When does the WHY stage start? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 07-01-2009, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
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My dd hit her "why" phase a little after she was 2.5. She has a friend who is the same age and still hasn't started the "Why's" at 3.5, and his mother is concerned and wanted me to ask. Since dd is an only child, I don't really know what's the average range for this. So, when did your child/-ren enter into the "Why Why Why?" phase?

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#2 of 21 Old 07-01-2009, 09:35 PM
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My 3.25yo still hasn't, but he did have a "where?" phase at 2.5
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#3 of 21 Old 07-01-2009, 09:40 PM
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my kids never really had a "why why why" stage, they asked a trillion other questions...ad nauseum...and still do...but they never really seemed to be all that interested in that specific word. i remember waiting around for it, and it never really came. i mean, i'm sure they asked "why" plenty of times, it just never took on that constant tone i was expecting.
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#4 of 21 Old 07-01-2009, 09:41 PM
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I had one major "why" kid who started between 2 1/2 and 3. I had another child who didn't ask nearly as many why questions, so I can't really say that she had a 'why' stage. She had more of a 'how' stage. It is very much a personality difference between the two -- ds is more theoretical, whereas dd wants to know the process.

Putting on my professor hat: Some kids don't go through a 'why' stage. There's nothing wrong with that as long as the child asks some questions. A child who never asks questions to get information between 3 and 4 would concern me. So, the age for 'questions' is usually about 3, but anything between 3 and 4 is pretty typical.

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#5 of 21 Old 07-01-2009, 09:57 PM
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DS has been in the why stage for about 9 months. He entered the phase around 28 months-30 months of age. He is now 3 years and two months.

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#6 of 21 Old 07-01-2009, 10:12 PM
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Ds was a late talker. The why questions started when he was 3 or maybe 3.5. He's now 4 and there are a million why questions every day. It's fun but can get exhausting sometimes!

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#7 of 21 Old 07-01-2009, 11:18 PM
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DD was in a why stage from 2-3.5. I'm still getting over it
But yes I think it varies widely and some don't go through it....
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#8 of 21 Old 07-01-2009, 11:42 PM
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My oldest (almost 6) never really went through a "why" phase. My youngest hasn't either (he's 3). He skipped straight to "why not?"
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#9 of 21 Old 07-02-2009, 12:26 AM
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DD started her "why" phase around 2.5. DS is 3.5, and it seems like he's not going to have a "why" phase. He does ask "why" questions sometimes, but not to the point that it drives me crazy. (One thing he's asked "why" about a couple of times recently was why there was a guard rail in a particular place, which made me wonder if all kids go through a phase of asking about guard rails, or if my kids just have some weird guard rail curiosity gene. When DD was around that age, every car trip involved discussions about why there were or were not guard rails in the places we drove by.)
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#10 of 21 Old 07-02-2009, 12:41 AM
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dd2 just started it, she's 2.5

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#11 of 21 Old 07-02-2009, 01:34 AM
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My guess is it varies from kid to kid. DD started the "why" stage at about 2 years (aka about the time she learned the word Why) and still hasn't entirely grown out of it. We still get a good deal of "why?"'s, though now they about much more complicated issues.

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#12 of 21 Old 07-02-2009, 02:44 AM
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ds (4.25) and dd (not quite 3.5) are both into "why" right now, and I am having trouble remembering when it started for both. I agree that it is pretty individual, but perhaps your friend has some reason she's wondering?

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#13 of 21 Old 07-02-2009, 11:33 AM
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I rememember buying a shirt for dd1 thru a coop and it said:


She was about 4 then. She is 7 now and still hasnt outgrown it yet-the whys not the shirt. I will get back to you eventually when she does LOL

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#14 of 21 Old 07-02-2009, 01:07 PM
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I don't know... my 18 month old started with the whys about two months ago. I was sure he was just saying the word without undersatnding it, (especially because he's not verbal enough to say "why X" -- it's just plain "why" -- or actually "vy") but lately I've come to believe he really does understand. A typical conversation will go something like this:
Me: DS, don't climb on the table!
DS: Sorry (climbs back up again)
Me: DS, you can't climb on the table.
DS: Sorry! (like hello, I said I was sorry, leave me alone now)
Me: DS, saying "sorry" while you're climbing on the table doesn't make it better
DS: Vy?
Me: Because you have to stop doing it first.
DS: Vy? Vy? Table! Table! (kicking and screaming and I take him away from the table)\

He askes why at least 5-10 times a day, mostly when I tell him he can't do something, but sometimes just for clarification.
DS: That is? (what he says when he points at something whose name he doesn't know)
Me: That's a pair of tongs, we use it to take hot food out of the pot.
DS: Vy?
Me: So we don't hurt ourselves.
DS: Vy?
Me: Because hot water can burn.
DS: (muttering ot himself) tongs. Tongs.

ETA: My 31 MO also asks why ALL THE TIME, probably starting from about 20-22 months. That probably influenced when the baby started.
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#15 of 21 Old 07-02-2009, 01:29 PM
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DD is 4.5 and is just now starting to ask "why." She saw another child do it on a dvd and picked it up.

I agree with LynnS6 that use of the specific word "why" isn't at all important. DD has been asking for information about everything since she was about 2, just not with the word "why." DD used to say, "Who did dat?" which really meant "why" the way she used the phrase (e.g. she'd point out the window at road construction and said, "who did dat?" when she meant "why is the road all messy?").
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#16 of 21 Old 07-03-2009, 01:27 AM
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DD just started this week. She's almost 34mo.

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#17 of 21 Old 07-03-2009, 07:48 AM
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Dd is 7 and never went through a why stage. She is a very curious person about everything and I answer a lot of questions (or we look up the answers together), but once she gets an answer, she doesn't really question the answer. I've also been lucky that she's always been on an even emotional keel, so she doesn't question decisions I make with why or get upset either. When I say we have to do X or Y, she doesn't question why, she just does it. So no "why" stage and no "tantrum" stage, either.
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#18 of 21 Old 07-03-2009, 12:57 PM
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My almost 3 yr old DD didn't go through a "why" phase but went through a constant "what does it do?" phase...

The funny thing is she would not allow you to give a lame answer either, she expected a real thorough explanation. lol

The intensity didn't last too long so it never got on my nerves. And it was kinda fun trying to think of explanations to help her understand what everything "does". Because really everything does something and usually more than one thing so I could change it up.
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#19 of 21 Old 07-03-2009, 12:59 PM
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Mine started a while back, she's almost 3. We also get a lot of "what's that smell(taste, person doing, etc...)?"

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#20 of 21 Old 07-04-2009, 11:39 PM
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About 2 1/2 my son started and it is "how come?" not "why"...

~m. Mama to two! DS (11/2006) and DD (07/2010).

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#21 of 21 Old 07-05-2009, 12:31 AM
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DS (3 yo) doesn't do "why?" he does "What's that?"

He does require explanations before he is willing to do things, though he just says "no" w/o actually asking "why." example:

me "DS, we need to wash our hands."
DS "No, I don't want to wash my hands."
me "you need to though"
DS "

but I don't want to" (whine begins)
me "but there are germs on the toilet and you touched it"
DS "Ohhh, there are germs" (starts washing his hands)

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