Here's Some Genius Advice for When Your Kid Constantly Asks "Why?"

After many frustrating conversations with their 3-year-old, one parent on Reddit came up with a smart way to break them of this annoying habit. It might just work for your family, too.

Kids are curious, this we know. And in their pursuit of knowledge, their vast desire to learn everything, you may hear them utter one word more than any other: "Why?"

But as any parent knows, when that question is asked incessantly—especially when it's without real interest in the answer—things can turn ugly. Too often it serves as an attention-seeking ploy or, worse, a way for your hyperactive honey to procrastinate. It's textbook stuff, yet somehow this triggering word can poke and prod at us until our patience meter has run out and an explosion is inevitable.

This scenario is so common among parents that it sparked its own dedicated post on Reddit. Written by a user named Originalstickers, the post came to the rescue with some highly effective ways to help parents take control of the conversation, nipping that habit in the bud. Here's what made the post so brilliant.

It Brought Humor to a Frustrating Situation

First off, the original poster (OP) brilliantly made these frustrating moments a little more laughable.

"You want to just tell them to shut their adorable little muffin hole and move on with the day instead of breaking down every single word of your statements," OP wrote.

"You want to yell and scream and have your own tantrum because dagnabit, its 7:20 am and you weren't expecting to have to break down the rules of society and explain services and exchanges to someone that won't even understand half of what you're saying."

It Proposed a Way to Break the Habit…

Then she blessed us with her fool-proof strategy that worked with her own 3-year-old.

"I have (very recently) set down a rule with my 3 yo that we will only answer complete questions," the OP said. "I feel less like a hostage to my child's questions, and more like I am actually answering real inquiries."

"I've noticed sometimes the questions stop because THEY'RE tired of asking. My brain is much less likely to fall into being angry or tired. Finally, due to work from my amazing spouse who was stuck with them all day during a sick day, there is a change in the way my child is now speaking."

Little Girl Ignoring Her Frustrated Mom

…And Gave an Example

OP was even kind enough to break it down with some "anecdotal evidence:"

"'Why?' they ask.

'Why what?' you reply.

'Why do I go to school?' they ask.

'School is important for your growth,' you answer.

Child thinks long and hard about how to turn this into a question."

It Crowdsourced Additional Ideas

After opening the strategy up for comments, OP came back with some very insightful edits:

"[The] top idea has been 'Why do you think?' phrased back to the child," OP said, listing suggestions made by commenters. "It encourages creativity and problem solving on the part of the child, [and] allows them an opportunity to show off what they already know."

Last, It Suggested a Bonus Strategy

OP also suggested that if your kid is "why" questions to try to stall or avoid doing something, teach them to verbally agree to do the task, make sure they do it, and then if your child is still curious, they can ask about it:

"'Put on your shoes, please,' you say.

'Why?' they ask.

'You say 'yes mommy / yes daddy / okie dokie' when I ask you to help me and then you can ask your question,' you say.

Child begins putting on their shoes.

'Why?' they ask.

'Why what?' you answer.

'Why do I have to put on my shoes?' they ask.

A. Answer them.

B. Flip it back on them and ask why they think they should wear shoes."

The Verdict?

The commenters who read the post swore by its tricks. Apparently, they work. So the next time your kid won't stop asking "why," try them yourself. Hopefully, they'll save you a lot of frustration and help you connect with your kiddo. Thanks to u/Originalstickers for the tricks.

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