Responding to a child’s seemingly endless questions is a unique way parents/guardians have to expand their knowledge and comprehension. Although parents/guardians find a child’s constant questioning annoying, it is helpful to recognize it as their attempt to learn about the world around them. Normally, a child’s questions follow a developmental sequence.
A very young child (two or three years old) is attempting to learn the names of things. The usual questions are “what?” “What is that?” This stage is followed by asking “when?” “When is Christmas?” “When are going home?” “When is my birthday?” Then a child begins asking “where?” questions as he/she attempts to orient themselves. “Where does grandma live? “Where is heaven?” “Where do babies come from?” Finally, a child asks “how? and why? questions. “How big is the sun? “Why is it so cold?” “How many teeth do I have?”
The desire to respond to a young child’s eagerness to learn and understanding the things around them can make parents/caregivers consider the marvels of life. “Where does thunder come from?” asked a three year old during a rain storm. “Why do earthquakes happen?” asked a four year as she observed a chair moving in her preschool classroom. These and similar questions provide opportunities for discussing the laws of nature, teaching a child how to and where to find answers using the library, internet search engine or visiting with local experts.