We have all heard of IQ (intelligence quotient), and we understand that the higher the IQ, the better a person’s reasoning and problem solving abilities. Albert Einstein is famous for his high level of intelligence, but there is another measure of mental abilities that may be equally predictive of a person’s problem solving abilities, and it seems Einstein was a giant in this measurement as well.
Known as CQ, a person’s curiosity quotient measures their level of inquisitiveness and can be a strong indicator of a person’s critical thinking skills. Einstein once said, “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”
Unlike IQ, which is difficult to coach, curiosity is more easily cultivated, which is encouraging because studies show that curiosity enhances learning and strengthens memory.
Reading out loud as a family is a great way to encourage curiosity, especially if you adorn every reading session with conversation and questions about the story. Curiosity is cultivated when you pause and ask children to anticipate what will happen or ask them why they think a character may have made a particular choice. Ask children to describe how they imagined a certain scene in the story or how they might have written a part of the story differently
When it comes to cultivating curiosity, conversation is king! Ask children open-ended questions throughout the day. Share fun stories with them from your childhood and your family’s unique history.
On the way home from any place you visit, ask about their observations. What did they talk about in Sunday School that was interesting? How many kids were in their class that day? After a visit to a new person’s home, talk about interesting parts of the visit. Maybe your family friend has a couch in their kitchen. That might seem like an unusual choice, at first. But you can ask your child to think of as many benefits as he can of having a couch in the kitchen.
Avoid being critical — critical of your child and critical of other people and situations. Instead, help your child view everything as fascinating and worthy of studying. Instead of assigning a positive or negative value to an experience, ask your child to think about the interesting new things they encountered.
Fan the flames of your child’s interests. Give them ample time and tools to explore the things that spark fascination in your child. Make regular trips to the library and help them find books on the topics they find appealing. Watch how-to videos and documentaries with them about their interests. But then give them space to explore independently. Avoid micromanaging or overly directing their exploration.
Teach kids to reframe their ideas about boredom and approach every situation and experience as something with a potentially hidden treasure. Help kids improve their observation skills, and teach them to look for interesting things and life lessons in every situation.