This past weekend I had the pleasure of babysitting two of our granddaughters, ages 2 and 4 from Nashville, TN. Upon their arrival on Thursday evening until the departure on Sunday afternoon, I was bombarded with the “Why?” word!
After several days of the “Why’s” which began as cute and I was trying to answer to the best of my ability, until they left for home, I began to feel inadequate in some of my answers and had yet to figure out “Why” they asking all these “Why’s?”
As it turns out, (According to the Science Daily (Nov. 13, 2009)) “Curiosity plays a big part in preschoolers' lives. Children ask so many "Why" questions conclude that children are motivated by a desire for explanation. When preschoolers ask “Why” they’re not merely trying to prolong conversation, they're trying to get to the bottom of things. Research clearly suggests that by age 2, children contribute actively to the process of learning about the world around them.”
So see, it is not just a habit, they really want to learn!
They are going through a learning stage and it is the same from generation to generation!
I thought it was rather humorous at first then a little aggravating that even when I answered the questions, I still got anther “Why”!
I’ve also learned since their visit that one of the best ways to handle the “Why” is to answer a “why” question with another “why” question. For example,
“why do you think the we can’t eat rocks?”
By doing this we encourage children to think for themselves and explore their own ideas. There is nothing a child loves more than having an adult who is genuinely interested in what they have to say. Kids really do want to come up with their own answers and it gives them something to think about. It also helps them develop thinking skills. They are no different than adults, they feel important when we ask them their opinion it builds their self esteem.
There is a book called "The Why Book" that is sold at Books A Million, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, etc. The book answers all kinds of cool questions.
Why is the sky blue? grass green? chicken pox called chicken pox? freckles come from? salt in ocean water? hiccups? ???????
This book has gotten wonderful reviews! One reader had a great idea about a dry erase board in her kitchen and when she did not know the answer to the “Why” question, she would write the subject down. Once a week, they would sit down and "Google" the topics from the week. I think this is a great idea and hope to use this idea the next time the girls come to visit.
I definitely will be purchasing the book and be more prepared for the next series of “Why” questions!!
But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me. Do not stop them. The holy nation of heaven is made up of ones like these.” Matthew 19:14 (NLV)