When Real Questions Replace the Automatic ‘Why?’

by Patrice on October 31, 2011 · 0 comments

in (5-9 years)

Single moms know that once their child reaches school age they tend to start to grow up quickly. Along with the pride mom feels that her child is finally maturing, she has to remember that his thought process and even sense of humor are maturing, also. It’s hard to do when the result seem to be that the child is less likely to follow directions without question and more likely to have a quick comeback that at times may seem like he’s talking back at you.

If you ask your child to do something and the response is a question, it could mean one of three things.

  • The child doesn’t understand the request
  • The child is stalling for time, hoping you’ll give in and tell him you’ll do it yourself
  • The child is trying to be amusing


If your child suddenly has a lot of questions about a task that he has been performing regularly for months, your first thought will probably be that he is seeking to avoid the chore. But, the possibility exists that he has discovered a different way of doing the job and wants to go over it with you. Take the time to discuss it with him. If he wants to tell you that last time he visited his friend, he found a new way to make the bed, let him explain it and decide if this is something that will work for your family. Perhaps he has seen something on the TV and thinks that the task doesn’t really have to be done. Again, let him know that you take his ideas seriously and explain why you have decided why you will stick with the regular routine.


The child is growing up and understands that when he asks a question you’ll answer it. He’s probably been successful, at least once, buy seeing you become so distracted by the number of questions that you’ve completely forgotten the instruction you gave him in the first place.

Mom, you have a clever child. Once you know that he understands your request, don’t let him get away with trying to distract you. The more often he gets away with it, the more often he’ll use the tactic and the chance that it will end in frustration on both sides escalates.


As the child becomes more social he is learning about the thought processes of others. A sense of humor is also developing in the child. Your child may admire the dry wit exhibited by an older sibling of one of his friends and try to mimic the behavior. Depending of the maturity level, this may come across as being annoying or even rude.

Have a talk with your child and make sure he understands that not everyone can recognize a joke. As he gets older he has to realize that things that strike him as being funny don’t always affect others in the same way. Explain that jokes should never cause hurt feelings or embarrassment to others, and that if a well meaning joke is taken the wrong way, it’s his job to make apologies.

About Patrice

Patrice Campbell is a freelance writer working from the Denver area. Campbell started her writing career in the 1980’s, working for several Wisconsin local papers as a news, human interest and features writer, as well as a photographer.

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