sense of wonder

Instilling a Sense of Wonder

Dear Mr. Dad: I remember being a child and constantly being amazed. But it seems like life is moving much more quickly these days and my own kids never get the luxury of just staring at the stars. Is there some way that today’s overscheduled families can slow down and rekindle that sense of wonder?

A: Childhood is filled with all sorts of developmental windows—it’s when we learn to speak and read, learn values, discover talents and passions, and much more. But those windows don’t stay open forever.

Childhood is also the time when our attitudes and beliefs about the world around us are formed. How you spent your first few years goes a long way toward determining whether you’re a nose-to-the-grindstone person or a head-in-the-clouds one. Developing that sense of wonder you remember so fondly requires three things: time, opportunity, and practice. Here are a few ways to jump-start the process.

Scheduled is good. Overscheduled is not. If you want your kids to experience wonder during their childhood, they must have unstructured time. Ironically, sometimes the only way to ensure they get enough of it is to schedule it.

Power down. Time in front of a TV, phone, or other screen is time spent seeing the world through someone else’s eyes. Help your kids find hobbies and interests that will engage their own creativity and reflection.


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Armin Brott

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Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.

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