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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
my 4 y.o. dd asks questions. Lots of questions. I understand that this is normal and mostly I patiently answer them. I do get frustrated though when 1. she asks the same questions over and over 2. she asks questions that don't really have an answer. Here's an example: we're driving over a bridge and I say "there's the river" and she asks "why?".... I'm stumped.
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3. She asks questions that I think she knows the answer to already. For instance "what are you doing?" when we are riding in the car and she can see me. If I say "making oatmeal cookies and knitting a sweater" she's laughs and says "nooooo" so I know she has a clue.

I can handle all the "how did they make this carseat" kinds of questions... even the trickier metaphysical questions, the emotional questions, the sticky wicket questions... but I want to pull my hair out when she does the others.
Help me. I want to be more patient. Can someone give me insight into a 4 year old brain. Is she just trying to keep the conversation going? Is she double-checking her own perceptions? Anyone else going through this? She's very smart and I hate to feel so annoyed.
 

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Just wanted to say "hi" and I know how you feel! You did say "DD", right? I DO think this is a girl thing, though I know boys ask questions too, but the "let's keep the conversation flowin'" questions are exactly that, I think. I said I THINK. I feel like pulling my hair out sometimes, too. My favorite questions are, "Where's Rose (the baby)?" who is sitting directly across from them at the table. I'll usually say, "She went to the pool, the grocery store, to work"...ANYTHING to make them realize what they just asked!! I was
at your "oatmeal cookies and knitting" answer. My type of humor, too. I think they get it, but I think it is a need for any type of conversation. They just like to chat it up like most girls. Just imagine when she's gettin' her chat on with three other girls when she's havin' a slumber party at your house!! WOW!! At least then you won't have to respond, right?
 

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What about turning the question back at her? i.e. "what do you think I'm doing?" or "why do you think the river is there?" Not in a mean or spiteful way, but just to keep the conversation going and so she has to think and come up with an answer.
I'm guessing that what she really is looking for is attention... not in a bad way, but things can be really boring for kids (esp. in the car like both of your examples).
One other thought, regarding asking questions without an answer... maybe she just doesn't know how to respond to your satements.
Just ideas I'm throwing out... I totaly understand how maddening 4 yo qestions can be!
 

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My thought is that what she's really saying is "tell me more about that" or "Talk more I'm learning from you". Occasionally I'd help her with phrasing of other questions, "why is the river brown?" "why does the water flow in one direction", etc. but mostly I'd just offer her what you can about rivers and see how she responds.
 

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I hate to admit this, but I still remember doing this with my parents. I'd ask the same question over and over, or dopey questions, just to see if they were paying attention. They always were.
So I feel an obligation to always answer DD's questions, since I was purposely such a brat about it myself.
 

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: OH MY GOODNESS!!!! I am right there with ya. And I have to disagree with a PP, my almost 3 yoDS has picked up on the "why" and asks it almost constantly. The problem with him is that he asks but isn't really interested in the answer!


But back to the 4yoDD, she is constantly asking those kind of questions. Many times it is things she knows the answer to and when that happens I turn the question around and ask why do you think. But I have to say that probably 25 times a day (I am not exaggerating...) she asks questions that have no answer or about a subject that *why* doesn't apply to. It does make me
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: and sometimes I loose it a bit with her.
: I really try hard to answer and redirect the conversation into something that I feel like I can have a dialouge about. I don't know when it ends, if it ever does, but you are not alone, my friend.
 

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In the same boat and feeling a little crazy because of it! My dd's have morphed into 2 things- the "what would happen if...." and if I say I don't really care for something (a food, a song, whatever) "Do you like it just even a little teeny, teeny, tiny, little bit?" it just escalates from there if I say no. If I say yes, she'll ask "why?"

I do try to answer most of the questions and she's gotten better at engaging in conversations about things. I've been asking questions back to her to help lead her to an answer, which also helps.
Since we are now going on a year of this, I have learned a few ways to cope with it when it is absolutely making me nuts. 1) She's exactly like my husband was at this age according to both him and his mother. Knowing there's someone to blame helps!
2) If it's a question she knows the answer to, I'll often say "I think you already know that answer." If she's insistent that she doesn't want to tell me, I'll tell her that I'll have to think about it and let her know later since my brain is tired right now. 3) Just for a humor break sometimes, the answer is "Because cows eat grass." "Why?" "Because the sky is blue." Why? "Because grass is green." Usually this will make her laugh and will at least temporarily stop the endless "Why's" 4) Sometimes I simply tell her that I'm tired and am not going to be able to answer questions right then. I save that for when I truly am too tired to tolerate 5 million questions. I then end up saying several times "I'm too tired to answer questions right now," but after a little while she gets the message that I just need a break from it and finds something to occupy herself for a little while. Then it all starts again.....

She even asks why in the middle of the night if I ask her to move over and let me off the edge of the bed!
Wendy
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
lots of people have mentioned the idea of turning the questions back to dd. I do do that sometimes with varying results. Sometimes she'll put some effort into thinking about it and coming up with her own hyphothesis but lots of times she just says "I don't know"

She really likes to ask questions while I'm running, pushing both kids in the baby jogger, up a hill.
: I tell her that I can't even breathe right now, much less answer her question. Is that a "nice mommy" answer? I don't think so but it IS the truth.
I agree with whoever mentioned that it might be boredom. I do notice it most when she's riding in the car or in the jogger. And, of course, when she's tired. I'm just glad I'm not the only one.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by artgirl
I agree with whoever mentioned that it might be boredom. I do notice it most when she's riding in the car or in the jogger. And, of course, when she's tired. I'm just glad I'm not the only one.
I think mine just does it worse when her eyes are open
 

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OMG!! I'm reading all these posts nodding my head going "Yah..yah...I know exactly what these people are talking about". For us, it's our 3-1/2 year old ds.

The why questions when it doesn't even really have a why answer like the OP's river question. My answer..."why what?" or "that's just the way it is" and then we go into a lengthy discussion about the origin of rivers, the flow, etc... If he asks why and it's something I am pretty sure he knows the answer to or I've just given him an answer I will turn it around and ask him "why" and his reply is "you tell me, then I'll tell you"
: I must admit though, that with his ability to ask so many questions we have had some pretty insane detailed talks about things. Last weekend ds told grandpa all about the beginning of earth and then went on to the extinction of dinosaurs.

The what would happen questions. "What would happen if no one ever wanted to play with me at the playground?", "What would we do if it never stopped raining?" We started the "what if" game because ds is a very sensitive child who was having a really hard time dealing with changes and/or disappointment. This was a way to talk about things that might happen such as we get to the pool to go swimming and it's closed, etc... So, I can't really blame ds for these questions.

Humour is a good tool and like the pp's I use it when ds is just asking silly questions.

And as a last resort I use this reply...."That's a good question, why don't you ask daddy when he comes home"
 

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Oh yes, we're right in the middle of the "whys". I was most stumped lately when ds asked, "Why is Grace a girl?" Grace being our friends 2 month old girl. Part of me doesn't want to get into gender politics or talk about X and Y chromosomes. I love that there little minds are desperate for knowledge.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mama to one
And as a last resort I use this reply...."That's a good question, why don't you ask daddy when he comes home"

We are going through the same thing! "Why" questions to which there isn't really an answer or I have no idea how to answer. If I say "I don't know" or my answer doesn't satisfy him he says "pick a(nother) guess". That's one of his favourite phrases right now "pick a guess!".
I'm getting quite imaginative. I do think for ds it's just really wanting to figure things out. I don't get the impression he does it for attention (he does other things for attention!). I've also used "go ask Daddy!".
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by 3happygirls
I DO think this is a girl thing, though I know boys ask questions too, but the "let's keep the conversation flowin'" questions are exactly that, I think. I said I THINK. Ik
Nope, it's a 3-5 year old thing. We have a DS and he does this CONSTANTLY. It's better now that he's 5, but the "That's a river." "Why?" type questions would drive me batty as well.

Sometimes asking "why what?" helps clarify what he means.

I've since realized that sometimes he's asking "tell me more about that" or "how do you know that" or "what tells you that it's a river, and not, say a lake?" but he doesn't have the language sophistication to get there.

And yes, it's worse when he's tired. It's worse when he's nervous. It's worse when I'm tired (or maybe just feels that way).

Wait until you get to the HOW questions:
How did the first person get born if they didn't have a mother or father?
 

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My 3.5 yr. old son does all of those things, too. It's frustrating. When he knows the answer (because he's asked 800 times "what road is this?" "what are you doing?" etc.) I tell him he knows the answer, why doesn't he tell me? And he whines "I don't remember, tell me!" Grr! Sometimes I give him a wrong answer, but usually I refuse to answer and then he'll tell me.
He's over asking why all the time, I think, but he did it for a good year. One of our little friends used to say "Why why why, that's Julian's word, why why why"
 
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