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How to promote awe in your children and why it's good for their development

Children are naturally born with a sense of awe and wonder, and this can fade. There are things that you can do as a parent to promote this awe and expand your child's passion for learning and life. This has been found to have many benefits for children's development and wellbeing.

What exactly is awe? Awe is defined by researchers as a feeling in response to something so huge that it is nearly impossible to fathom. Vastness in this context might allude to physical scale, but it can also apply to huge ideas, such as mastering mathematical principles or attempting to comprehend the immensity of space and time. In attempting to comprehend these extraordinary experiences, our minds expand, and our conventional worldviews are challenged. These encounters help us to step outside of our ego and connect with the world around us, which offers numerous psychological and health benefits. For children, awe can aid in learning, problem-solving, and scientific reasoning. It pushes us to question our assumptions and investigate new theories in light of new facts. Interestingly, a recent series of research discovered that persons with a higher proclivity for awe had a better comprehension of the nature of science (Gottlieb et al., 2018). Recent theoretical research (Valdesolo et al., 2017) also argues that awe may boost scientific learning and reasoning in children.

How to encourage and promote awe in children? 1: Find your place that makes you light up Take the kids for a little walk to get your daily dose of astonishment. Whether it's a trek, a trip to the park, or a casual walk around the block, it's necessary to approach your surroundings with an open mind. Take note of the clouds in the sky, the sound of the birds, or the individuals you pass by. If you're not a fan of the great outdoors, go to a museum, science centre, art gallery, football stadium, or any other place that will take your breath away and make you feel inspired.

2: Watch a mind-boggling video with the intention of amazing your child You don’t need to leave the house to be amazed by what the world has to offer. Watching a movie, a documentary or even a short YouTube clip with your child is the next best thing. In fact, the power of film and music can be incredibly moving, especially for young people. Visit Jason Silva's Shots of Awe, National Geographic, The Kid Should See This, The Scale of the Universe and Powers of Ten to find awe-inspiring videos that leave you with goosebumps! 3: Tell your child or your family about your most amazing experience? Share awe-inspiring moments with your family at the dinner table, pull out a family photo album, or tell a funny travel story. You can to have your children create their own artwork to reflect on a period when they felt amazement or excited about a place or an activity. Experiment with collage, drawing, painting, photography, or sculpture to play to their strengths. As children get older, they may get bored of hearing your stories so try and get the timing right so you can get their attention and adoration. 4: Use music and stories to grow their sense of awe and see what catches their imagination Music: Listen to uplifting music or compose your own. From legendary composers' piano ballads to rap songs about changing the world, your youngster will discover what moves them. Stories: Read to your children inspiring novels, poetry, and short stories, such as biographies of famous heroes and descriptions of nature, scientific discoveries, beautiful landscapes, and historical events. 5: Play around with technology This could be simple as a wind-up car, making slime, or as complex as using an Oculus Rift. Experiment with what excites your child and makes them curious.

6: Understand what lights them up with music or stories Ask them questions about music or stories. Questions might include:

  • What do you think this rapper or musician wanted listeners to feel?

  • What is the hero trying to do in the story?

  • How do you feel when you hear about this story? What do you like about it?

Try to grow their developing curiosity through questions and focusing on what they like about stories, pictures, and sounds.

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