Dave Brebner: Words that encourage exploration

Whether online or offline, your child’s best teacher is you. We’re pleased to share words from local community leaders on how they connect, create experiences, and share the love that builds happy, confident, successful kids. No screens required!

It’s a big house, then a big neighbourhood, and somewhere along the way it becomes a big world. These days I think about how big the universe is.

I was always an inquisitive child, often to my parents’ distress. My mother continues to share a story from the 1980s, when my age was still in single digits. She came home with a new computer - a 286 Compaq Presario- I can only imagine what it cost back then. 

A few hours later, she found that I had disassembled this new computer – all the screws, hard drives, and cards where strewn about the room and its shag carpet. My older self realizes what a potential disaster static electricity can have on computer parts, but somehow, after a quick, loud talking to by my parents I put the computer back together. 

And it worked.


Inquisitiveness leads to exploration of things, places, ideas and talents. As a child, it often starts with things, and as one grows, it leads to places. Later in life it leads to ideas. All along the way we are learning talents.  

And with technology, exploration is easier than ever. “Dad, ask Google” as if Google is a person (which is an interesting digression: the question came up what Google looked like and the response/question from my son was “Something like God?” – there’s probably an entire thesis required on this topic alone!).

And with the country we live in, we are blessed that the majority of us can access this information, whether through their own device or through libraries and other public sites. This means that if you can read, you can explore this world without ever having to move.

By the time this is published, I will likely have three children: 6, 4 and a newborn. My wife and I constantly challenge our children with open ended questions. These questions force exploration of a child’s own thoughts and memories: What do you want to do today? Tell me about your most favourite thing that happened today? What do you want to do next? 

Of course, there are limits to their answers (that’s the parent’s job to navigate) but we try to say yes as often as we can. However, a recent tricky one came from my son – “Dad, can we go to space?” “Yes, son, we will one day.”

That’s me continuing to explore my universe, but now I get to do it with my children. 

Exploring your universe, however big it is, starts with words. 

David Brebner is a Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer of Mobials Inc., a software development company focused on digitally connecting businesses with their customers and future customers. David is also very active within the not-for-profit sector, currently holding the treasurer positions on the Grand Theatre and Grand Theatre Foundation. He also has recently held director positions with Neuchatel Junior College, NJC Fund (as chair), and the Shoebox Project (founding director).