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How to endure the endless "why?" questions?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Before I had kids, I looked forward to the "why?" questions. I pictured Socratic discussions about science and religion. Now that DD is 4yo, it feels like she's a contestant on Jeopardy and absolutely everything she says must be framed in the form of a question. For example,

Child:  "How old is Milo?"
Adult:  "Milo is five years old."

Child:  "Why is he five years old?"

and so on, without any breakthrough insights. And yes, I can think of several interesting lines of conversation this could take, but not when I'm trying to cook dinner and remember if I signed the book order etcetera.

 

I realize this is all developmentally appropriate. I try to answer the questions seriously. But some of the time she's just asking questions because she has poor conversation skills, sometimes she needs time to think and this is like a pause button, and often she's just tired.

 

Meanwhile, DH and I grow tired ourselves and insist "You're not allowed to repeat what the other person said! You have to think of your own question!" which is truly ridiculous.

 

Any suggestions for how to get through this? I have tried countering with a variety of questions that she might want to ask, but that only works when I'm not busy. I've tried the distraction method ("Hey, look! A cloud!") but she doesn't fall for that anymore (or just asks, "Why is that a cloud?").

post #2 of 7

From what I have read (DS is still in the "that?" stage, and his favourite word right now is "dat?" every time we leave the house) children at that stage are not looking at the answers you are hoping they are.  They don't want the scientific or "correct" answer, but one that is comforting.  So, if your daughter asks why the sun shines, they don't want to know about the gasses that are burning millions of miles away, they want an answer that says "the sun shines to warm the earth and make trees and flowers grow".

 

I don't know if taking a less serious approach will help you get through the stage, but hopefully it will allow you to be more playful.

post #3 of 7
Well I totally understand what you are going through. I have 5y daughter, she is the same. I answer her questions as long as they have some reasons or sometimes she asks age inappropriate things then I just. Tell her you are too little to get it or its not nice thing or why don't you ask your teacher?
post #4 of 7

I ask questions back, sometimes.  "Why not?"  "Idk, What do you think?" "Why do you want to know?"  or anything.  Or i make something ridiculous up. (ie, He's 5 because that is the age that aliens are allowed to live on earth)  Most of the time kids asking why are just trying to keep you talking to hear the sound of your voice, IME, often because they're bored. 

post #5 of 7

I ask what does the child think is the answer or say let's look it up.

post #6 of 7
I need some serious suggestions for my problem, and the problem is my sister in law. She is living with us for last two years and she has very bad habit of not helping around, she would, but only occasionally. My husband tells me I could tell him to do the things that I expect her. Well which kills his time and we get less time as a family. I have 2and 5y old kids, I get tired working around them all day. If I yell at this 26y lady for not being responsible, I am blamed to be a bad daughter in law, bad mother. Also I am told that if I am yelling at people like this, my kids are going to learn the same. Eventually this ends up with guilt feeling. I have my kids one side and on other side its my husband who doesn't want her sister to leave.
What should I do greensad.gif
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen Muise View Post

I ask questions back, sometimes.  "Why not?"  "Idk, What do you think?" "Why do you want to know?"  or anything.  Or i make something ridiculous up. (ie, He's 5 because that is the age that aliens are allowed to live on earth)  Most of the time kids asking why are just trying to keep you talking to hear the sound of your voice, IME, often because they're bored. 



I did this, and his answers were pretty entertaining. One time he asked why there was a picture of a whale on the salt container and I asked him why does he think there is? He said "Because salt comes from inside whales like bacon comes from inside pigs."So I was like "That's a good guess but no, the salt comes from the ocean water where whales live." and he was like "Ummm.... no. It comes from inside the whales, like milk comes from a cow." And whenever he came to a conclusion, there was no convincing him it was otherwise. But, it was fun when knowing the correct answer wasn't really important.

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