How a lunchtime question turned into a learning opportunity

Russell Williams


ID-10011566 Cutlery

The other day while having lunch with my son, he suddenly said “look Daddy, I’m upside down when I look in the spoon. Why is that?” he asked.


Now, I want to encourage in my son, a culture or habit that I’ve noticed is lacking in children and youths these days and that is a culture of inquiry. Once children reach school age most of them stop asking questions and most importantly if they do ask, they don’t seek out the answer themselves. Why is that?

Sometimes we often shut them down, with I don’t know, or we quickly provide them with the answer, either way we are stunting our children’s growth. Instead of shutting their question down most of us have been provided with either an opportunity to encourage a “culture of inquiry” or a “teachable moment.”
I responded and told him, when we get home we’ll look it up and see why, then I remembered that my “smartphone” could provide the answer. So I told him lets type in your question and see what comes up.


In this age of the smartphone we as parents don’t have to be that smart. We don’t have to be seen as the fount of all knowledge and even if we do have the answer, we can play the game and show by example how our children can use the tools available. Later that evening I told my son to go on YouTube – something he does to find Spiderman and Hulk cartoons –  to find the answer to the spoon question, and a times tables song.


The internet is a mine of information and entertainment, some good and some not so good, As parents its important that we:-

a) Model the behaviour we want our children to follow.

b) Are aware of the potential of the internet not only for entertainment, but for education too.


So the next time your child asks, “Mommy or Daddy why or how………….?”  Pause and ask “why don’t we find out together?”



An IT Professional for more than 20 years and an entrepreneur for more than a decade, Russell Williams has extensive experience as an IT Trainer and facilitator and is happy to answer your questions. E-mail them to or follow him on Twitter @RwilliamsKN, G+



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