activities, and making friends at school or in the community.

Encourage Their Interests

Pay attention to what your kids are interested in and take steps to encourage them in that interest. Whether it’s music, sports, painting or something else, help them join a club or take lessons. Find out what kind of programs may be available. If your child wants nothing more than to become an astronaut, consider Space Camp. If you’re looking for a way to afford this or other activities for your children, you might want to consider taking out a personal loan. You can usually do a quick check for your eligibility, and you may pay less in interest than you would with a credit card.

Notice Your Talk

How do you talk about the world to your child? Pay attention to the messages you are sending. If you are conveying to your child that the world is a dangerous, disappointing place, you will squash that creativity even as you take the above steps to encourage it. Of course, kids need to have information that will keep them safe, and they also need an age-appropriate understanding of some of life’s tough realities. But this should make them resilient, not grind them down into despair. Keep in mind that relentless pessimism is no more grounded in reality than blind optimism.

Destigmatize Failure

A fear of failure can kill a child’s curiosity, and they can start to believe that it’s better to just avoid exploring and taking chances. You can combat this by being open with your child about things you have tried and failed at and encouraging them to try new things themselves for the experience and not necessarily with an expectation of success. Demonstrate for them an attitude that places importance on showing up and trying something even if things don’t work out, and show them that failure is simply another opportunity to try again and get it right.