As a parent, you are bound to answer the numerous “whys” those children ask. As they grow, the questions become a combination of “whys, hows and when”. It just keeps getting complex. The tricky part is knowing how to answer without spilling too much and how to present the answer so they don’t ask follow up questions.
Sometimes the questions are so many, they begin to rattle your nerves but you should know that it is not deliberate. Children are naturally curious about the world and want to understand the things they hear, see and do. Something you will not want to do is to ignore their questions because that may stifle their curiosity and desire for knowledge.
Rather, try this. Turn the question around on them. Ask them what they think about the topic too. Encourage and provide them with material to look up their questions. This may give you some few minutes to think through for an answer but more importantly, it develops their thinking abilities: the depth of the answers they come up with can shock you. It is normal to want to scold or ignore them for asking some questions especially if they are on ‘adult topics’ but the benefits of answering such questions will be very beneficial to them.
What you can do as a parent is to employ some strategies. Postpone some of these questions to a time you are sure of the right answer to give. You should be able to tell them, ‘you do not know’ when you aren’t familiar with the questions being asked. You could tell them to wait for an uncle who is a doctor, for example, when a question related to biology is asked. Clever children are not likely to forget the answers you give them and when you postpone for later so do well to prepare to answer the question when next it’s asked again. Do not give half baked or not entirely correct answers. They may not forget.
A child may not be really interested enough to pursue the information given to them or may do it later. It is better to postpone than to shove off the question, stifling their curiosity in the process. The questions will only make you better! Count your blessings! A curious child is an intelligent child; a gift to cherish!
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