Why? Can Somebody Please Tell Me Why?

g. kirklandholmesStarred Page By g. kirklandholmes, 20th Aug 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Kids

Children often use the word, "why?" "Why cause?" "Why how?" They are curious about many happenings in life that adults are often not accustomed to. They often ask questions about things that we sometimes can not answer. Sometimes we just don't know how to answer some questions. Then there are those who feel that a child should not ask adult questions. Regardless, children ask questions and most often they want answers- from adults, mostly.

Why? Children Ask Why?

Parents often become very frustrated when children continuously ask "why?" It appears as if their "whys" are never-ending. In reality these questions are often uttered from the mouths of children because they want answers to the many questions that seem to cloud their minds at times.

Some researchers believe that this is n area in early childhood education that we have not studied enough to get the answers to information about all of the "whys." Young children ages two to five are in the key age range for asking questions. It might seem like it is rather simple, since they are so young. But in reality it is not that simple because they will be asking questions for a long time. So what exactly does their question-asking process entail?

"Why Cause?" Children Ask About What Happened?

Even very early in life when children begin to ask "why how?" or "why cause?" they really are seeking answers and some explanations for what may be puzzling or troublesome to them.

The reasoning behind some of this long-term confusion about the questioning process and why children ask so many questions at such an early age has been hindered slightly by some of the earlier research that tried to discredit children's ability to decipher cause and effect relationships.
But those of us who have worked with infants know that at a very young age they begin to develop some skills of cause and effect. For example, they learn that when they are hungry, if they cry, someone will probably bring a bottle or check to see if there is a need. Or if an infant drops a toy, they realize that they could try to reach, grab or have someone else give it to them. Then in situations that they aren't sure about, they may try different responses to see what each action may cause as a result.
So with children's questioning, many adults do not feel that giving them some of the answers to their "whys" would make a difference.

"Why How?" Children Ask Why Somethings Happened the Way They Did?

It is believed that children are more likely to ask more an more questions or the same question over and over in regards to a question if no response is given. It is also stated that if children are given too many details that they still may appear unsatisfied. It is as if they are saying that they didn't ask for nor need that much information. It has also been mentioned that children often say, "Oh" when they receive a response to a question that is satisfying to them. But when they do not receive an answer that is satisfactory, they do not respond with an "oh."
A mom gave a neighbor man some change who had lost his job. He had been going around asking the neighbors for any change that they had so he could buy food. When this man approached the mother of a four year-old and asked for some change, the mother was awe-struck by the reaction of her son. She had reached in her purse and gave the man two one dollar bills. The four year-old asked her, "Why did you give that man daddy's money?"

"Why -When?"

The mo was so shocked, she did not really know how to answer the question. Then she quickly thought about what should she say to him at his age that he could understand?
Then she thought about what if this was the first statement he made when his dad came home from work? So she tried her hand at an explanation. I think all of us adults have found ourselves in a place when children asked us a hard question and we did not know the answer. I started by saying, "He lost his job." (Mistake number one-) "Where did he lose it at?" he asked. "Will he be able to find it?" Is someone going to help him look for it?" Oh my, now I have caused him to ask more questions than the original one. His little four year-old mind could only comprehend a part of what I was trying to say to him.

When A Child Asks A Question- Who Should Answer It?

So now. When there are questions like this, who would be the proper person to answer it. it certainly seemed like I am not the right person to do so. Should I have asked the neighbor man to explain it to him, or would his responses be worst than mine.
Or perhaps grandma was the right person because she ha so many years of her own nine children asking her questions. I am new at this and not sure as of yet how I am supposed to respond!
Well, after all it has been stated that children ask some of the hardest questions. Do they really expect us adults to answer them in terms of their understanding and on their level. Surely not!
Now when my daughter asked me, "Where do babies come from?" when she was four years old, I decided to get a book from the library. The book started out sharing on a child's level. I was not prepared to give a four year-old a lesson on sex education. After all isn't that how most babies are conceived?
So is there someone else who would like to answer these hard questions?


Children, Questioning Oneself, Questions, Questions About Life, Questions And Answers, Questions Unanswered, Why

Meet the author

author avatar g. kirklandholmes
I am an early childhood educator and taught pre-school-kindergarten multi-age grouping classes and early childhood courses at the University of Northern Iowa. I also publish with expertscolumn.com

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
29th Aug 2012 (#)

My dear g. kirklandholmes,
Now you have asked us a question, one too many, if you ask me. I wish I knew the answers.

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author avatar g. kirklandholmes
29th Aug 2012 (#)

Very well stated, my sir! For the answer is not always evident. Sometimes we have to search!
Thank you my friend for your comment.

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