How do you deal with a child who ask the same question over and over and over when you've answerd them 100 times in a row?

Hope - posted on 09/21/2011 ( 16 moms have responded )

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Has anyone else ever dealt with their toddler repeating questions?
I know some say just ignore it cause well they do it to test your patience. Its so Hard for me to not get frustrated cause nothing gets under my skin more than someone repeating the same thing over and over and over....I literly have to walk into another room and scream into a pillow. Any suggestions on how to respond positive way? I've tried telling her that you only ask once cause mommy already heard your question and I explained or showed her once. And she still repeats.

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Kathy - posted on 09/22/2011

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i have the opposite belief: toddlers learn things through repetition and i think ignoring them only makes them feel like their questions and thoughts aren't important. you want your child to speak as much as possible; it's the way they improve speech so why would a parent ignore that?



my dd chats a mile a minute and i love it. she'll ask me the same question over and over but if she continues to ask me, i will sit down and ask her: "well, what do you think the answer is?" or 'why do you think that is? and i'll ask her other questions about whatever topic she's talking about so she can think about the answer.



kids need time to commit things to memory; their brain development hasn't fully matured which is why they repeat things or need things repeated in order to remember or understand them. i know it can be trying at times when you're busy but they're just kids and grow too fast..... pretty soon they'll be moody teenagers who will only grunt at your questions and want nothing to do with their uncool parents :( cherish these moments because they go by so fast!

Jane - posted on 09/22/2011

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When a toddler asks "Why?" they don't really want to know the answer. What they want to do is engage you in conversation as well as be in control and practice being independent while exploring the world with you. That's why the answer "Because" sometimes satisfies them better than the most precise and accurate answer.

When a little kid asks why the sky is blue, he or she really wants to simply talk to you about the sky. Instead of explaining how light breaks up when it hits water molecules in the sky, and so on, try agreeing that it is a pretty blue but that sometimes the sky is gray when there are clouds, and at night it is dark blue or black, and sometimes it is orange and pink. You can also talk about the stars, the moon, and the sun, and even how it looks when lightning flashes. If your child is still interested you could even go on about space and astronauts. As you talk they are enjoying your company while also developing their language skills.

Another approach is to say that it is a good question and what does the child think the answer is. That is another way to interact with them.

When a child asks why they are really asking for your attention and telling you that they find something interesting and want to explore it with you.

Helen - posted on 09/24/2011

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when I worked in nursery I used to get this, but from more than 1 child in a day! It was usually things like - what you doing? when they could see exactly what I was doing (mixing paint, washing paint pots etc) so after a couple of days talking to them about what I was doing I started to say things like 'washing an elephant' or 'baking a cake' - they always laughed, told me I wasn't. when asked what I *was* doing they told me and then were happy!
Such a simple thing to take away the stress and make everyone a bit happier!

Kerri - posted on 09/22/2011

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Everyone has already covered everything I would have said so I won't repeat. All I wanted to add was, it's okay to get frustrated with it sometimes. I'm sure we all do at some point or another! But the response you've gotten here really should help. Children want to 'know'. It's a natural human being thing to want the answers to everything ;)

Katherine - posted on 09/22/2011

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Is it Why? I get asked that ALL the time by my 2.5 year old. I eventually start talking about something else.

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Jennifer - posted on 10/20/2011

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answer her differently each time or say I don't know.. or you could try answering her with a question each time ( the same question)

Keri - posted on 10/01/2011

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What are the questions? She's not an "are we there yet?" child is she? Do you remember asking your parents hundreds of times to get you things or show you things when you were her age? I know I (and I'm 30) sometime need to ask the same question or be shown something several times before grasping it completely.

Jessica - posted on 09/23/2011

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I have been thru this many times, as I have 2 kids and a home daycare. I've learned that most of the time they already know the answer so I ask "What do you think" or "why do you think I'm doing this".
It is one of the most annoying things about parenting, but this is an important part of learning. It does get better!

Julie - posted on 09/23/2011

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change your answer. or add to it. I find myself looking on line and you tube for great instructional videos.

Sarah - posted on 09/23/2011

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wait you mean you arent getting the "why mommy? why?" lol thats what my son is currently doing. i try to answer him as best i can 2 or 3 "whys" into the question then i ask him why and he stops! lol idk if that will help but its a thought. maybe having your lil one think about the question will deter her long enough to stop asking!

Hope - posted on 09/22/2011

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Thank you those are really good suggestions you gave me and I will take all your suggestions to heart and mind. I realized after the fact that ignoring is not a good thing cause then its not respecting their feelings and they are learning their speech development so repeating is how they learn, and I just need to be a lot more patient, and ask her what she thinks the answer is, though I bet chances are I will get the response I don't know mommy.

Kathleen - posted on 09/22/2011

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As well as that it is ok that you get frustrated and need a "time out" yourself and give yourself a minute.

Kathleen - posted on 09/22/2011

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I completely understand Hope. My 3yr old does the same thing and you can only take so much. He asks the first time I answer him, he asks a second time I answer him. He continues i do ask why or what do you think. After awhile I say you know the answer (usually about where a puzzle piece goes lol) though for say 75 of those repeated questions I nod, say yes dear, duly noted, tomorrow, because today ends in -day. I do not completly ignore him as I do hear him, but after awhile, I know at least with my son he knows the answer he just chooses to ask me. He doesn't usually do too many times cause he knows i'll tell him to figure it out himsef (Depending on what he is asking)

Juniper - posted on 09/22/2011

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I agree with with all 3 ladies. Don't ignor her but the repeating can be frustrating. Do try the talking to her and asking her questions (as suggested already) I really like the 1 where you engage her in her own question and get her to think of the answer after you have already told you. A big key here though is when she answers you with the correct response really praise her for listening. If she presists with asking the same question ask her what she doesn't understand about your answer or give her another response with less detail. My husband, not meaning to, answers our kids or tells them things that even I have to ask sometimes what he means (he is a retail manager and used to telling adults what to do and how to handle a situation). I have to remind him to use simpler words.
Slightly different situation (my daughter would scream or get really loud in her frustrations with her sister or if it took me a few times to understand her fast slured speach) I pretended that it really hurt my ears (it did hurt and frustrate to the point of getting mad) but to us as an adult we are used to stuffing our emotions or what is really bothering us. Her asking you frustrates you and possibly leads to headaches and as you said causes you to have to leave to release the tention. Get to her level cover your ears and say your hurting my ears. Ask her to slow down (if she is fast in her asking) and to look at you when you respond. Then give her a clear answer and get her to repeat it then hugs and praise.
Good luck all kids learn at different speeds and need reminding. I'm tired of telling my 5 and 3 yr olds to stop using their fingers and sit on their bums at the table. Remind the 5 yr old that there is food and to take a bite. I feel like by now after telling her for 3 yrs 5 times a day she should know by now.
Another trick I learned is even when your getting upset try to smile and take a deep breath.

Amanda - posted on 09/22/2011

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I was going to suggest the same as Vicki and ask her what she thinks the answer might be as I do that with my 3 yr old.

I also try and distract him by asking him to play another game with me instead

Vicki - posted on 09/22/2011

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Ask her what she thinks the answer is, sometimes works for my friend's 3 tear old.

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