Just to let you know I write a weekly column for a newspaper called The Weekender, have been doing it since my family moved out here. I will upload the past columns one day but starting today, here is the latest one....hope you enjoy it!
When Grace was younger, I had heard from other parents to be on the lookout for when the “why” stage starts. You know the stage, when your child continually asks questions that all start with “Why?” Well, I waited and braced myself for that stage to hit and now I think I am in the middle of it. I am not opposed to questions, I was that kind of kid – always asking questions, actually I still am, but I feel like I am constantly being interviewed with not just “why” questions but all different kinds and usually one right after another. This of course doesn’t mean that my daughter has never asked questions before, actually one of Grace’s first words when she was just over a year old was “ah tha” which I took to mean “what’s that?” since when Grace said it she was usually pointing to something.
When this whole question and answer period started I don’t think I actually clued in to what she was doing. My oldest would just ask a simple question such as “where is Daddy going?” And I would answer her, “he’s going to work”. But I am starting to notice that my daughter sometimes just likes to ask questions- even when she knows the answer. It took me a while to catch on to what she was doing but now it seems like I am the one asking all the questions and it sometimes quiets Grace a bit.
It happened one day out of frustration. I think Grace had been asking questions non stop:
“why is my wand stick blue?”,
“why does Rapunzel leave the tower?”,
“who is that lady?”,
“what is her name?”,
“what is that song about?”,
“why is it snowing?”,
“what is another word for frog?” (I think you get the picture).
For some of them I couldn’t just give ‘to the point’ answers – “because it is blue”, “it’s cold out that’s why it’s snowing”, “the song is about a boy and girl”. For others I couldn’t say “I don’t know” because this of course would lead to more in-depth questioning. For other questions I assumed that she already knew the answer – “Rapunzel leaves the tower to see the floating lanterns”, these type of questions were very frustrating because if felt like she was just asking me questions for the sake of asking questions.
After being asked yet another question that I knew she already knew the answer to I snapped back at Grace” why do you think Rapunzel left the tower?” and Grace answered me. And I figured out a loop hole – I would just ask Grace whenever she asked me a question “why do you think?” and it seemed to work, Grace would answer her own question and I was off the hook. Some of the answers to her own questions are actually pretty funny – Q: How do you make the colour black? A: You take white and brown and purple and mix them all together and then you get black.
This gives a little insight into how Grace sees the world. Of course this has also lead to another issue like when I ask Grace a question such as: “can you clean up your room?” Grace turns around and answers with a question “Why?”