Why? Why? Why?: Nurturing Their Curiosity and Your Sanity
If “The Whys” are driving you crazy, there is a good reason. We can passively listen or even tune in and out of a monologue, but questions, by nature, put us on alert. “Why?” piques us to respond. Thus, despite how much we adore our children’s burgeoning curiosity, it is common for the continual “whys” to become irritating.
What To Do:
“The Whys” are part of your child’s verbal processing of the world. It is a good developmental sign, but if it is driving you crazy, here’s how to get some relief without discouraging your child:
“You tell me: what do you think?” (and by repeating back the answer you already gave, the child is also helping herself to anchor the information) Tap into the child’s need to feel competent: “You’ve learned a lot already/you know a lot. Go tell baby brother/the kitty/your stuffed animals what you think the answer is.”
Sing a song or make up a song. The song doesn’t necessarily have to answer the litany of questions. The simple act of singing can offer an outlet for all the words in the child’s head. Singing can allow the child to do the verbal processing she needs to do but in a way that is less irritating to you.