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“But Why? Ya, But Why? Ya, But Why?”

| November 17, 2015 | 7 Comments

There comes a point in evheart for blogery parents life where they are asked questions by their children that they may or may not have the answers to. Once children are at an age where they communicate with words, kids begin to ask many, many, many, many, many questions – sometimes to the point of exhaustion for parents! You’ve heard it over and over again… “But why?” Children ask questions (just like adults) for very good reasons – to learn and make sense of their new world around them.

I know this first hand through working with children as a Child and Family Therapist as well as being a parent myself. Our automatic response when a child asks us a question is to answer it for them, but what if there was a much better way to teach our children? What if we could help them build many other skills by asking THEM questions? As a therapist, I ask questions and I do this for many reasons. Some of which include, quite simply to break people’s thinking patterns that are keeping them stuck as well as help people learn skills such as executive functioning skills (working memory, reasoning, flexibility, etc.).

When your child asks you a question, ask them “What do you think?” “What are your thoughts about that? Have them begin to think about it first before you automatically respond with an answer. By asking this simple question, you are indirectly helping them learn how to problem solve and problem solving is one of life’s critical skills to learn. They may at first wonder what is up as this will be new to them, but the more and more you do it, the less and less they will ask you and begin to answer their own questions.  You can of course help guide them, but ultimately you want them to begin thinking in a way where they aren’t just automatically looking to you for the answers. If a child has difficulty coming up with their own answers, then gently make suggestions for them and then have them choose which one makes most sense.  This helps them cultivate their sense of autonomy and confidence which is what every parent wants for their child.  

If you or your child don’t know the answer to a question (which happens often), research it together and learn something new with one another. After all, isn’t that what life is all about – learning and teaching at every age! 

Remember, each time your child asks you a question see it as an opportunity to ask them a question back and in doing so you are teaching them much more than just the answer to their question – you are teaching them many, many life skills.

 

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/clmommsen/15427483486/

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Category: Dads, Family, Kids, Moms, Tips, Weekly Themes

About the Author ()

Natasha Grey has her Master’s degree in Psychology and has worked as a Child and Family Therapist ever since. She is a wife and mother who currently resides in Ottawa, Canada. Natasha’s life purpose and passion is to help children and adults become the very best they can be. Constantly inspired and learning, Natasha has spearheaded the creation of “Everyday Superheroes” (http://www.everydaysuperheroes.ca/) to help inspire and teach children and adults everywhere that there is a Superhero within us all. Natasha and her husband, Casey Grey, are hosts of "The Conscious Living Podcast with Casey+Natasha" (http://caseyplusnatasha.com/) where they interview inspirational and motivational people from all over the world who are living a conscious life - a life with a purpose and on purpose. You will learn everything from how to find your purpose to how to be a conscious parent, to what’s the healthiest paint you should use on your walls! Natasha is also passionate about empowering women and their families to view child birth as a natural, healthy, beautiful experience for all. She and her husband created a video of their home birth to demonstrate that home birth is a healthy option (with the proper team in place) for those looking for a hospital alternative. Enjoy! Author's website.

Comments (7)

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  1. kathy downey says:

    Time you spend learning with yoour children will stay with them forever

    • Natasha says:

      You are so right, Kathy. I especially love how you said “Time you spend learning WITH them.”
      Just as our children are learning about their world so are we as parents.

      • kathy downey says:

        My grandkids are now 9/10 and i found the internet is a wonderful gadget for learning,we usually spend a few hours online on Saturday afternoon learning,they both pick a topic then we research it and discuss it.they take turns reading.We all have learned so many things and we are spending good quality time together.I always say dont give kids things to keep them busy……give yourself to them they will be grown and gone before you know it….Blessings and have a lovely weekend

  2. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    Sometimes the ‘why’ got to be a bit much, not surprising really when there are 7 of them I suppose. My first answer was always why/what do you think and having to think for themselves, instead of getting an easy answer, I think makes problem solving easier for them later on in life too.

    • Natasha says:

      That is a great response, Elizabeth! It is a good question to ask in order to help them develop their problem solving skills.

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