What to do when your child asks “Why?”
Toddlers and preschoolers can ask a lot of questions. And this can sometimes leave busy parents feeling tired and irritated.
When there is a lot of work to do on a busy day and you are tired and rushed – I am sure that like me – you have also ignored your child’s questions.
But when toddlers and preschoolers ask questions – even though it may be a lot of questions – we must not ignore them because, as meaningless as the questions may sound to us – they are extremely important for our little ones.
Why do children ask questions?
Children ask questions because they are actively trying to make sense of the world around them. When they don’t understand something they ask a question.
The answer to that question is like the missing piece of a jigsaw puzzle in their brain. They keep asking the question until the answer comes to them in a way that they can fit it into the gap in their mind’s jigsaw puzzle.
If we want children to grow their brains and become smarter – we must not ignore these questions. But at the same time – we must not just give them the answer either.
If your child asks a question – help him to discover the answer.
Ask your child what he knows already. Children may know much more than we think they know. And when we give them an answer based on what they already know we can give them better answers that are more useful to them.
Before you give the answer – give your child a chance to guess the answer. Guessing requires that your child brings together all the information that she has accumulated from various sources on that topic. Guessing also adds an element of fun and excitement and shows your child that you are interested in the topic too.
If his answer is wrong – guide him with little clues until he reaches the right answer.
When a child discovers answers to his questions in this way – the information has a greater impact in his brain and he remembers it for longer.