“Why?” can be heard in my house all the time. It’s like white noise at this point. “Why?” is asked incessantly. I answer, they ask “Why?” again. This exchange may repeat itself 10 times before they are satisfied with my answer! This feels like a bad comedy act.
How I survive the constant asking of “Why?”
I have to remember my kids are not trying to be jerks. They know NOTHING about the world. They are asking “Why?” because they genuinely don’t know anything, they want to figure it out and they need my help. I am their go-to person for just about everything and this is no different.
My toddlers are like little aliens who are learning our way of life and they need a tutorial, constantly.
When my kids ask me “Why?” I tell myself, “This is my opportunity to explain the world to them.” I recently had to explain what an island is, what a doctor’s appt. is for, how highways have two lanes to drive on… the curiosity is insatiable.
I could easily see myself getting frustrated and want to cut them off with a simple, “Because.” But then my kids are not going to learn and it’s not fair to them. They are not trying to be annoying; they really want to know about stuff.
“Why?” can lead to interesting conversation
By answering their question of “Why?” I am totally forming their opinion of the world. What a power trip for me! I also feel like I’m having a lot of “after-school special” moments. For example, I recently recounted a story of how I saved a bug found in my office by taking it outside instead of letting others step on it. My 4 year old asked why. I explained how it made me sad to think the bug would get stomped on for no good reason and this explanation opened a dialogue on how death makes people sad (she’s really into talking about death from a place of curiosity), and how we should be kind and take care of each other (and not kill bugs). My 4 year old decided the bug just wanted to be with its mommy and that’s why I took it outside. I rolled with it.
My kids asking why often leads to very interesting (and often funny conversation), so I’m OK with this why stage.