How to Handle Kids Who Ask Questions
“Why is the sky blue?”, “How do the birds fly?”, “Why is the grass green?” these are just a few of the many questions parents worldwide, must have answered or will be asked by their curious little humans. They never stop questioning, and then there are times when the parents wish they would. While it may appear exasperating, it is important to realize that it’s a genuine attempt on the kid’s part to learn, understand and grow. They’re trying to get to the bottom of things and not trying to stretch the conversation.
Young children find everything fascinating as well as baffling. The worldly ways aren’t always straightforward and we all know that. One thing can have multiple explanations and it may confuse the child. This is also why they may ask the same question several times to several different individuals. However, they will instinctively trust the answers and explanations provided by the closest individual, like parents or favorite uncles/aunts.
One thing we can do here is to try and see the world through their eyes. Remember how puzzled you once were by seeing and experiencing new things for the first time and how you needed someone to explain what was going on? If we can put ourselves in their shoes, we’ll be able to understand and handle their questioning-spree, sans the frustration or weariness, to quite a large extent. It is, however, possible, natural and understandable, to not be able to do that always. As of course, nothing can quite match a child’s enthusiasm, and we may not always be able to answer them patiently.
The best way out of such a situation would be then to politely and lovingly explain to the child your reason for not being able to answer it at that moment and a rough timeframe when would you be able to do that – just so they know you are not avoiding or taking them lightly. You can, for example, tell the child that you’d answer after you’ve finished with your important work, or that you too don’t know the answer and you both can try finding it together. The important thing is to not avoid their questions or make them feel that their questions don’t matter.
There is another reason why encouraging and entertaining the questioning habit in young children may actually be a good thing. Studies show that kids who ask a lot of questions are more likely to become strong and independent thinkers. Questioning and being listened to will help build up their confidence to speak their minds out without fear or hesitation. When you listen to their questions, answer or try to find answers, you make them feel their questions are valid and important. By keeping the dialogue open, you’d ensure them that their ideas and thoughts are valued. So encourage your child to ask questions, it’s the best possible way you’d help them gain control over their worlds by thinking critically and independently.