The Age of Why?

My oldest daughter, Child A, has reached the age of “Why?”

“It’s dinner time, Bugaboo. Please go to the table.”


“Because that’s where we eat dinner.”


“So Cole won’t eat our food if we tried eating it on the ground.”


“Because he’ll eat anything he can get his doggy mouth around.”


And so on. It is a trying time. But Child A has always been inquisitive. Her first words were not Mama or Dada. They were “What’s that?”


But now she isn’t satisfied with identification. She needs motive. She knows what things are, but not why they are. And I am torn by the desire to educate her and the desire to not have to question the why of every little thing then explain it in terms that a two-year-old can understand. Because explanations are tiresome.

The thing is, I really don’t want to take the easy (and deeply unsatisfying) way out with “Because I said so” or “Because that’s just the way it is.”

So I’m looking for some advice. Parents who have been there, how do you handle the whys?

5 responses to “The Age of Why?

  1. Answer a few straight forward, but then start tying everything back to God. For some inexplicable reason the why string will then stop. Until the next one starts, of course.

    • Good answer. I always tried to do that with why strings durin SS or even coffee hour & sitting. Also sometimes liked to turn the tables and ask them what do they think is why.

  2. I’m reaching back into my memory…and I think this is where I perfected the “Stare and Sigh” method of parenting that works so well, even now. There was a point where I was just DONE with the conversation, so I would sigh loudly and raise one eyebrow and stare at the child. It took a bit, but eventually they learned that I wasn’t going to answer any more questions and they’d leave me alone.

    For about 67 seconds.

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