It’s a word with great expectations. And kids use it OFTEN!
The parent is the expert, or is at least deemed the authority on all topics according to the child. (That can be more than a little intimidating!) Kids ask questions to gain knowledge about their world. Who better to ask than Mom or Dad?
Take the time to answer the often repeated, “Why?” Explanations are best defined in simple terms for young children. They usually are satisfied with a quick answer, short answers for short people. Take for example the question, “Where do rainbows come from?” Rather than going into the science of refraction, give a simple answer. “God gives us rainbows as a promise of his love.” If the child follows up with another question, go into how water droplets in the sky after storms reflect light. Go as deep into the answer as the child leads.
Another great way to answer questions is to follow Jesus’ example of answering a question with a question. This tactic allows children to think, drawing upon past experiences and knowledge. Here’s a common exchange.
“Mom, why do I have to always hold your hand?”
“Why do you think I want you to hold my hand while crossing the street?”
“Because it’s safer. You can see the cars and the drivers can see you.”
“Good remembering! The light is green, let’s cross in the crosswalk.”
The parent gave the child an opportunity to recall why holding hands is a good idea. She also provided further information to the child regarding walking on a green light and staying in the crosswalk.
“Why?” can be aggravating at times, especially when it’s repeated over and over but keep in mind it’s a good question. A parent’s response will give the child answers as from how this world works to why Mom and Dad believe what they believe. Kids feel important and secure when parents take the time to look them in the eye and satisfy their hunger for knowledge.
As Christian parents, we desire our kids to grow in wisdom, knowing right from wrong, following Truth. Answering the multitude of questions our kids throw at us is a great step in the right direction.
And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature…
By Becky Danielson
Wife to Scott
Mom of two
Co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting