Why does my toddler constantly ask “Why?” Should I be annoyed or concerned?
First of all, as you might have guessed, my almost 3-year-old asks why hundreds of times per day and since I am with him most of the time, I usually get to handle the response. Initially, I was amused. I couldn’t believe he was asking why about everything he saw, observed, and experienced. My patience could have easily worn thin as it does with some other aspects of parenting. However, after an entire week of this, and looking into my son’s eyes, I could see he genuinely wanted specific answers about how the things in his world work. So cool! So, I am rolling with it.
Consulting one of my favorite sites, BabyCenter, “It’s also a way for her/him to engage you in conversation, and keep you talking. If you get tired of the constant whys, don’t simply fall back on ‘that’s just the way it is.’ Instead, try to deflect them by asking her what she thinks.”
Sound advice, right?
So, instead of answering my son all of the time with my infinite wisdom, I do push his questions back at him sometimes. My son’s response was, “Why because why?”
“Well, why do you think?” I reply.
Again, he asks, “Why because why?”
And so I answer him in the best way possible with an answer that seems to satisfy him. Even though my little “broken record” continues to fire off his line of questioning, I maintain my patience, and have not caught myself replying ” that’s just the way it is.” Maybe, it is the teacher in me.
The most amusing twist I have found on this toddler ‘ask why” phenomenon is from our friend TheKidDictionary in New Jersey. He coins this frequent occurrence: WHYARRHEA (n) A child’s string of questions rattled off in rapid-fire succession.
Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash
Amy - Long Island Parent Source says
This phase is relatively short lived. You’ll be wishing for these days when he totally 100% ignores the fact that you are saying anything, or the “why” is replaced by “hold on a minute”, which is equally, if not more, infuriating.