What to Do When Your Kid Asks Too Many Questions
Are you wondering how to handle your 4-year-old's million daily questions? We tell you how, so keep reading to find out more.
My 4-year-old boy thinks it’s his job to ask hundreds of questions through the day. Sometimes I can answer his questions. Other times he truly leaves me stumped, like when he asks if worms vomit or why water is wet!
Mothers, on average, are asked nearly 300 questions by their young kids a day! This is according to a British study conducted last year, and the majority of little question-askers are 4-year-old girls!
So it’s no wonder that even the best of us can be left feeling a tad frazzled at the end of the day, after being asked and answering hundreds of questions, some of which might leave us wondering what is going on in our child’s head!
Our kids’ million questions may drive some of us round the bend. But there is a reason for their never-ending curiosity, and understanding this should help all of us deal better with their questions.
So your kid asks too many questions… but do you know why?
According to child behaviour experts, between ages 2-4, children develop the cognitive ability to start understanding why things happen and make logical connections between things.
This is an important skill that helps them make sense of the world. When they ask “why” they are not out to annoy you but are merely showing a thirst for knowledge. Thus, asking questions is actually crucial to your child’s mental development.
You may find it overwhelming when your kid asks too many questions — especially if you are a stay-at-home mum and exposed to her quest for knowledge around the clock. But do try to be patient and answer as best as you can.
By doing so, you are feeding her natural curiosity and increasing her appetite for learning.
Stick to the truth
“Mummy, why is the sky blue?” “Because your father climbed up Jack’s beanstalk and painted it blue.”
Try not to make up answers (such as the one above!) to your little one’s never-ending supply of questions and always reply with the correct answer if you know it. If you don’t, take a moment to ask your partner, or Google the answer.
Also, as exasperated as you might be feeling, refrain from answering a child’s questions with, “because I said so”, or, “stop asking so many questions.” We need to encourage our children’s curiosity, not squash it!
Answer a question with a question
As your child gets older, try answering some “why” questions with “What do you think?” This encourages logical thinking and language skills.
Wait for her to think about and tell you her ideas before you provide the answer. Do honour her response too, even if it’s not correct, and then give her the right answer.
For example, if your son thinks the water in the pot is bubbling because you put bubble bath in it, your answer could be, “Bubble bath in water will make bubbles. But when you see water bubbling in a pot like this, we call it boiling. It means the water is very, very hot and you must stay away from it.”
Outsource the questions
If your child is going through a really intense question-asking phase and you think you might lose it, have a back-up plan ready (such as husband or grandparents!) to help out with the questions.
Another good idea is to have your child join a library. Have a ‘library list’ of all the questions you can’t answer and make a weekly trip to the library.
Not only is your child getting answers to her questions, but she is learning how to research and use books — a valuable skill and good preparation for her school years and beyond.
It’s OK to say “I don’t know”
If you don’t know the answer, it’s fine to say so. But rather than leaving the question unanswered, become your child’s learning partner.
Look up the information together at the library or on the Internet. This is a great bonding opportunity for you and your child, plus you get to learn something new! And of course, in the process, you are helping your child hone her research and reading skills.
So all you frazzled parents whose brains are mush by the end of the day because you’ve been answering your child’s questions non-stop, remember, it’s just a phase!
Just keep answering those questions as best as you can and we hope our tips will help you in the process.
And when your little darling is a teenager and the best you can get out of him or her in answer to a question is a grunt, you’ll probably look back at the ‘questions phase’ with fond memories!
What do you do when your kid asks too many questions? Let us know by leaving a comment.