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

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#1 of 32 Old 05-03-2010, 10:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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....?

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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#2 of 32 Old 05-03-2010, 10:39 PM
 
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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!

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#3 of 32 Old 05-03-2010, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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...

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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#4 of 32 Old 05-03-2010, 10:58 PM
 
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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'.

Kat, wife to and mommy to (Dec 07).
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#5 of 32 Old 05-03-2010, 11:06 PM
 
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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.

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#6 of 32 Old 05-03-2010, 11:46 PM
 
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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.
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#7 of 32 Old 05-03-2010, 11:49 PM
 
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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)

Mama to DS (8) and DD (7) Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not "Every man for himself." And the London Underground is not a political movement.

 

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#8 of 32 Old 05-03-2010, 11:55 PM
 
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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!

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#9 of 32 Old 05-04-2010, 12:33 AM
 
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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.

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#10 of 32 Old 05-04-2010, 12:47 AM
 
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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
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#11 of 32 Old 05-04-2010, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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?"

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#12 of 32 Old 05-04-2010, 09:12 AM
 
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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!
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#13 of 32 Old 05-04-2010, 09:32 AM
 
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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.

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#14 of 32 Old 05-04-2010, 09:53 AM
 
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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!

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#15 of 32 Old 05-04-2010, 10:41 AM
 
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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.
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#16 of 32 Old 05-04-2010, 10:46 AM
 
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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.
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#17 of 32 Old 05-04-2010, 01:07 PM
 
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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.

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#18 of 32 Old 05-04-2010, 03:24 PM
 
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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?

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#19 of 32 Old 05-04-2010, 03:30 PM
 
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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.
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#20 of 32 Old 05-04-2010, 03:56 PM
 
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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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#21 of 32 Old 05-04-2010, 03:57 PM
 
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There aren't enough hours in the day to answer all of DS's questions. He'll turn three later this month.

We did find something that helps. DS doesn't get to ask "why?" The only response that gets from us is "Why what?" If he wants an answer, he needs to ask a complete question. We've found that a lot of the time, why is just his way of saying he wants more conversation. Getting him to refine his questions makes him a better thinker, and a lot less irritating!

Me: We're going to the dentist.
DS: Why?
Me: Why what?
DS: Why are we going to the dentist?
Me: We're going to the dentist because I need to get my teeth cleaned.
DS: Why?
Me: Why what?
DS: Why... How will he clean your teeth?
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#22 of 32 Old 05-04-2010, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, another version I forgot to add:

DS: Mama, there is a car in front of that house!
Me: Oh yeah, there it is!
DS: Mama, why is there a car in front of that house?
Me: Why do you think it is there?
DS: I don't know.

He makes these statements and then needs to turn them into a question using the exact same wording as in the statement. It makes me giggle when he sort of stumbles until he gets the exact same words. I think he is making sure I understand that the statement and the question are about the exact same thing.

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#23 of 32 Old 05-04-2010, 06:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ElliesMomma View Post
yes, i do. agree: it's tiring!...

...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!...


I actually think their questions and comments are adorable, , albeit tiring some days, .

In love with Dh since 1998. We created Ds (7.1.03), Dd (10.16.06) and Dd (3.16.09).
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#24 of 32 Old 05-06-2010, 03:07 AM
 
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Thank goodness we didn't have much of the incessant "why's" but oh my goodness do we have the incessant questions!!!!! In our house it took the form of "and then what would happen?" - over, and over, and over again, in response to whatever we came up with. Unlike being able to cut off the why's because they are not gaining anymore info, this question can go on infinitely. I did find that if I made an honest effort to answer that he would accept an "I don't know" after a while. I tried to reserve that for when I truly did not know. He'd also go for "we'll have to look that up" and sometimes "well, what do you think?"

He just turned 4 and the questions are getting more complex and less repetitive, but no less frequent. My husband and I were just commenting today that we both sometimes ask him to "just be quiet for a few minutes, please." I tell him my brain is tired or my mouth is tired and can't talk anymore. It's true! In general I do like the questioning though, it just shows how much he is soaking up his world on a daily basis.

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#25 of 32 Old 05-06-2010, 12:03 PM
 
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I don't. Actually, I consider it my job to teach the kids to converse politely so that other people will be able to enjoy their company. No one likes being interrogated. Accordingly, I've taught them (which doesn't mean they always do it right!) that we don't just take in a conversation; we give too: that means no more than two questions in a row before we interject a comment. We practice this all the time.

I know it seems like a long time, but it gets way, way easier when they learn to read, because then you can say, "go look it up!" A huge part of what I teach my first-grader (we homeschool) is how to research things. Teach a man to fish, I say.

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#26 of 32 Old 05-06-2010, 01:14 PM
 
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I'm not sure if anyone would believe me but apparently my little girl ask countless questions and i take all my time to answer her.

She's 5 now and she knows pretty much for her age because she has passion in learning by asking intelligent questions.

Mother of 2, Jasmine, 8 and Elden, 5
 

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#27 of 32 Old 05-07-2010, 11:05 PM
 
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I watch my son 3 and another little boy who is almost 4 so I answer a ton of why questions. I have set certain rules for my own sanity. I will not answer the same question over and over again. For a while they would repeat each others questions. that was just to much. I do my best to turn them back on them or to get each other to answer the others questions. here is one we had recently.

Logan: Why are we stopped?
me: What color is the light?
Logan: red
me: what do we do at red lights?
Logan; we stop
me: Why are we stopped?
Logan: Because the light is red

Sometimes I think that at times the questions are his way to try and have a conversation with me. He just wants to talk to me.

Back to your orginal question no I don't answer all the why questions because I would go insane.

Fun loving crunchy mommy to an amazing outgoing adventurous boy named Logan Cloud 2/2/07 and our little ball of energy Jayden Edge 11/28/10 and wife to Jet 7/3/05 expecting our third 09/21/14

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#28 of 32 Old 05-07-2010, 11:19 PM
 
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Why do you ask?

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#29 of 32 Old 05-07-2010, 11:22 PM
 
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I'm sorry. I couldn't resist.

I NEVER thought I would tell a child to stop asking questions, but I have come very close. I agree with a pp who said she believes it her LOs way of trying to have a conversation with her.

I thought I was clever for a while by responding with "why do you think..." until this recent development:

DS: Mama, why is that man wearing a blue shirt?
ME: Why do YOU think he is wearing a blue shirt?
DS: NO, Mama! I asked you the question. You can't ask me. Only David can ask questions right now.

:::sigh:::

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#30 of 32 Old 05-08-2010, 01:52 AM
 
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Sometimes I simply tell my 3 year old daughter (nicely) that I'm tired of answering questions, and maybe she could ask some later. If she continues to ask questions, I just stay silent and ignore her. We don't always have the right to know, and sometimes I think that in and of itself is a very important thing to learn in life.
SaoirseC is offline  
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