If am to be honest, the most difficult thing for me at the moment regarding raising my two children is staying patient. They are 3 & 4, and they are both in the ‘why’ phase. Anyone who has, or has had a child who asks ‘Why?’ at least 300 times a day will understand. One is hard enough, but with two it is just exhausting, frustrating and sometimes confusing when their question just doesn’t make sense.
I have to remind myself that they are little sponges at the moment. So much of what we see and do is totally new to them. I like to make the effort to take them places a little different, somewhere new and interesting, and of course this results in a lot of questions. So it’s self-inflicted really. If you have a child (or two) that is constantly testing your patience, and not necessarily through bad behaviour, here are our tips to being tolerant to their constant demands.
Work out your triggers.
Are there certain times of day that you really can’t tolerate the questions and constant chatter? Maybe a slight change in routine could help. A quick play out in the yard while you have a cup of tea, or a walk down the street where they can occupy themselves on bikes or scooters.
Be silly and play with them
My mum used to say ‘ask a silly question, get a silly answer’. Responding with something unexpected might change the topic and lighten the mood. You will probably get a good reaction out of them, and change the tone of the conversation.
Let them know how you feel
This is subjective, and needs to be age appropriate for your child. My children have learnt that sometimes I need some peace and quiet, and know that this means to leave me alone for a few minutes. This gives me a chance to regroup and recover, and also distracts them into perhaps starting a new activity that doesn’t involve me.
Remember that it’s how children learn.
It might be frustrating now, but nurturing their interests and helping them learn is great for them in the long run. In my case, my son is fascinated with space, and I am not interested in the topic in the slightest and often struggle to answer his questions. We are keeping an eye out for an age appropriate book, and my husband is keen to answer any questions on the topic as they arise.
Remind yourself that this stage won’t be forever. Your child asks a lot of questions because they respect you and believe that you know the answers to everything. From what I have heard of the teenage years, we should be making the most of initiated conversation and all this affection while it lasts!