I remember when Lottie first started to walk, everyone would respond with “just wait until she starts talking”, like it was a bad thing. They went on to clarify, “then she won’t shut up”.
I know there is a lot of truth in that statement. They go on and on and on and on.
- Why is the sky blue?
- Why is there a hole in the road?
- How do birds fly?
- Why can’t cars fly?
I know parents complain about how their young children are non stop talkers, and the “why” stage of toddlerness that questions everything 100 times, it’s exhausting. I get it. Sometimes at the end of the day my brain feels fried with the amount of energy and thoughts and emotions that come out of my three year old. I can’t imagine when my one year old starts talking.
But I also love when my three year old talks and asks why.
She’s full of curiosity
I joke with Josh that there are times I can literally hear the gears in her head turning she is thinking so hard. She honestly asks good questions. She wants to know what things are, and how they work. Yes, it’s non stop, but that’s how fast her brain is working.
I want to encourage that curiosity. I want her to always question everything, and not simply accept what is told to her. Even though I don’t always give her the answer she is looking for, I give her credit for always asking. That curiosity and fearlessness to ask, the questioning everything, is going to take her far in my opinion when she is older.
Yes, that means more parenting on my part, and sometimes headaches from not getting a moment a silence all day, but that’s what we signed up for, right?
She makes me think
If you have ever had to explain something complicated to a three year old then you will understand how some of their questions really challenge you. You start to realize what concepts and information you have simply accepted over the years, without questioning, and you also realize some things are unexplainable.
Seeing life through her eyes makes me think differently. Her questions make me question things.
She’s learning to think for herself.
After the 5th why of the conversation I usually turn it back on her.
I explain what I can, and then I ask her why. I give her time to think about what I said and draw her own conclusions. The why is a two-way street and she needs to learn that you won’t always have a clear answer and sometimes she needs to draw conclusions on her own. I give her the power to answer her own why, and support her as she works through what seems like complicated questions (for a three year old).
It’s ok to say, I don’t know the answer, let’s look it up together. A number of times I have pulled out my phone with her to “research” one of her questions. I want to teach her to not only ask the questions, but find the answers. I don’t know everything, I don’t pretend to, and that’s ok! I send her to dad for a lot of her questions if I think he is better suited to answer the question.
I love listening to my three year old talk.
She says hilarious things and brutally honest things. She says things she observes and that she’s been taught and relates them to situations. It’s hilarious. I love having her tell me what she wants and I love listening to her imagination even more. The way she plays and the stuff she repeats that she hears from adults. It’s amazing how much their brains are taking in and trying to process.
Yes with the hilarious, I also get the tantrums and whining, but we’re working on that too.
It takes patience.
Sometimes the why’s when I’m in a hurry or have had a long day, feel like too much. It’s easier for me to say because I said so and move on. That is when I need patience, I find a way to muster up whatever is left in me, because I never want her to feel that asking me a question is burdensome.
If I’m in the middle of something I tell her to remember the question and ask me later. There is also something to be said for teaching children to wait and be patient. They have great questions, but in order for me to give her a good answer, sometimes she needs to wait. I don’t shut down her question, I postpone it and then I make a point to get back to her when we have time.
Embrace your toddlers continuous why.
Help them process the world. Ask them why, and let them answer their own questions. There is so much energy in these little humans the best thing we can do for them is channel that energy into problem solving and curiosity and watch them grow even at the young age of three.