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Why? - Your Child's Favorite Question

In homes across the country toddlers and kindergarteners raise up a chorus when asking their favorite question: "Why?" Despite the cute faces and innocent voices that accompany this seemingly harmless question, the fifteenth or twentieth time it is asked can result in a near nervous breakdown for a parent. Young children have a desire to learn about the world around them. Instead of giving in to frustration, parents can teach their children how to find the answers to their questions.

Parenting Preschoolers and Kindergarteners

Curiosity is a natural and beneficial trait in young children, and if addressed properly it can result in a life-long commitment to learning about the world. Parents should guide their kids toward the appropriate resources to teach them how to answer their own questions. Parents themselves can certainly provide answers, but they don't know everything (a fact your kids won't understand until they are teenagers).

  • Seek out answers. Although kids in this age group normally cannot read, teaching them to search for answers to their questions can instill in them a great habit of turning to reliable sources whenever they need information. Taking the time to show your kids how to find answers, and reading them out loud until the children can read on their own, is the first step to fostering a love of learning in your family.
  • Keep it positive. Yes, the repetition of that innocent little question can get annoying, but kids ask why in an attempt to better understand the world. By remaining positive you can help them maintain a healthy interest and find new things that really hold their attention.
  • Set a limit. Some kids repeatedly question you in an attempt to get your attention, rather than in a pure search for understanding. If your child is just trying to pull you away from other tasks, make sure that you firmly establish when is and isn't the appropriate time to ask questions.

The encouragement of learning comes in many forms, and this particular issue embodies two of them. Kids should have an interest in the world and naturally want to learn about it, but as a parent you must teach them how to do so in a way that is respectful to others.