As a millennial mum, one of the parenting tips I subscribe to is this: Don't spend your money giving your child material things; spend it by giving them experiences, and memories they will treasure. Because it's not the accommodation or entrance fee you're paying for - you're spending for the awe-inspiring moments.
What's your favourite memory of your child?
As a mum of three, I have many. And I relish those simple moments when they give me a hug or say 'I love you.' But man, bringing my kids to Disneyland was definitely one for the books.
Granted, I had to pay so much for only a day at the park, but seeing the smiles on my kids' faces when they saw their favourite TV shows come to life and being welcomed by their favourite Disney character? Well, that's priceless.
As a homeschooling mum, one of my favourite activities is going on "field trips" with my kids. For our last one, we went to the zoo, and my kids experienced feeding a giraffe, talking to birds and holding a snake. I don't know exactly what part of our science subject that falls under, but I'm a hundred per cent sure that my kids learned something from those experiences.
Awe-inspiring moments refer to experiences that evoke a sense of wonder, amazement, and awe in individuals. While seeing our kids so happy is already a pro on its own, do you know that letting children experience such moments can have numerous benefits for their development?
This article will explore 10 reasons why we should let our children have awe-inspiring moments and the different ways we can let them experience it in their day-to-day lives.
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Enhances Brain Development
Recent studies have shown that awe-inspiring experiences can positively impact children's brain development. Research has demonstrated that the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for higher cognitive functions such as decision-making and problem-solving, is activated during awe-inspiring moments.
Moreover, exposure to awe-inspiring moments has been linked to increased activity in areas of the brain associated with positive emotions, empathy, and social cognition.
Awe-inspiring moments can lead to better cognitive and emotional functioning in children by broadening their perspectives and helping them make sense of the world around them. This can improve their ability to think creatively and critically and increase their capacity for empathy and understanding of others.
By experiencing awe, children can develop a greater appreciation for the beauty and complexity of the world, which can enhance their sense of curiosity and wonder, leading to further growth and development.
Awe-inspiring moments can spark creativity in children by encouraging them to think outside of the box and explore new ideas. Exposure to new and exciting experiences can stimulate the imagination and inspire children to create something new and unique.
For example, a child who has been awe-struck by a beautiful sunset may be inspired to create a painting or drawing that captures the moment's essence. Similarly, a child who has witnessed a meteor shower may be inspired to write a story or compose music that captures the awe-inspiring experience.
Awe-inspiring moments can inspire children to engage in creative activities such as photography, videography, or writing. By capturing and sharing their experiences through these mediums, children can share their awe-inspiring experiences with others and inspire them to appreciate the beauty and wonder of the world as well.
Boosts Confidence and Self-Esteem
Experiencing awe can help children feel more confident and have higher self-esteem by giving them a sense of personal significance and accomplishment. When children encounter awe-inspiring moments, they often feel a sense of mastery and accomplishment, which can enhance their confidence and self-esteem.
For example, a child who climbs a mountain or sees a rare animal in the wild may feel a sense of pride and accomplishment, which can translate into increased confidence in other areas of their life.
There are many real-life examples of children who have gained confidence through awe-inspiring moments. For instance, a child participating in an awe-inspiring science experiment may feel more confident and competent in their scientific abilities. Similarly, a child who performs in a school play may feel more self-assured in their ability to express themselves creatively.
Experiencing awe-inspiring moments can give children a sense of accomplishment and personal significance, leading to increased confidence and self-esteem.
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Enhances Empathy and Compassion
A growing body of research suggests a strong connection between experiencing awe and developing empathy and compassion. When children encounter awe-inspiring moments, it can lead to a shift in perspective and a greater appreciation for the world and its people.
Experiencing awe can lead to a sense of interconnectedness and unity with others, which can foster greater empathy and compassion. For example, a child who witnesses a breathtaking sunrise may feel a sense of awe and wonder at the world's beauty, which can inspire them to act in ways that promote the well-being of others and the environment.
Moreover, exposure to awe-inspiring moments can broaden children's perspectives, making them more open-minded and understanding towards others with different experiences and backgrounds. Children who experience awe are more likely to appreciate the diversity and complexity of the world, which can help them develop greater empathy and compassion towards others.
Promotes Positive Values
Experiencing awe-inspiring moments can promote positive values in children such as gratitude, generosity, and kindness. When children encounter awe-inspiring experiences, it can inspire them to appreciate the beauty and wonder of the world, leading to a greater sense of gratitude and thankfulness for the people and things in their lives.
Moreover, exposure to awe-inspiring moments can encourage children to be more generous and kind towards others. For example, a child who witnesses an act of kindness or compassion may be inspired to perform similar acts of kindness themselves.
There are many real-life examples of children who have incorporated positive values into their lives after experiencing awe-inspiring moments. For instance, a child who visits a national park and learns about conservation efforts may become more conscious of their environmental impact and take steps to reduce waste and conserve resources.
Similarly, a child who witnesses a powerful music or theatre performance may be inspired to pursue their own creative passions and use their talents to bring joy and inspiration to others.
Improves Physical Health
There is growing evidence to suggest that experiencing awe-inspiring moments can have a positive impact on physical health. Studies have shown that exposure to awe can reduce stress, lower inflammation, and improve immune function.
Moreover, awe-inspiring moments can inspire children to engage in physical activity and outdoor exploration, which can have numerous health benefits. For example, a child who experiences awe while hiking in nature may be inspired to continue exploring the outdoors and engage in regular physical activity, leading to improved cardiovascular health and reduced risk of obesity and other chronic diseases.
Experiencing awe can also lead to greater mindfulness and self-awareness, promoting better health habits and reducing unhealthy behaviours. For example, a child who experiences awe while watching a beautiful sunset may be more mindful of their daily routines and make healthier choices in their diet and exercise habits.
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Fosters Curiosity and Love for Learning
Experiencing awe-inspiring moments can foster curiosity and a love for learning in children. When children encounter novel and surprising experiences, it can spark their curiosity and desire to learn more about the world around them.
These moments can also inspire children to pursue new interests and passions. For example, a child who experiences awe while stargazing may become interested in astronomy and spend time learning about the stars and the universe.
Many real-life examples of children have become passionate about learning after experiencing awe-inspiring moments. For instance, a child who visits a museum and is awed by the exhibits may become interested in history, art, or science and want to learn more about these topics.
Similarly, a child who experiences awe while observing wildlife may become interested in biology and ecology and want to learn more about the natural world.
Provides Perspective and Resilience
Experiencing awe-inspiring moments can help children gain perspective and become more resilient. When children encounter grand and awe-inspiring experiences, it can help them see their problems and challenges in a broader context, leading to greater resilience and coping skills.
Awe-inspiring moments can also provide hope and inspiration during difficult times. For example, a child who experiences awe while watching a beautiful sunset may feel more hopeful about their future, even in adversity.
Many real-life examples of children have overcome difficult situations with the help of awe-inspiring experiences. For instance, a child who has experienced trauma or loss may find solace and comfort in the awe-inspiring beauty of nature, leading to greater resilience and emotional healing.
Similarly, a child who has struggled with mental health issues may find inspiration and hope through these epic moments, leading to greater motivation and personal growth.
Creates Lifelong Memories
Experiencing awe-inspiring moments can create lifelong memories for children. They will cherish and remember for years. These memories are important for children's growth and development. They can provide a sense of continuity and personal history and provide comfort and inspiration during difficult times.
Awe-inspiring moments are often associated with strong emotional reactions. This can enhance memory consolidation and recall. For example, a child who experiences awe while visiting a national park may remember the experience vividly for years to come and may even feel inspired to return to the park and relive the experience in the future.
These memories can also inspire and motivate children as they grow and develop. For example, a child who has experienced awe-inspiring moments may be more likely to pursue their passions and interests. They also seek new experiences and adventures.
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How to Bring Out the Awe
There are many reasons why we should let our children have awe-inspiring moments. These breathtaking experiences can enhance brain development, increase creativity, boost confidence and self-esteem, enhance empathy and compassion, promote positive values, improve physical health, foster curiosity and love for learning, provide perspective and resilience, and create lifelong memories.
As parents, we must provide opportunities for our children to experience these epic moments. This can be as simple as taking our children hiking, visiting a museum or a zoo, or watching a beautiful sunset together.
Exposing our children to these experiences can help them develop important cognitive, emotional, and social skills. It will benefit them throughout their lives.
Let's create a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world around them. By doing so, we can help them grow and develop into confident, compassionate, and resilient individuals who can face life's challenges with courage and optimism.
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