Nanay, why is the sky blue?
Nanay, why do we have to water the plants?
Nanay, why do we need to sleep?
Why do we brush our teeth?
Why does it rain?
Why is there snow?
Day in and day out, I am tasked to explain almost everything to a curious little girl. I don't mind, really because after I answer the first why, in comes another why. It's a good thing, because it tells me she tries to understand the things we say to her. It's a daily struggle for me because I need to make sure I refresh my knowledge about anything under the sun.
Children's Curiosity is a Natural Learning Tool
What keeps her interested gives her more learning. Even during her earlier years, she has really been a curious little one. Music/singing tend to attract her attention more which is why we made use of youtube videos like Dave and Ava, and Cocomelon to help with all the early learnings. Nursery rhymes kept her occupied throughout the day. This meant though that our desktop will be playing non-stop nursery rhymes. We did not want her to hold any mobile devices even until now.
Doodling and painting also help stimulate her curiosity. Our activity last week about Secondary Colors was very much enjoyable because she was really interested. I learned to support and increase her curiosity even more by asking her questions, and letting her guess along the way.
It's okay if you don't know the answer
Oftentimes when she asks questions(and she does ask me questions when I'm not ready), I really honestly don't know the answer. On the first few times she asked me her why's there were instances that I told her I don't know. But then seeing the look on her face, I can say she really wants to know the answer. Later on, I found the best way to address this. We have taught her that honesty is the best policy so we always make sure that we tell her the truth. (Children easily absorb habits from adults.) My line usually is "I'm not sure why that happens, but we can definitely find out together." This way, I am also able to show her how to look things up either from her books, from her father, or from the internet.
Patience is everything
Sometimes once I answer the question, that's the end of it. But that is just sometimes. Almost all the time she asks me one question, it always ends up in another why, or another how. There was an instance when she just liked the feeling of asking "Why?" and I felt like she's already just being playful and silly. The lesson shifts from answering her question to a lecture about listening and showing respect. Of course, kids will be kids. One way or another, patience should always be there whenever they start asking questions.
Parents, no matter how hard we try, run out of patience too. Whether we like it or not, we sometimes snap. It has happened to me. I'm just glad that our daughter is bold enough to tell us how she feels. The last time I snapped at her, she was able to tell me that she felt sad and that she only wanted to tell me something. When I lose my cool in front of my daughter, I'm glad that the only thing she asks from me is a hug. So far, we are able to communicate very well with each other at home.
Each Question they ask is a Learning Opportunity
The other day, my daughter asked my why and how it rains. It was a chance to teach her about evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. Of course, I sought help from the Storybots episode about rain. But not only that, it was a chance for me to teach her about flood. Our topic branched into proper waste disposal. And I am actually very glad we talked about it because when one of her playmates threw a candy wrapper mindlessly, I heard her teach the kid two things: 1. That candy is not good for kids and that 2. That trash should be thrown into the trashbin.
She just asked me *"Nanay, why does it rain?" We were able to discuss about clouds, (she now knows that when we see dark heavy clouds, we need to make sure we are indoors, because it will rain) and we were also able to talk about throwing trash properly.
A curious child is a mindful child
As my daughter grows, I can see how observant she is. We have discussed how cigarette smoking is bad for a person's health. All it took as her seeing a neighbor pass by in front of our house holding a cigarette in his hand. Her question "Nanay, why is the man putting the ash in his mouth?" At this point in the pandemic, she is 100% conscious about putting our hands in our face.
And the best thing about a kid asking a lot of questions is that they are using their brains to analyze things. The more they exercise their minds to analyze, the faster they absorb new information. To top it off, since they were the ones initiating the topics, you are assured that they are interested. An interested learner is indeed a fast learner.
Are your kids always asking questions? Sometimes it cn be too bothersome especially when we are trying to multitask. I usually remind myself that someday when she's older, thise questions will stop and I may no longer be her primary source of information. So I just give in, try my best to answer her why's and how's. Afterall, this is my main duty as a mother, to be her teacher, trainer, and mentor.
@romeskie is a full-time stay at home mom juggling homeschooling, crocheting, and homemaking. A Business Administration graduate with a major in Marketing who ended up in the contact center industry, on the frontlines, climbing her way up to Workforce Management where she found her passion in real-time analysis and management. A once self-proclaimed careerwoman who soon realized homemaking was her real calling. Her passion varies from reading, writing, photography, and most of all, crocheting.