Put a Stop to Answering the Same Question Over and Over (and Over) Again

ParentingAll Ages8 Comments

Why? Why? Why?… Why?

Experience that in your house? Repeated questions, over and over… and over again?

How to stop the same question from being asked over and over (and over) again

Ha. Okay. I won’t be the one with the repetitive questions. Its probably your kids.

There’s the ‘why’ stage that we’re currently in. (Which I think I’m pretty good at answering… for now.) But, I’m sure the nagging repetitive questions will be coming soon in full force.

At times, Henry does ask the same questions over and over. Right now, luckily, it usually only takes a matter of fact answer to get him to stop. If I waver though, he digs in and asks until he gets what he wants. If its ‘just the way it is’ then the questions usually end.

Henry’s only three now though.

How to stop the same question from being asked over and over (and over) again

It looks like from the question below from Holly, that this isn’t going to just stop here and now. I’ll have to take action on this before the questions get out of hand!

How do I limit my children from asking the same questions over and over? With my 10 y/o, he will ask to get together with his friends in the morning and then ask about 10 more times during the day whether it will happen in different phrasing even if I say that “today we can’t make those arrangements”. Then he starts asking for the following day or week, etc. Even when we SEE his friends on the way home he is asking to get back together with them. — asked by Holly

This week’s advice and helpful tips come from all four experts:

Answer from parenting expert, Erin from The Intentional Parent:

My five year old does this  (it sure is tiring, huh?).

First of all, think of the positive aspects: he is excited and exuberant about getting together with his friends. I know that with my son, he gets so excited about doing something that he forgets that he has already asked the question, sometimes he’ll even ask it several times in a row.What I have found helpful, is to encourage him to slow down a little bit, stop and think before he asks a question. If I find him asking the same question several times, I’ll stop answering the question, and respond instead, I’ve already given you the answer, and ask him to tell me the answer.

He just gets so excited about doing something, his mind goes so fast, he sometimes needs help slowing down. I think that quiet time, or quiet activities without the TV on is helpful for kids like this to help them slow down a little.

— Erin, The Intentional Parent

Answer from lifestyle expert, Sarah from Füdoo Boards:

I am thinking that you live outside of town, where your child needs a car ride in order to visit friends. This can be difficult for you and him because his reliance on you is cutting into his growing need to be independent. Here are a couple thoughts for you.

  • Set a regular, weekly playdate so he can know that playing time isn’t ‘up in the air’ but a set time. Don’t call it a playdate, because that is sooo uncool at 10 years old, but set up a time with the friend’s parents and stick to it. Put it on a calendar that he can keep track of.
  • Find an afterschool activity that your son will enjoy.  Having a scheduled extracurricular activity will keep him from getting bored at home and might help to maximize the time he spends with friends from school.

Hopefully the questioning from your son about playing with friends will start to diminish.

When the same question from your son starts to drive you crazy, let him know you are keeping track of the number of times he asks.  State when the ‘playdate’ is and let him know he has asked once. Then let him know he has asked twice on #2. Also warn him if he asks a third time he will have to go to his room and then remove yourself from the situation.

Whatever you do – don’t play along.

— Sarah, Fudoo Boards

How to stop the same question from being asked over and over (and over) again

More Unwanted Behaviors:

  • Adult Differences: What do you do when other people try and manage your child’s behaviors… even though their expectations for your child (and other children) are not developmentally appropriate? Or you have a different opinion regarding what the behavior should be in the particular situation?
  • Gender Awareness: What do you do when a child in your class seems to be a little too aware of private parts & boy/girl relationships?
  • Acting Out:
    • My 2 yr old, otherwise well behaved, has started to change. She is getting stubborn and demands things to be in a certain way in public or else she raises her voice and if she gets angry she raises her hand on me too.
    • My two young boys want to fight, wrestle, kick, hit, and bite each other all the time. Do you have any suggestions for channeling this energy into a more positive direction?

These experts are very appreciated for giving their advice on hands on : as we grow. Please check out their websites. Thank you experts for your extensive knowledge!

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  1. Laura @Art For Little Hands says

    I think kids go through the why phase as a way to talk with you. They want so much to have a conversation and they don't necessarily have all the vocabulary to get it going so they find asking why really gets you talking to them. I am no expert, but that is my "momma" take on the why phase.

    I think older kids ask things over and over again to see if you will cave in and if you do you are setting yourself up for it to happen again. My kids are very manipulative and have learned that mom gives into whining and asking a thousand times so they do it because it works. Oh, I hate that I give in. I just need the peace. Maybe your child asks this a lot because he or she is bored. I don't know. Maybe he is just a really big people person and can't stand the thought of not being around others for even a minute. Maybe he needs to start earning time to spend with friends. Once he has enough points he gets the time with his friends. Again, I am no expert.

    good luck!

  2. Alex says

    :-D I just wrote about this last week. It seems lately every other thing out of my 3 yro's mouth is "Why?" it can be tiring & often annoying, but I'm trying to remember how new the world is to him & that he just doesn't know WHY (smile) things do & are.

  3. samsstuff says

    Some of us seem to never leave the "why" stage. I can only imagine how annoyed my parents got with constant questions. My brother wasn't nearly as bad, so it kind of balanced out. It's a way of exploring the world & how it works.

  4. Debra says

    I used to have children – who went through the 'why' stage! I remember it well – a word permanently imprinted in my mind……. now, I have a husband, who say's why to almost everything :) They say the older you get, the more you reach out to your childhood …..

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