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Old 11-26-2006, 08:09 PM   #1
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"Why? Why? Why?"

Please, please help me!

My 2.5 yr old has started in with the "whys." DH and I are going a little nuts. Now, we both know and understand this is a very normal part of their growth and development. A side question: i didn't think the whys came until a little later...isn't this a little soon?

So here's my question explained. There are times when we will tell her to do something (or not do something) and her response is "why?" I don't want to always answer, "because we said so." I believe that her "whys" warrant an answer, however, I don't think the the whys should come after being told to (or not to do) something....like she needs cause to do what she's been told to do. Example: "Taylor, do not kick mommy's chair." (when we're in the car and she's in back of me in the car seat." "Why?" In my head, she doesn't need to know why....just needs to stop doing it. However, does she really not know why...is this something that really needs an answer?

I also think there's a safety issue here: If I tell her to do something (ie: "Taylor, hold mommy's hand") for her safety and she doesn't do it until I answer her "why," well there could be a serious issue.

So, what's the answer? I mean....if it's a safety issue, of course, I will handle it immediately. However, when it's just a random request/statement from one of us and the "whys" follow, what's the best way to handle it?

Wow...I feel really stupid posting this, but I know some of you out there must have encountered this and I'd like to hear what you do/did.

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Old 11-26-2006, 08:14 PM   #2
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Re: "Why? Why? Why?"

I've banned the why question in my house. If I ask them to do something andthey ask why, I say, "wow, I didnt know you spoke a foreign language, what is that sound you keep making? Now do what I asked you to do and I'll answer you later."

It sounds mean, but my 6 y/o always uses why to get out of things because I spent so much time answering her when she was little.
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Old 11-26-2006, 08:20 PM   #3
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Re: "Why? Why? Why?"

See...that's kind of how I feel but I felt bad about not answering the "whys". I guess I shouldn't feel bad?
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Old 11-26-2006, 08:36 PM   #4
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Re: "Why? Why? Why?"

Well, when they're that little, I will answer short, non-discussion answers or I'll say, "well talk about it later". If she really wants to know, she will be ready to talk later. If I say, "Hold Mommy's hand" and she says "Why" I'll just say "safety first" or something short like that.
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Old 11-29-2006, 08:51 PM   #5
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Re: "Why? Why? Why?"

The only thing I can suggest is to re-direct.
I have an 8 y/o student who NEVER stops talking--'Eta (that's how she says my name), why you sit down?' 'Eta, what you do that for?' 'why?', 'why?' 'WHY???'

She was absent Mon. and Tues. and it was SO peaceful and quiet. (My students are Deaf and usually pretty quiet, but she's hard-of-hearing, so she talks non-stop AND does it REALLY loudly.) She came back today and picked up right where she left off with the 'whys'. I was wondering if it made me a bad teacher to have been happy she was out.

For the most part, I answer her questions, in case some of her 'whys' offer teachable moments, but for the most part, she's just talking to hear herself talk, so if I find myself getting frustrated, I say 'Why do you think?' and she'll either answer and that'll be the end of it, or she'll say 'Sorry. My bad.' like the girl from 'That's so Raven'. Ugh!

I think asking HER why usually helps her to drop it because she doesn't really want to know OR already knows why and it's just her first reaction to ask it.
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Old 11-29-2006, 11:51 PM   #6
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Re: "Why? Why? Why?"

Thats a good one, i do that too. Try to get them thinking instead of doing all the thinking for them.
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Old 11-30-2006, 04:09 AM   #7
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Re: "Why? Why? Why?"

Hehehe...My dh plays with my ds when it comes to this...and mimicks him by saying (in a whinny voice) "why daddy, why".. .that said when Alex (4) asks me the kind of whys that are just to get out of things I definately tell him that he is to do it first and ask why later. Not to discourage the questions, but yes, I am your parent and you ultimately have to do what I asked of you and if you really do want the explanation that goes along with it, then we'll discuss it at a more appropriate time!
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Old 11-30-2006, 05:25 AM   #8
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Re: "Why? Why? Why?"

DS1 started this at exactly 2 1/2. I remember when it started because it was the first time DH and I left him for more than one night. He drove my parents crazy with the constant "whys."

We tried to redirect the question as much as possible. "For fun" became a reflexive answer. I don't think that DS1 was doing this to get out of doing what we asked of him. In his case, I think it was a sign of anxiety/worry.
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Old 11-30-2006, 06:50 AM   #9
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Re: "Why? Why? Why?"

Thanks, mamas! You ladies are great!
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