My two year old son has recently learned the word why and how to use it properly. I use the word properly loosely, by the way. It has gotten to the point that he will ask why every time I tell him to do something. “Connor, don’t touch that”, “Why?”; “We cannot go outside right now, Connor”, “Why?”; “Time to go night night, little man”, “Why?”. I believe this is one of the most annoying things a child can do. Life would be so much easier if children just listened when we told them to do something. However, we have no such luck. So, here’s my dilemma. How do you teach a two year old that it is ok to ask why, just not all the time?
I marvel at the curiosity of children. Their little brains are always willing and open to accept new information and question everything. The question why has never bothered me. I welcome with open arms a child’s need to ask why things are the way they are and how things happen. The issue arises with what context they use the question in. I can easily tell my ten year old that it is ok to ask why just not when I am asking you to do something. My boyfriend and I go rounds about this one. When Connor asks why now, I just answer him hoping to teach him reason and keep his curious nature alive. Robbie feels I should never answer him because he will never learn to just do what we say if we allow him to question.
I can see reason in both arguments. So, what’s more important? Do I risk jeopardizing the beautiful curiosity in order to have an obedient two year old? I do not want to damage his imagination or quest for knowledge, but I do not want an unruly child either. How do we teach our children that it’s okay to ask questions just not all the time. Sometimes the dilemmas that come with parenthood truly give me a headache!!!