Photo by Artem Podrez

Caroleann Rice’s Ladybug children’s book primarily emphasizes building connections and openly communicating with others. With its characters seeking each other’s advice and help, children are shown that showing this kind of vulnerability is okay.

Asking for help is a strength. Identifying when things are over one’s capacity and being able to ask for assistance is an essential skill. It shows self-awareness and the acceptance that nobody is perfect and that it’s normal to be lacking in something. Nobody is capable and knowledgeable about everything. One way or another, everybody needs help. But why is it sometimes difficult to ask for it?

Society has unintentionally attached a negative connotation when people seek help. Instead of associating it with a desire for knowledge, it has been connected with incompetence. This is why people are now more embarrassed to ask for assistance than know how to proceed with a task. The moment one asks for help, it reveals their incapacity or incompetence for that task.

This uneasiness to ask for help isn’t limited to socially conscious adults. Even children are growing more hesitant to raise their hands and express confusion. Instead, they would sit in the puddle of uncertainty rather than raise their hands and risk getting laughed at by their friends and classmates.

Aside From Answers, What Do Children Lose by Not Asking For Help?

Children ask questions to gain answers. They ask for assistance to get things done and simultaneously learn how to do a process. Without a doubt, asking for help is crucial in learning and development. Else, education wouldn’t be a requirement.

Above learning new things, asking questions is also a great way for them to create relationships, which is a crucial part of growing. By asking questions and allowing others to answer, an exchange of ideas occurs. This lets children realize how everyone has different views and opinions, allowing them to understand each other more.

Asking questions is also an excellent means of measuring children’s capacity and developing self-awareness. Acknowledging the things they don’t know helps them know their strengths and weaknesses, thus shaping their identity and creating a path they can take in the future.

In author Caroleann Rice’s Ladybug children’s book, the author emphasizes the wisdom of seeking help, highlighting the power of asking for assistance without feeling embarrassed or anxious. In the story, the characters Clover the Rabbit and Mrs. Ladybug ask for the help of Solomon the Snail in dealing with a problem they’re sure they can’t handle by themselves. They took to the wisdom of Solomon to explain to another character that he was being mean.

By asking for help from their friend, not only did they solve the problem, but they also, in a way, became close with Solomon. By acknowledging the latter’s skills, they showed appreciation for his capabilities, which they can also learn from.

How to Encourage Children to Ask Questions?

While children must know how to take responsibility and navigate the world independently, it’s also important to teach them that reaching out is always okay. Hesitating to ask questions doesn’t only stop them from getting the correct answers. It also fixates them in a mindset that hinders development and growth.

However, children can’t help but be reluctant. Self-consciousness can be overwhelming and a massive problem to overcome. Hence, it’s up to the adults to model this openness for them to mirror.

While society may make them believe that asking questions is a sign of weakness, adults can start changing this by normalizing it around children. It doesn’t have to be a big gesture. Asking for help can be as simple as talking about one’s day, opening up about their problems, and asking for advice.

Constant exposure to adults unafraid to look stupid by asking even simple questions will make children realize that nobody will judge them for doing so. It’s about changing children’s perspectives about asking questions and making it a more pleasant activity. This can also be achieved by celebrating the instances of children asking. When they step up and request help, adults can praise the action and remind them that they’re growing.

This redirects how and what children associate with seeking help. Instead of awkwardness and incompetence, they will associate the act with growth the more adults praise them for taking action. They can also be reminded how asking for help can strengthen their relationship with others. After all, when they seek others’ help, that person can feel trusted, happy, and valued.

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