#BigParentingIdea — Children And Big Questions

In an introduction to the book A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking Carl Sagan wrote:

It’s only the children nowadays who ask the big questions, because they don’t know enough not to.

In one of his interviews he explained what he was trying to get across.

“The school systems have an attitude of discouragement of asking fundamental questions.
If a six-year old asks why the moon is round or why the grass is green the usual adult answers, at least in my experience, to discourage the child.
So what shape did you expect the moon to be, square? or What color did you expect the grass to be, blue?
Instead of saying that those are interesting questions, let’s try to find out the answer or maybe nobody knows the answer and when you grow up you’ll be able to discover the answer.
It would be very healthy for the human species if there were less discouragement and more scientists.”

Essentially what Carl Sagan implores all adults to do is encourage children to ask more questions.

That’s what I also implore all adults (parents and teachers in particular) to do. Even, or especially, in instances when you think that you can give a child a correct answer. Usually, the correct answer is what we have figured out based on what we already know about the subject. What we don’t take into account (because we can’t) are all the things that we don’t know yet about the subject.

How many times in our history what once seemed a correct answer wasn’t correct 10, 20, 50 or 100 years later?

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