How To Respond To Kids Asking Why
Few things irritate parents more than their children asking, “Why?” again and over. The why behind the whys is as follows… is the greatest approach to reply to children that wonder why all-day
Why Kids Ask Why
“Why do we have to eat meatloaf for dinner?” says the narrator. “Why can’t I ride my bike like Rory and not wear a helmet?” “What makes planes fly?” “Why?…Why?…WHY?….WHY?”
It might feel as though the inquiries never stop!
But have you ever considered why your child is inquiring?
The “why stage” could be aggravating, and it has been known to leave a slew of irritated parents in its wake. However, this period denotes a key juncture in your childrens growth, as well as a fantastic opportunity to encourage self-reliance in your young person.
It can help us understand why kids question why in the first place if we can look at this period with fresh eyes and approach it with a patient open mind (rather than a frustrated one).
We know as parents that young children are naturally interested and strive for independence at a young age.
Children begin to take an active part in learning more about their surroundings around the age of three, according to research behavioured by the University of Michigan. Asking inquiries is one way this presents itself. Children may exercise critical thinking skills and take control of their learning by doing so.
Previous research showed that young children could only recognize temporal links or that there was a precise timing between an action and a result until they were seven to eight years old, and that they couldn’t comprehend causality until they were seven to eight years old.
However, more recent research, such as the one described above, has shown that toddlers as young as three years old can grasp causality. This implies that when childrens ask questions, they are able to comprehend and learn how things function and why they occur.
This is critical knowledge since these are the first opportunities we have as parents to teach our children about the world.
It is, however, far from simple.
A study of 1000 moms behavioured by online retailer Littlewoods in 2012 revealed that children aged two to ten asked their mothers an aveanger of 228 questions every day at home.
That’s a lot of inquiries, and when you realize that figure is per child each day, it’s easy to see how the kids’ “why?” stage may irritate even the most seasoned parent.
When confronted with such a large number, there is one thing to keep in mind.
Children ask inquiries of the people they care about and have faith in. This back-and-forth of questions and answers helps us build and strengthen our relationships with our children while also feeding their need for information. Children who are loved, feel safe, and know what they are doing are considerably more capable of being self-sufficient.
What Why Means To Kids
The word “why” has a very precise definition for adults, yet it can have many different meanings for young children. “Why” doesn’t necessarily mean why, as clinical psychologist Sally-Anne McCormack says, but it is frequently the only word a kid learns to express an interest or pose a question.”
Because we need to determine our childrens true meaning, this might make our work as parents more challenging. Young toddlers who are only acquiring linguistic and social abilities, according to James Brush, Ph.D., a child psychologist in Cincinnati, can occasionally participate in questioning as a means to seek attention or empathy from a loved one.
While your child may occasionally want a few more cuddles, research suggests that children are more likely to seek an answer to their inquiry.
When childrens hear a non-explanation, according to a University of Michigan research, they are twice as likely to re-ask their question. When your child asks, “Why do dogs wag their tails?” and you respond, “I enjoy dogs,” he is twice as likely to repeat the same question again than if you say, “Dogs wag their tails because they’re happy or pleased.” After an explanation, however, childrens are four times more likely to ask a follow-up inquiry.
The bad news is that responding “because I said so” isn’t particularly effective.
Do you want to listen to your child ask the same question over and again because you haven’t given an answer?
Or do you want to take advantage of the chance to learn and interact with your child by offering a sufficient explanation and continuing your conversation?
How To Respond To Why
- It’s time to clean your teeth,”
- “Because we wash our teeth before going to bed.”
- “Because we want to keep our teeth healthy.”
- “So we can…chew,” says the narrator.
You cut off the stream of questions before your preschooler could say another “why.” You’re weary, you don’t know what to do, and you don’t want to stay up all night.
Your inquisitive three-year-old has risen to the position of preschool why king. And you’re curious as to why?
Let’s be honest for a moment: is it really feasible to attentively listen to and answer each individual question if a single child asks an aveanger of 228 questions every day?
McCormack reminds us that answering every inquiry is unrealistic, and it’s vital to educate your children that your needs as a parent are important as well.
Because, let’s face it, two minutes of peace and quiet to use the restroom isn’t unreasonable.
However, you must sort through the baranger of inquiries to decide whether a topic is truly essential to your child or whether they just want empathy or reassurance.
Children who are continuously discouraged will retreat to defend themselves emotionally, according to Maggie Dent, an author, educator, and parenting/resilience specialist. Instead, concentrate your efforts on actively listening and talking with your child as much as possible, especially when it is essential to them.
Encourage your child to ask questions whenever possible since this develops their natural curiosity and independence.
Be an active participant while answering inquiries and chatting with your child. To practice problem-solving and critical-thinking abilities, McCormack recommends getting down on their level or making eye contact (if feasible), expressing real attention using tone of voice and nonverbal clues, and finally asking them questions.
What To Do When Kids Ask Uncomfortable Questions
However, there are times when we, as parents, are caught off guard by difficult inquiries. How do you behave in these situations where it’s critical to maintain open lines of communication?
You must maintain the dialogue age-appropriate and honest, according to Alan Kazdin, Ph.D., professor of psychology and child psychiatry at Yale University. Include your family’s values and beliefs wherever appropriate. This is especially beneficial when dealing with difficult topics with older children.
You establish credibility by being honest about your past shortcomings and what you learned, according to Michele Borba, Ed.D., educational psychologist and author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions. This shows them that you’re human, too, and that making a mistake isn’t the end of the world.
Engaging in open conversation with your children from a young age establishes the expectation that they will be able to discuss tough topics with you. You establish friendship, retain an open channel of communication, and build trust by answering your kid’s questions in an honest and truthful manner, while your child acquires information and an awareness of their surroundings.
Parenting A Toddler During the Why Phase
Rather of placing yourself in the perspective of the why-answerer, attempt the opposite. Take on the role of the why-asker! Ask your preschooler why they think brushing their teeth before bed is a good idea.
Open-ended questions allow your child to think for themselves and build critical-thinking abilities, both of which are essential for learning. After all, they’re the ones who posed the provocative questions in the first place, so assist their noodle in pondering the answers. You can ask your child if they want to check up the answer with you if they are a bit older. When you and your kid work together to find the answer, your child will feel more powerful.
Turning the tables on the why-asker might also result in a happy moment. Sometimes kids will strive to figure out why, but other times they may settle for a ridiculous answer, and their explanation will certainly put you both in splits with laughter.
It’s also fine to say you don’t know if you don’t know the answer to a question. Admitting that you don’t always have all the answers might teach your child that the search for an answer to the question “why” is never-ending.
Why Helps Kids Grow
People who thought their parents were less psychologically controlling as children grew up to have higher well-being and life satisfaction, according to a University College London study. To put it another way, being a warm and responsive parent who engages your kid in an open and honest manner increases their learning and awareness while also promoting their social and emotional growth.
When a kid asks a question, it’s a chance to teach critical thinking skills by digging deeper and asking follow-up questions to help them grasp process, causation, and even make observations about their surroundings.
Self-sufficient children are self-sufficient because they have learned enough about their surroundings to be able to accomplish things on their own and have the confidence to ask the correct questions of the right people when they do require assistance.
The “why stage” is a fantastic way to encourage your child to continue learning throughout his or her life, while also deepening your bond and encouraging healthy independence.
Why Why Why
In the end, the most likely explanation for all the why inquiries is that all they really want is a simple dialogue about the nightly teeth-brushing ritual—what it looks like, feels like, tastes like—and a connection with you (the most important person in their life).
What You Should Do Next:
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