our everyday life

Importance of Open-Ended Questions With a Child

by Kathryn Hatter, studioD

Getting a two-way conversation going between you and your child can take special effort sometimes. Known as “open-ended questions,” queries that require more than just a “yes” or “no” answer from your child can be the basis of fascinating and memorable discussions that will help you understand your child better.

Creative Thinking

With an open-ended question that taps into a child’s thought patterns and imagination, you can creative thinking that might surprise you. Children generally learn through a pattern that includes questioning or wondering about something, exploring to find answers, discovering ideas, thinking about them and then wondering all over again, advises educator Paula Denton, with the Responsive Classroom website.

Developing Language

An open-ended question has no right or wrong answer, so the language involved in formulating an answer can be extensive. As a child puts ideas into words, he will begin to put together innovative ideas and complex statements, according to educator Lisa Wilkin, with the Columbus Parent website. Children might use new and descriptive adjectives to describe items and objects. Children could think of suitable adverbs that describe someone or something’s actions. By using open-ended questions often, you encourage your child to broaden his vocabulary with new and interesting words.

Problem Solving

Because an open-ended question has an array of answers and possible outcomes, asking children these though-provoking questions enables them to learn effective problem solving, according to the International Children’s Education website. Children can think aloud through a thought process to arrive at innovative and imaginative answers to questions and issues. The more problem-solving a child does, the stronger her cognitive processes become and the more adept she might be at interpreting knowledge, suggests early childhood consultant Ernie Dettore.

Learning Together

Open-ended questions also encourage a conversation between you and your child. This conversation can foster in-depth discussions that enable you to learn together about new concepts. Children and adults can express ideas together in a give-and-take fashion that invites creative thinking, imaginative ideas and edifying conclusions. Spending time learning together with a child in this fashion also communicates that you value his thoughts, which encourages more creative ideas.

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images