Babies and toddlers grow at a very rapid pace, everyday you’ll notice some change in them. Even their language development progresses quite quickly, from crying to cooing, soon they will babble and before you know it they have said their first word. Listening to your little one speak brings parents a lot of joy and amusement as well. The funny words and cute pronunciations before they fully learn to speak correctly are bound to bring a smile to anyone’s face.
These wonderful days pass by really quickly and your child’s language development now progresses in leaps and bounds as they pick up and begin using more words, phrases, sentences and questions. The “why” question phase for kids occurs naturally when your child is between 2.5 to 3 yrs., while it is cute at first, over a period of time that feeling changes and you long for some quiet time rather than be questioned all the time.
There is no need to feel guilty, most parents go through this phase. So instead of thinking of ‘how to stop a child asking things?’ Perhaps understanding this stage in your child’s life will put you more at ease.
Why the “why” questions?
While it’s easier to assume that you’re 3 yr. the old are asking you these ”why” questions just to annoy you or test your patience, it could be as simple a reason that they take pleasure in seeing your angry or frustrated expression. The fact is there is a whole other range of underlying reasons to the “why questions” as well as other questions your child keeps asking you –
- As your little toddler keeps growing they are becoming more aware of their surroundings and asking you questions is the only way they can understand and get more information.
- Apart from gaining knowledge your child also feels in control, by asking questions they control the amount of information received as well as when they receive it.
- Asking questions and receiving information helps your child think and assimilate what is expected from them and perhaps helps them understand how their day will pan out. This helps them be better prepared and they are not faced with unexpected surprises. Children quickly learn that the more questions they ask the more information they will receive.
- Finally, your child could be asking you questions purely because they want your attention or they are bored and as all parents do we answer their questions no matter how silly and reinforce this behavior.
The questioning phase should come with an embarrassment warning. Young toddlers have no concept of right and wrong or what is inappropriate or politically incorrect, you may be faced with instances when your child will say quite loudly “why is that man bald?” with fingers pointing as well, leaving you red in the face. However, instead of wondering again ‘ how to stop your child from asking these things’, it necessary to remember your child has no idea what they are doing is unacceptable, use this as a teachable moment and teach assure them that they are welcome to ask questions about other people, but only when you are alone together at home.
Now let’s focus on how to effectively answer your kid’s “why” and other questions
When your little toddler keeps asking you the same question over and over again, you are bound to get frustrated and may even be angry. As a parent you may feel you have answered the question in the most suitable manner, but if your child is asking you for a response for the same question, it might be worth looking into.
- Maybe they are not able to understand what you have explained.
- It is also possible that the answer you have given does not match what they are asking because they have asked the wrong question or are not yet able to express themselves accurately. Try exploring the situation further by asking them a few simple questions to get to the bottom of what they want to know.
- Take a minute and assess the situation, observe your child if they are looking at you and sincerely asking the question or are they playing with their toys and mindlessly repeating “why?”, or they are simply bored and are looking for a way to entertain themselves.
Whatever may be the reason for them asking the questions again and again, there will be days when you’re just not in the right frame of mind to handle them. It is important to identify your shortcomings at that point in time, and handle the situation differently. Firstly, stay calm and instead of getting annoyed you can –
- Ignore the repeated questions or simply stop answering your child.
- Distract them with a game, a toy or an activity they enjoy doing by themselves.
- Stay calm, lower your pitch and limit the number of words used in your answer so as not to trigger another question. At times all that’s required is a one word answer Yes, No, maybe, definitely or a safe “let me think about it”.
- Keep your answers simple, refrain from giving your child too much information which may overload them and again make them want to ask more questions.
- Try recognizing if your child is asking questions for information or to get your attention. In that case give them a short, informative and accurate response followed by a spontaneous hug, kiss or a long cuddle. Giving your child attention sporadically during the day will reduce their attention- seeking, questioning behavior.
EuroKids acknowledges that each child is their parents’ pride and joy and the teachers do their very best to see that every child gets their attention. We also know that this is the stage of natural curiosity, a phase of exploring, learning and understanding the world around them and our teachers are therefore trained to navigate and answer the numerous questions posed by the children. Click here to find and visit a center nearest to you and enroll your child in a preschool that puts the needs of children before anything else.