When my son was little, he never asked questions like, “Why is the sky blue?” All of his questions started with, “What if….”.
“What if the world stopped turning?”
“What if people could fly?”
“What if dogs could talk?”
“What if you could stop time?”
Every scenario I would come up with, whether it was realistic or far-fetched, would be countered by, “Ok, then what if..” Sometimes these conversations were amusing and sometimes they could get a bit frustrating. More than once, I had to remind myself that he wasn’t doing this to be annoying, he was just a really curious kid.
Now that he is 12, our “What if” conversations have evolved into, “Why do you think….”
“Why do you think we have microwaves that make things hot quickly, but we don’t have something like that to make things cold?”
“Why do you think all of the aliens in movies are more technologically advanced than we are? If there are other life forms, isn’t it possible that they could be like cavemen?”
I love seeing the gears turn in my son’s eyes when he talks about things like this. Imagination, curiosity and a thirst for knowledge are gifts that children are born with. Encourage them, and they will be traits they carry with them into adulthood.