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Children: how to behave in the “why?” phase

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Children: how to behave in the “why?” phase

There are phases of growth in which it is not always easy to relate to the little ones. One of the most complex is that of the constant “why?”, in which children spend time asking their parents big questions. The constant questions are often also generated by a need for attention and reassurance, therefore it is of fundamental importance to calibrate the answer well, expressing oneself in simple and direct language.

Not all children experience this phase

Generally speaking, the “why?” phase it occurs between the ages of 2 and 3 and continues up to 7. What if your child is fully within this age range, but he has never asked you for any explanation? Not all children necessarily go through it or do it in the same way. There is no need to worry in any case, you just need to respond appropriately.

Parents: how to behave in the “why?” phase some children

Never pretend you didn’t hear

Never ignore uncomfortable questions. “This attitude risks generating a state of insecurity and accentuating the need for attention,” he says Chiara Bosia, cognitive-behavioral psychotherapist. If when the question is asked there is not enough time to answer, it can be postponed to another time of day. It is important, however, to remember that we must validate every motivation and make the child feel listened to and welcomed an explanation that is as clear and concrete as possible. «Through the “why?” the child creates his own vision of the world and it is therefore essential to help him in this journey.”

Children, “why?” phase: sincerity is needed

No evasive answers or lies. When a question is ignored, the child, not perceiving the presence of the adult figure, will be led to believe that he has to manage alone in moments of difficulty. “Therefore, it is right to face even the most difficult questions with sincerityas the parent’s being evasive would lead the child to think that it’s not worth being curious or listening to. If we were caught off guard, we can explain to the child that his question is very important and that we need time to think about the best answer,” continues Bosia.

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Don’t say “I’ll explain it to you when you’re older”

«Children’s curiosity is clear and without any malice or prejudice, contrary to what happens to us adults who feel discomfort and inadequacy when faced with certain questions”, adds the expert. Postponing the explanation to an indefinite moment in the distant future diminishes the value of the question itself and makes the child perceive their request as wrong. Even in this case, it is better to take some time, discuss with your partner and find an answer in agreement between parents.

Children, “why?” phase: la lie leads to loss of distrust

«Just to give an example: never say “when mum and dad kiss, mum gets pregnant and a baby is born”. Giving misleading answers can contribute to the formation of an unrealistic view of the surrounding world. It can also cause a loss of trust by the child towards the parents, once the truth has been discovered.

It is also important to set limits with dialogue

Children only begin to understand irony around age 6. «For this reason, it is good to use simple and direct words without beating around the bush or using complex language with excessive detail.” Remember: in this period it is the adult who is the only point of reference for the child. This phase must be supported, but it is also It’s right to set limits. The ideal is to establish a dialogue by asking the child why or in his/her opinion what is happening, involving the child in an attempt to respond.

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