Why is it raining?
Why do I have to go to bed?
Why are you going home?
M is at the age where "why" is her favourite question. These questions are both frustrating and time consuming. We might be in the middle of eating breakfast, getting dressed, or running out the door. I know she means well, but I don't always have an answer. I try to give her the most honest answer without having to go into detail that is way above her head or her maturity level. This is hard when she asks why the homeless man is asking for money or why I have to go home at the end of the day.
After spending weeks answering her questions as quickly as possible I thought maybe I should use some of my psychology knowledge. The reason children ask why is to help them learn and develop. M is asking these questions as a way to help her learn about the world and how things operate. The best thing that I can do for her is to help her explore the world. It turns out M is a very smart girl! When I ask her for an answer, 9 out of 10 times she has a great response. The other 10% of the time we are able to explore different possibilities and come up with a good explanation. Now the whys don't spin out of control and she is learning through her questioning. I challenge all of you to take a deep breath, relax, and help your young ones to discover how the world works.