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Challenge: Curious George

I can't stand when my kids ask me "WHY," but I won't encourage them to stop

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I freakin’ hate when my kids ask me “why?” I get super annoyed when they are always asking me “why,” “why,” “why,” — and then they respond to the same answer that I have given for the fifth time, with another “why”. And then, it’s like we have hopped on the “why” carousel and can’t get off. Are you exasperated just talking about it? I am.

But, do you know what I have come to realize? Something truly important; something that I have yet to realize up until now. You see, there is actually something I hate more than when my kids ask me “why”. What is it?

It’s the thought of them going through this life never asking “why”. Yep, I detest that even more.

As a parent, we are typically exhausted all of the time — which is why we snap at our curious children and their innocent attempts to understand life, people, and human nature via perpetual interrogatory dialogues.

My husband and I more than anything want to raise our children to use their voice. That is why we encourage them to talk back, which you can read about in To the Little Girl With The Smart Mouth.

Yet, at the same time, our encouragement of their thirst for knowledge and acceptance of their inquisitiveness, has ultimately led to moments each day where the kids end up driving us absolutely bonkers with question, after question, after question, after question.

Sadly, and I hate to admit it, but sometimes we sort of begin to tune our children out — half-listening and answering to appease and cease the conversation, rather than to promote continued thoughtful dialogue.

But, guess what guys? We are screwing it up. We absolutely should not be handling “why’s” in this way and as a result, moving forward, I am making a conscious effort to change my daily response to my kids’ questioning ways.

What I plan to remind myself of each day is this:

— A curious child is rarely bored.

— A curious child is a powerful one, as they have the ability to question and ponder things in a way unique to only them.

— Curiosity prompts most learning.

— Curiosity is the undeniable mark of intelligence.

— Being passionately curious is a rare and special talent.

— A curious mind is always on an adventure, and what a fun life that makes for.

Ultimately, as tiresome as the constant and sometimes nonsensical questions get, I more than anything never want for my children to feel as though I am balking at their desire to learn, grow, better their mind, and engage in fruitful dialogue.

It’s time for this mama to do a better job with the “whys”. And, I’ll tell you this, so far this week, there has been a heck of a lot of ’em.

“Curiosity killed the cat, but where human beings are concerned, the only thing a healthy curiosity can kill is ignorance.” – Harry Lorayne

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