Oy vey.  My second child has entered the why stage.  Everything is why.  And it can go on endlessly.  Curiosity is good, but pointless curiosity is exhausting.

“Mommy, why are we going to the store?”

“Because we need food.”
“Why?”
“Because we need to eat.”
“Why?”
“Because you get hungry”
“Why?”

aye aye aye.  on and on it goes.

I found a few antidotes that occasionally work.   Used as a package, depending on context, they are rather effective in stopping the ‘why’s.”

1. ask a question in return.

“why do we need to eat?”
“don’t you like to eat?”

2. ask, ‘why not?’

“why do we need to eat?’
“why not?”

3. answer, “because God made it that way” OR “because that’s how God wants it”

“why are there spiders?”
“because God made them”
“why?”
“because God wanted them”

4. tell them, “yes, Mama” OR “okay, Mama” giving them an appropriate response. I use this when the “why” questions comes after a request for action.

“put your shoes on”
“why?”
“okay Mama”
they will usually get the message and say, ‘okay mama’

5. answer, “I don’t know”.
I use this one for ‘why’ questions, but also for the barrage of questions I often get from my four-year-old. There is a limit to how many questions I can answer in a 5 minute period.

after the zillionth question, when I just can’t take it anymore, simply say, “I don’t know” This will usually stop all further questions…for a while at least.

6. and then, the one every mother says they will never say, but says anyways:
“because I said so”

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