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Does anyone answer *all* of their 3 year old's questions?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
I am going absolutely BONKERS here lately.

G: Mama, what are you doing?
Me: I am putting tires in the trunk to take to the garage to have them put on our car
G: Oh....why?
Me: Because I put different tires on our car during the summer.
G: Oh... why new different tires?
Me: Because there is no snow in the summer and these tires help our car to drive better in the summer.
G: Oh....Why is the garage going to put our tires on our car?
Me: The man at the garage is going to help us to put them on the car.
G: Oh....why do we need new tires?
Me: I told you, buddy, we need different tires in the summer.
G: Oh...where is the garage?
Me: You will see it in a minute when we drive there.
G: Why is the garage there?
Me: AAAARRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


How do you make it stop without losing your mind? Does anyone actually just keep answering questions all....day....long....?
post #2 of 32
DH and I answer these kinds of questions all day with our almost 4 year old- and have been for quite some time now!

We do our best to give succinct, accurate and clear answers...and it is exhausting. One thing that I do sometimes (depending on the question) is to turn it back on her:

C: Mama, what is that man doing?
M: What do you think he's doing?

C: What are you doing?
M: Getting dinner ready.
C: What's for dinner?
M: Why don't you look at the ingredients and see if you can figure it out.

These sorts of answers sometimes buy me a few minutes of peace!
post #3 of 32
Thread Starter 
Yes, I have tried to turn some of them back on him, but then he starts asking all of these questions that I don't even have answers for. "Why is the garage there?" "Why is that tree there?" "Why do you have hair?" etc, etc, etc...
post #4 of 32
OMG This is killing me! DS is only 2, so I'm worried that that means this stage is going to go on even longer. lol Here's a typical conversation:

C: Whatcha doin' Mommy?
Me: Making dinner.
C: Why?
Me: Because it's almost dinner time.
C: Why?
Me: Because we're hungry.
C: Why?
Me: Because it's getting late.
C: Why?
Me: Because we've been awake for a long time today.
C: Why?
Me: Because we had to go to school today.
C: Why?
Me: Because it's Thursday.
C: Ooooooh...

I outlasted him that time. The ones that drive me even more crazy are these:

C: What's his name?
Me: Ummmm... fish.
C: What's his last name?
Me: Uhhhh... Trout?
C: Why?
Me: I don't know.
C: Why dat's his name Mommy?
Me: Because that's what his Mommy named him.
C: Why?
Me: ...... I got nuthin'.
post #5 of 32
Our favorite is "Who is that man/kid/total stranger? What is their name? Where is there mama?" Yikes kiddo! They're strangers we don't know any of that stuff!
I've had to become quick and creative with our answers. For your questions above I'd probably say "Because it is convenient for people to drive to" "That's where the seed landed" "To keep my ears warm"

I'm also pretty comfortable saying "I don't know. We can look it up at home" and repeating it as necessary.
post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodchick View Post
Our favorite is "Who is that man/kid/total stranger? What is their name? Where is there mama?" Yikes kiddo! They're strangers we don't know any of that stuff!
I have taken to making stuff up about people we aren't likely to see again or really talk to. It really takes very little before DS takes over - "That's Alice. She's going to catch the bus," will usually convince DS to tell me where she's going, and why, and what's on her grocery list and whether she has a grandma.

We don't answer all the questions. Unless "eat your oatmeal" and "it's bedtime," are the answers to a *lot* of questions.
post #7 of 32
I remember being in the car and passing a huge church. (I'm Buddhist, DH is atheist)

"Mama, what's the building?"

"it's a church"

"What's a church?"

"it's where people go to pray to God."

"What's God??"

"Oh the Almighty, the Alpha, the Omega....hey, there's a Dunkin Donuts! Let's get some munchkins!!"

(punt)
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post
I have taken to making stuff up about people we aren't likely to see again or really talk to. It really takes very little before DS takes over - "That's Alice. She's going to catch the bus," will usually convince DS to tell me where she's going, and why, and what's on her grocery list and whether she has a grandma.

We don't answer all the questions. Unless "eat your oatmeal" and "it's bedtime," are the answers to a *lot* of questions.
This all definitely sounds familiar!
post #9 of 32
yes, i do. agree: it's tiring! and i find myself "thinking" one step ahead every time i talk! whatever i say, i'm going to get questioned as to "why" or some other variable.

but, you know what, i think of it as "money in the bank" as far as improving her intelligence. she is learning so much by asking why and questions about everything all day long. just think, what if you weren't here to answer all the questions... and they went unanswered, how much less she would know!

now, i can't claim to answering 100% of her questions, every once in awhile i have enough and i have to ask her to please stop talking for awhile. but i'm probably at 99.9% of questions answered.
post #10 of 32
Ds isnt 3 yet, but soon!

But yeah I answer ALL of his questions, if I dont he will ask it 10 more times, so its easier just to answer everything. I've been dealing with this sense he was about 18months old and he isnt over that phase yet! He goes back and fort between the 'random' questions, and just plain asking 'why?' a million times
post #11 of 32
Thread Starter 
Good to know that I am not the only one who goes a little nutty with all of the questions. I guess I answer about 90% of them, but I also will occasionally ask hiim to stop asking questions. I am in introvert by nature, and getting grilled about absolutely everything is extremely taxing on me.

On a good note, I have learned to not yell at people when I am driving, or even mutter anything under my breath. Any time I do, DS is right there with "What happened Mama?" "Did that car almost hit us?" "Is that person a bad driver?" "Did you almost hit someone's car?"
post #12 of 32
I only answer 5 "why's" because after 5 you don't get any more useful information. I note the 6th why in the given exchange was "why is the garage there?" - not going to widen his knowledge or be meaningful. Having said that, i still answer questions All. Day. Long. I just kill each line of questioning after 5 why's.

I think it's funny when DD asks me what someone running past is doing, who they are, why they're in a rush etc... She ACTUALLY thinks i know what everything in the world is, who everyone is, what everyone is doing and so on. Magic Mama!
post #13 of 32
I try to answer all my kids questions, but my 4yo is an incessant babbler and some days it's very, very hard! My DH put it into perspective for me when he told me that his parents always told him to be quiet and never answered his questions as a child. He was a very intelligent, bright child and it broke my heart to think of his innocent curiousity being squashed by an annoyed grown-up, and we've both made a huge effort to answer all those dang questions even when our heads are about to explode. He is more patient than me with it, because I am with the kids 24/7.

Sometimes I just have to tell him that mommy's brain needs a 5 minute break so it can think, and it can't think when someone is talking to me. I tell him I love talking with him but now it's quiet time- and I've even set a timer for 5-10 mins and asked him to go play in his room or something, then when he comes out we can finish talking. Nine times out of ten he gets involved with something else and forgets all about what he was babbling about.

I am 9 months pregnant so I've been a lot more irritable with it lately, but I know when he gets past this phase and is a teenager who doesn't talk to me, that I'll miss it like crazy.
post #14 of 32
Sorry to burst the bubbles of mamas with young questioners, but my DD started around 2 and is still just as fervent at almost 5. I keep telling myself that it's because she's bright and inquisitive, and that I'm glad she has those qualities, but it's tough sometimes!

And no, I don't answer all of her questions. A lot of her questions don't have answers... at least answers that I know!
post #15 of 32
yes. but I also try to turn them back on her, especially if it's something that I know she could figure out if she tried. also, at that stage, they'll ask the same question repetitively sometimes because they weren't fully paying attention the first time, but also because they're checking to see if that's always the answer. they're exploring their world and figuring out what is constant and what is not, kwim?

that said, I will also let her know that she has two more "why" questions and then mommy needs a break for a little while. 'course, then the stinker will switch to "how" questions. :P

But I also do try to remind myself that it's a GOOD thing she's so inquisitive. She's really exploring her world and trying to understand it rather than just letting it happen around her.
post #16 of 32
I try, but it does get tiring. The ones that kill me are the ones that I have no idea about. Like we're driving down the road and he asks me why someone has cut a tree down.
post #17 of 32
My daughter was one of the incessant "why" question askers.. For awhile we would answer every time... But once she started responding with "why" to everything we told her we requested that she articulate a question. For example

Me: "Put your shoes on please, we're going to the store"
DD: "Why"
Me: "Please ask a full question"

This resulted in many less questions being asked.
post #18 of 32
I answered most, but certainly not all. It just wasn't possible!

We had a number of conversations that went:
Me: Okay, I need 5 minutes without any questions.
Ds: Why?
Me: Because I need time to think.
Ds: Why?
Me: Because I'm trying to read/drive/cook dinner.
Ds: Why?
Me: Enough already! 5 minutes, no questions!!!! Please!!
Ds: Why are you yelling?
post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
I answered most, but certainly not all. It just wasn't possible!

We had a number of conversations that went:
Me: Okay, I need 5 minutes without any questions.
Ds: Why?
Me: Because I need time to think.
Ds: Why?
Me: Because I'm trying to read/drive/cook dinner.
Ds: Why?
Me: Enough already! 5 minutes, no questions!!!! Please!!
Ds: Why are you yelling?
That sounds way too familiar.
post #20 of 32
My favorite response lately has been, "I don't know. What do you think?"

DS: Whas dat noise?
me: I think it's the neighbor's car, buddy.
him: Why mama?
me: He's going to work.
him: Why mama?
me: I don't know, buddy. What do you think?
him: Him haffa get some money so him could buy some cake, mama.
me: Oh, is that why? I didn't know.
him: Yeah, him likes the chocolate cake. Him's going to get it and eat it with appa juice, mama, and him's going to ask him's gramma come over and eat it too and too he will ask his dog if him wants some too and they's going to have sprinkles on it and...

I try to answer questions with patience when I can. I know that most of the time they really do want to know, and even if I'm feeling like I've answered the same ones a thousand times, that's their way of learning and reviewing what they're learned and solidifying it. But sometimes it just gets to be TOO MUCH. I like the "what do you think" because then I don't feel like I'm stepping on the child's question.

Plus I get a big kick out of hearing the explanations they come up with on their own.

I also have good luck with using big words and giving impressive sounding answers that stump the kid for a few minutes:

him: Whas that noise, mama?
me: It's the neighbor's car, buddy.
him: Why mama?
me: Internal combustion, buddy.

And sometimes the answer is, "because it just is, buddy," because that's the truest answer I can find to some of his questions. My mom would have said, "because that's how God made it."
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