Annaka Harris

american author

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We live with some big mysteries. When we come upon one, were given a little gift. Every mystery is something for all of us to wonder about together.

One of the most important gifts we can give our children is the confidence to say "I don`t know." It`s the foundation from which we begin our investigation of the world: asking questions, taking the necessary time to understand the answers, and searching for new answers when the ones we have in hand don`t seem to work. The feeling of not knowing is also the source of wonder and awe.

We live in a society where people are uncomfortable with not knowing. Children aren`t taught to say "I don`t know," and honesty in this form is rarely modeled for them. They too often see adults avoiding questions and fabricating answers, out of either embarrassment or fear, and this comes at a price. When children are embarrassed by or afraid of the feeling of not knowing, they are preoccupied with escaping their discomfort, rather than being motivated to learn. This robs them of the joy of curiosity. Let`s celebrate the feelings of awe and wonder in our children, as the foundation for all learning. Let`s teach children to say "I don`t know" and help them understand the power behind it. Let`s talk to them about how it feels to not know something. And, finally, let`s be honest with children about the limits of our own knowledge.

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