Are You Curious…or Are You Simply Distracted?By Homaira Kabir
My kids are adolescents now, which means they no longer like to communicate with family. When I get nostalgic for the years when they did communicate more freely, I remind myself of those relentless "whys" when they were little, and the constant pressure to nurture their natural curiosity. Although it wasn't easy to answer all their questions when dirty dishes stacked up in the sink, dinner needed to be cooked, and at least one of us was having an emotional meltdown.
For a long time, I carried the guilt of not having done a better job of tending to their curiosity—especially when I happened to witness a parent sit down and do so tirelessly. And when I saw my children approach certain experiences at school or in their lives with a fixed mindset, I wished I'd nurtured the approach-oriented motivational state that is the essence of curiosity.
However, I now know that curiosity, like any character trait, can be nurtured at any age. Even better, I've also learned that curiosity comes in many flavors, and the one that’s most malleable as we grow older is the one associated with greater growth and happiness.
In his book Why?: What Makes Us Curious, astrophysicist and author Mario Livio calls this particular form of curiosity "epistemic curiosity." MRI studies have shown that it's a pleasurable state associated with the anticipation