Kathy Petersen’s Blog

Why, why, why?

Posted in children by Kathy on October 24, 2008

My older son will be 4 in a couple of weeks, and he’s in that stage — questioning everything. The problem with kids this age is that it’s mostly just a way to have a conversation, not really to communicate. And it’s very frustrating — especially when he messes up his words, asking “who is this?” when it’s an object not a person; and asking “How?” when he means “why”; and asking what things are when he knows exactly what they are, he just wants to talk and be talked to.

I’m working on the first two, but it’s difficult to get across to him (when he asks, “who is this?” pointing at a chair) that he’s supposed to say “what”; and when I tell him he can’t do something, he asks, “How?” (meaning “why”), and how am I supposed to explain to him the difference? (I think I know — just correct him and tell him the right word to say, but still, it’s just the constant repetition which seems pointless as he keeps saying the same wrong thing over and over.)

But then there’s the constant, “Mommy, what’s that?” questions. (Actually, he says, “who’s that?”.) And it’s one thing when he doesn’t know the answer, but quite another when he does know what it means. I know he’s learning the rules of communication, and he asks questions because he doesn’t understand how to have a conversation that doesn’t center around him asking questions and me giving the answers; and occasionally he does actually ask what something is when he doesn’t know. But it is very tiring to have that (and it’s nearly doubled because my younger son will frequently parrot what my older son says — kinda like the twin Lost Boys in the original animated Peter Pan movie).

The other day, I was putting shoes on my older son, and he asked what they were. I said, “Keith, you know what they are. What are they?” He smiled and repeated the question again, so I said, “They’re pumpkins!” He laughed… and now says those shoes are his “pumpkin shoes.” Sigh…

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