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Monday, July 30, 2012

Why do kids ask "Why?"

Does the following scenario sound familiar?

Mom, "Put on your shoes because we're leaving."
Junior, "Why?"
Mom, "Because we're going to the grocery store."
Junior, "Why?"
Mom, "Because we need food."
Junior, "Why?"
Mom, getting exasperated, "Because I have to make dinner."
Junior, "Why?"
Mom, really frustrated now,"BECAUSE I SAID SO!"

Why, Mommy?
Why, you wonder, why does he drive me so crazy!?  Believe it or not, Junior isn't trying to drive you insane.  He's going through a totally normal phase of learning how to communicate.  It's his way of trying to carry on a dialogue with you and learn about his world.

Does that mean that you have to answer every "why" or you'll stunt his development?  No, of course not.  You can do one of several things, depending on the situation.

When it seems like he's really curious about something (like, where do thunder and lightning come from?), by all means, answer to the best of your knowledge and explore the subject with him so he understands. 

When it's just repetitive questioning, turn it around and ask HIM why do you think ...  This also encourages conversation and thinking skills.

When you're frazzled and/or in a hurry, answer the first time and when he repeats, just honestly tell him that you aren't going to talk about it any more right now.  Try not to use this one too often but at least you stop yourself from blowing up at him.

It may seem like kids are out to drive us crazy but they really aren't.  They will grow out of this stage.


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