Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"Why not"

This is the response we get for EVERYTHING right now, if it is not in agreement with Mr. Monkey's wishes.  Heck, even if he's just confused, "why not we going backwards" (when the van is backing up and he wonders why).

So we get into the old dilemma - answer it with a good explanation, or tell him, "because I said so".  (or something along those lines).  We try to answer his questions honestly - we want him to feel free to ask questions and know it's safe to challenge authorities at the right time.

Our struggle is when it's not the right time to challenge authority.  For instance - when Mommy or Daddy said, "no candy right now" - "Why not" is not an appropriate response.  We have been working to teach him "yes ma'am" and "yes sir".  He gets it, with visual reminders.

But - he's 3... so, "why not" answer him when we can.  He'll learn to trust our decision making (eventually), and learn that sometimes asking "why" gets answers longer than what you really want to hear.

How do you deal with the "why" or "why not" age?


  1. My mom always raised us as small people. Our questions were usually answered, as long as an age appropriate response was available.

    I appreciated it growing up and I intend to raise my children the same way. After all, we all want to know why we're being told to do something, not just to do it.

    As long as the questioning is respectful I don't see it as naughty. And it will help them not just be blind followers in the future.

  2. Thank you for your input, I really appreciate it. That's definitely something we want for our children, hence the tension about answering every "why not".

    I think you're right, that respect is the key - that's when we tend to get on him about using "yes ma'am" and "yes sir". Sometimes it's a fine line though.

  3. I have to agree with mojoraven. A curious child whose questions are answered will stay curious. Curious is the only real thing that keeps them wanting to learn. Simply accepting what others say, without question, can lead to the "herd mentality" that way too many Americans have today.

    I suggest that you answer the question. We all know when a child goes from merely asking to purposely becoming annoying just to try to get what they want. That's when "Because I said so - not one more word about it!" comes in :)