Last week I was out with my friend and her twin toddlers for a weekend dinner in my car and a few series of questions from my friend’s 3 year old son caught my attention. Where are we going? Are we going to aunt’s place? Whose car is this? What we will eat? I was amazed to see my friend (Who was now a little irritated) replying to all his back to back questions. She informed that these are just few of the questions which she faces and replies all day long.
From where does the sun rise everyday? Where it is goes when it is dark? Why fishes don’t fly? Why is the sky blue?” “Why are boys different to girls?” “Where do babies come from?” Why are you crying? And the series of weird Whys? What’s’ and Where’s never seem to end and they can drive you crazy at times.
Sounds familiar? Parents of toddlers don’t need to be told that kids can be extremely inquisitive! Curiosity and inquisitiveness is the natural and basic tendency of toddlers. We must understand that it has no limits.
Being a Parent instead of getting infuriated lets apply the below quick tips to respond and handle their inquisitive world.
- Don’t ever avoid their questions. The more you avoid the more they come back to you and feel there is something we don’t want to share.
- Avoid replying your child as “I don’t Know” That’s how it is, That how it happens” , “Its none of your business” , “you are small right now”
- Be Patient: Don’t ever get frustrated: I know this is damn difficult but keep it within you, never answer your toddlers in frustrating, irritating and angry tone.
- Help your child to answer his own questions, Let him discover, Ask her /Him what do you think? Would you do? Or say? This diverts their energy and they sincerely put their mind on work.
- Deflection Strategy : If there is something asked which you don’t want to answer or need time to frame then make excuses like, mummy is tired she will answer you tomorrow morning, or papa will answer you later he is driving right now and its not safe to talk while driving.
- Try giving just the best answers. Its not necessary to give them the proper and true answer .You must just simplify it as much as you can .Some questions can be tricky such as “What happens after you die?” It’s important to only tell them an answer appropriate for their age.
- Its completely OK to admit if you don’t know the answer. You can tell them to seek for answer by saying, May be your daddy knows? May be your Grand ma knows?
- Seek Professional Help: Try to understand if your child is natural inquisitive or overly inquisitive. Apart from the general questions if a child gets into questions like ‘Who just called you and what did they say?’, ‘Where are you and daddy going, why am I not coming?’, ‘What are you talking about? If the inquisitively interferes with his/ her emotional state, self esteem or insecurity, they might need a help from a qualified child psychologist.
- Also it’s wise to know their reason of constant curiosity. It might be triggered in their mind watching something or it might be just to grab your attention.
So the next time your toddler asks you about any damn thing just keep calm and apply the above tricks. I am sure you will leave him smiling, satisfied and running back to what he /she were enjoying.
Celebrating Childhood With Shanti Juniors – Jaya Pathak