How to Teach your Child to Ask Questions

The Wafflehoffers, Curious Maple, is a story that helps your child understand it’s important to ask questions.

If all adults were required to get a degree in child psychology before they became parents, they’d undoubtedly undergo far less stress and anxiety in raising a child.

But sadly many of us don’t have that psychology degree, so we don’t understand how our child’s brain works and reacts as it grows and develops.

So we plod along not knowing the real reason behind our child’s tantrum or why they constantly want to irritate us, or why they get board so easily, or even why it seems they never listen to us when we tell them not to do something.

We’ve only just learned through commercials on TV that we must read and talk to our child during the first three years of their life, as their brain development during this period is a total 80 percent.

So we learn through trial and error and the occasional words of wisdom from our parents if we’re lucky enough to have them still alive?

My biggest challenge as a single parent was getting my children to do what I asked, and not have them do what I didn’t want them to do, like for instance. If I told my daughter not to walk near the edge of the sidewalk, she’d do what I didn’t want her to do, and that was walking near the brink of the sidewalk. So I’d have to grab hold of her hand and gently pull her away from the curb edge.

It wasn’t until I started reading books on a child’s brain and how it develops that I understood that my instruction to my daughter were all wrong. I was saying the wrong words to her. I would say, “Don’t walk near the edge,” expecting her to comprehend what I had just said at the age of five years old. To her, what she was hearing was, “walk near the edge.” The word don’t doesn’t mean anything to her. She couldn’t comprehend the word don’t.

According to the Oxford dictionary, don’t means they really don’t know what will happen.

Now, if I had said to my daughter, “Katie if you walk near the edge of the sidewalk, you could get hit by a car and have to be taken to the hospital,” then she could understand that walking near the edge was dangerous.

So, that is one of the reasons behind why I wrote, The Wafflehoffers, Curious Maple. The book was not only written for children to enjoy, but it was also written to help parents understand that it’s important for them to explain to their child why they don’t want them to do something.

Maple Wafflehoffer goes with her family to visit her Uncle Pete’s farm.

While they are eating lunch, Maple learns through her uncle, that a baby horse has been born on the farm. Maple being a very curious child, as most six-year-olds are, feels the need to go in search of the baby horse, to satisfy her curiosity, despite her uncle’s telling her to stay away from the mare and her foal. (He never explain why she should stay away.)

Illustration Pic 9Maple puts herself in danger when she climbs the stone wall to get a closer look at the foal. The mare gallops towards her, naturally protecting her young.

Uncle Pete neglects to tell Maple the real reason why he wants Maple to stay away from the mare and her foal. Maple being young and curious doesn’t think to ask her Uncle Pete the question, “why must she stay away from the mare and her foal?”

Upon finding the mare and her foal grazing in a field, without thinking about any possible danger, Maple climbs over the stone wall to get a closer look at the baby horse. Maple forgets about what her uncle told her, “to stay away from the mare and her foal.”

With Maple being able to talk to the animals, she learns from the mare about the mishap that got her and her foal banished to the far end of the farm.

Maple learns that grown-ups can make mistakes too. It was wrong of her uncle to judge the mare without knowing all the facts as to why the horse behaved a certain way.

Uncle Pete, with not having any children of his own, didn’t realize that Maple is a child and that it’s natural for a child’s brain to be curious. Maple’s brain with being so young reacted on emotion and not on facts and common sense. Uncle Pete neglected to explain to Maple in a language that she’d understand, that the mare almost kicked him, and that’s why he told her to stay away. He wanted to protect her from any possible danger as the mare was doing what mothers do protect their young.

When Maple learned about how her uncle almost got kicked by the mare, Maple realized she could have gotten badly hurt if the horse were truly dangerous. So Maple accepted her chore of grooming the horse as punishment for disobeying her uncle.

Also, the story, The Wafflehoffers, Curious Maple, children learn about the different animals on the farm.

They each explain to Maple why they cannot help her in her search for the foal, because of the role they each have to play on the farm.

Illustration Pic 7For example; The Cat explains to Maple that it cannot leave the barn because its job is to chase away the mice, so they don’t eat the farmer’s grain.

The cow explains to Maple that it eats the lush green grass so that it can produce milk for the farmer and his wife to drink.

The sheepdog explains to Maple that its job is to keep a watchful eye over the sheep in their field, to make sure that no wolves try to eat the sheep for its supper.

In her search, Maple learns to be brave. Her curiosity to find the foal helps make her fearless when she has to pass through the dark woods in search of the baby horse, despite the sheepdog warning her about the wolves.

Maple’s mama was relieved that Maple did not get hurt by the horse. That night when they returned home from the visit to the farm, Mama expressed her love to Maple by baking Maple her favorite meal. Blueberry waffles.

The book contains humor, rhyming, and many delightful pictures.

Read The Wafflehoffers ~ Curious Maple to your child.

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