My 4yo DS asking questions he knows the answers to - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 04-13-2009, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi mommies,

My little boy just turned four, and I was wondering if some of you could share some of your experiences with your kids at similar ages.

I am a little worried about his communication. He has always lagged behind his peers somewhat in his speech, but can communicate and let us know what he wants, or how he is feeling (kinda) and on rare occasion he will tell us things that happened during his day.

But one thing that I find odd is that he asks questions he knows the answers to, and doesn't really ask many questions like his peers seem to do. These arent the ONLY question he asks, but if he we are just sort of sitting around, he says something like this to start conversation, maybe? I just don't know.

Is this really weird? I am concerned about my little guy
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#2 of 18 Old 04-13-2009, 12:07 PM
 
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Sometimes I think my kids ask questions because they want to hear how I answer them-- they're interested in how to put together a sentence that describes this idea they understand, KWIM? When they do this, often they'll repeat my answer afterward, like they're trying to remember the way I said it.

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#3 of 18 Old 04-13-2009, 12:12 PM
 
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This is a conversational tool that many children use. Ask him the question back. It's likely that he wants to answer a question that he knows so that he can express the answer in a way that he is confident with. Becasue he has a prepared answer, he can feel accomplished in his response.
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#4 of 18 Old 04-13-2009, 01:01 PM
 
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DD does this sometimes. I just turn around and ask her what she thinks. She rarely says she doesn't know.
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#5 of 18 Old 04-13-2009, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmmmmm, thanks for your replies everyone.

Mile High - how old is your DD? My son always knows the answer too (I try to turn the tables on him!)

Still, with his communication not being as advanced as his peers, I worry about this.

He doesn't really ask many questions, and I thought that's all 4 year olds were doing at this time. He does ask some, but not really out of curiosity, it seems to me... He doesn't seem very curious, which seems odd to me....
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#6 of 18 Old 04-13-2009, 02:16 PM
 
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My 4yr old does this allllllll the time and it drives us bananas!
We think she is looking for more information, seeing if we answer differently, etc.
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#7 of 18 Old 04-13-2009, 05:31 PM
 
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I think it's a very 4 year old thing to do. In my completely unscientific speculation, I think there are two reasons:

1. Parents do this to kids all the time. We ask 'display' questions as a way of teaching kids (e.g., what color is this? where does your jacket go?). So, they're practicing what they've heard.

2. They can't think of anything else to get a conversation started, but they want to talk.

Sometimes I turn the question back around for my kids (what time do we need to leave for school?0, sometimes I answer, and sometimes I give a really silly, off the wall answer just to amuse them.

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#8 of 18 Old 04-14-2009, 06:28 PM
 
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I know you're concerned because I know you've asked a lot of questions about him. What worries you? What are you most concerned about? Is he getting any therapy?
I think when things seem atypical to a parent they usually are. I do know what you mean about the lack of curiousity type questions.

My spectrum kid does this. Sometimes, it's his way of starting a conversation/engaging someone in a predictable way. He knows how it's going to go. I also think he just does it out of habit. Sometimes he's just doing it on his own really. What happens if you answer in a silly way? If he says "what color is the truck" and you say "frog" what does he do?

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#9 of 18 Old 04-14-2009, 06:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by furrowed View Post
He doesn't seem very curious, which seems odd to me....
just because he is not asking doesnt mean he is not curious. maybe his speech is holding back all the million questions.

he might just be the type to be quiet and observe and drum it over in his mind and then ask one v. indepth question rather than a million questions.

is he asking questions he asked a long time ago. could he be asking for a different perspective but doesnt know how to ask?

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#10 of 18 Old 04-14-2009, 07:03 PM
 
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I used to do that as a kid, and it was because i used to love to hear my mom talk so if I asked a question she knew the ansewer to I wold get to listen to here tell me the answer or the story that acompanied the answer, it's like a book you read a million times but you still want to read it again and again.

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#11 of 18 Old 04-15-2009, 06:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by *Louise* View Post
I used to do that as a kid, and it was because i used to love to hear my mom talk so if I asked a question she knew the ansewer to I wold get to listen to here tell me the answer or the story that acompanied the answer, it's like a book you read a million times but you still want to read it again and again.
This is why my dd does this she just wants to have a conversation and if she knows the question will spur some sort of story she will ask over and over again. like how she asks where we got our dog all the time, even though she was with us and knows.

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#12 of 18 Old 04-15-2009, 06:11 PM
 
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My DD does this too... to me it seems like a normal 4yo thing to do. But if it is combined with other behaviours that have your mama instinct concerned, maybe you should look into it.

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#13 of 18 Old 04-16-2009, 02:20 PM
 
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Ok, this is going to sound kind of weird.

My kid was doing this and it was driving me kind of batty so you know what my dad suggested (cause I did the same thing to him)? Make up an imaginary world and tell about the world little by little.

I was skeptical, but dad is seldom wrong.

So, I came with a name for our little world and at random times I would give him littel "factoids" about the world at random times based on whatever we were doing.

Now, instead of asking me the same questions over and over when he's curious about something he says, "Hey momma, where do they put their coats in Liberternia?" and various other things.

Sometimes he does it when he's wrestilng with how to figure something out and sometimes he does it when he just wants some dialogue.
I think it gives him a "safe" place to work out issues and wonder...and has majorly opened our lines of communication with each other.

We've incorporated all kinds of moral/ethical issues...just like storytelling....and also I'm trying to teach him about diversity so this helps me explain that some "worlds" (aka cultures) do things differently than we do.

And once we've started a topic I kind of step back and let him run with what's on his mind in the terms of Libertania....helps with his verbal skills too.

Does that make sense?

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#14 of 18 Old 04-17-2009, 12:20 PM
 
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My Dss just turned four last month and didn't start really talking well till about last August, and then it came all at once. He is still lags a little for his age, but nothing that worries me.

He does the same thing with the questions though. Constantly asking things that he knows the answer to. At first we tried to always answer, but i admit it got really annoying when it was a question a minute. So i started asking him "well what do you think?" I think it is mostly just a way for him to start a conversation, or get our attention without knowing what to talk about. Turning the question around on him i think builds his confidence a little, showing him he does already know what he's asking, is practice for his speech and for us it reduces the number of repetitive questions.
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#15 of 18 Old 04-21-2009, 05:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by HappilyEvrAfter View Post
Ok, this is going to sound kind of weird.

My kid was doing this and it was driving me kind of batty so you know what my dad suggested (cause I did the same thing to him)? Make up an imaginary world and tell about the world little by little.
That idea is really cool.
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#16 of 18 Old 04-21-2009, 06:06 PM
 
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My DS (3 yo) does something really weird. He asks me "Do I want chocolate?"

I pretty sure he does this b/c if he aksed "May I have some chocolate?" there is a high risk of mommy or daddy saying "No." Since DS already knows that the answer to "Do I want chocolate?" is actually "Yes," it is a safer question to ask. DS can be a wee bit manipulative .


The specific behavior of a 4 yo asking questions he knows the answer to isn't really worriesom. As you've seen from my example and many PPs lots of kids do similar things for a variety of reasons. Kids around this age often have somewhat unusual ways of comunicating.

However, I wonder if your gut is telling you that something else is going on, that is making you question this behavior.

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#17 of 18 Old 04-22-2009, 01:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
That idea is really cool.
Lol. Thanks for thinking so. It sounds really weird when it's written, but it has REALLY helped...especially with issues that are considered "taboo". Gives him a safe place to open communication with them and how to handle them.

It's almost like a different version of puppet therapy (which was terribly annoying to me cause I don't enjoy talking to a stuffed animal). Lol.

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#18 of 18 Old 04-23-2009, 04:05 PM
 
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My daughter has been yak yak yakkin since 2 and has gone through many cycles of asking these questions. She just started this up again and is about to turn 5. I'm bald because of it. I've tried turning the question around to her,"Hmmm, What color do YOU think that banana that is right there on your plate is?". She NEVER goes for it!!!! It's always,"I don't know! YOU tell me!!!". ~sigh.
You could also try,"Hmmm..That's a good question...I WONDER....". and let your son fill in the blank.
Of course there's,"I don't know." as you bang a pan on your head, but that one doesn't work for us either. Unacceptable to DD.
All of the ideas and input above are great and I thank you for the insight as well!
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