Why so many reasons? And how to respond?
Why is the sky blue? Why do we live? How are babies made? Through your questions, your child often expresses real issues about the meaning of life! Our specialist, Colette Pericchi, clinical psychologist, helps you to decipher them.
- Your child has the gift of asking questions when you least expect them! These questions often conceal issues that go far beyond their mere appearance. For your child, nothing goes without saying! No wonder he turns to you, his parents, holders in his eyes of a global knowledge about life. Moreover, you do not want to disappoint him!
- It is in particular between 2-4 years and seven years that your child asks these questions disconcerting. However, the “scientific” answers (for example, the fact that the Earth is constantly rotating around the Sun), will only interest him from the primary school age. Meanwhile, for his well-being (and your tranquility!) It is better to know how to decipher the hidden meaning of these questions, especially when they are repeated!
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To the discovery of himself: “Where was I when I was not born? Where will I be when I am dead? “
Some variations: “When I was in your belly, was I already called Ariane? “, Ariane, five years old. “You, too, one day, you will not exist anymore? “Lea, 4 and a half years old. “He has a mother the earthworm?” “Alice, 3 ½ years old.
What it means
- Before six years, the thought of your child is mostly organized around his little person! For example, when he asks, “How do we make babies?” “He needs to know how it was done to him and if he was loved enough to have wanted it … Of course, the question is at first scientific: it is the moment to talk to him about love and of the great little seed!
- This type of request often hides a wider question. “Their origin is the child’s anxiety about his place in the world. He needs to check the strength of his roots, “notes Colette Pericchi. When your child asks about the future of the Earth in the absence of the Sun, he may be worried about his future if his parents (and especially his father, this sun star!) Disappear … What is an anxiety shared by many children!
How to help?
- The children’s books are often a good starting point, especially if you are not very comfortable to discuss with him the issues around sexuality.
- If he can not find himself in a family “lineage,” you will help him by tinkering with a family tree with recent photos. Identifying “who’s who” in the family will help him better understand where he comes from.
In search of landmarks in space and time: “Where does it come from? Is it when tomorrow? “
A few variations: “Soon, how long? “Claire 4 years. “Is it the morning or the afternoon?” “Jonathan, four years old.
What it means
- Very centered on itself, your child conceives the world in his image. For him, the wind, for example, thinks in the same way as he does and possesses the same faculties and reactions as a human being. “When your child seeks to know the origin of natural phenomena or elements of nature, it is also a way of inquiring about himself:” Where do I come from, “Who am I? “, explains Colette Pericchi. It seeks to locate itself in space, but also in time.
- Ask: “Where are you?” “And” Where does it come from? “Also implies that he perceives that there is a” before “and an” after “… He formulates them when he begins to have the notion of time passing. However, all this remains very vague! Patience, it will have to wait until 6-7 years before it is evident to the present, the past and the future! In the meantime, stand ready to answer many questions …
How to help?
- Give him concrete benchmarks about his schedule. For example, rather than telling him, “We will read this book later,” which may lead to the inevitable: “When will it be later? “, You better say to him:” You take your bath, you eat and then you read the book. “
- To announce longer-term projects than the next day, you can use the number of “dodos” as many parents do: “We will go to grandmother’s house in five dodos. “On condition, of course, that he makes the distinction between the siesta and the sleep of the night!
Does he try to understand the world: “Why is it not the same? “
Some variations: “Why am I not a boy? “Lucie 3 and a half years. “Why does Hugo have long hair when he is a boy?” “, Etienne, four years old. “Why the gentleman has brown skin?”, Luna 4 years.
What it means
- “The child is susceptible to what is” the same “or” not the same “very early on. When he is very young, the differences disconcert him and make him afraid, because they are for him the manifestation of the unknown, “says Colette Pericchi.
- From 2 to 3 years of age, he goes through a particularly exciting period: he discovers his body and his differences with others, differences in sex, skin color, length of hair … He follows with great conviction cultural stereotypes to her sex: “turning” skirts for girls, jeans and short hair for boys!
- Your child, who does not yet have a well-formed identity, seeks to identify with those whom he/she is in contact with. For your little conformist, at the age of kindergarten, what is good is to be like the others!
How to help?
He needs to be reassured about his sexual identity. It is important to remind her of the prohibition of incest: “No, you can not marry your dad/mama! He must also integrate that all human beings are different: there are little ones, big ones, with glasses, with dark skin, clear … Besides, if he traveled to Africa, he was the only one the others would see it as different!
How to respond?
… to his scholarly questions. First, try to find out how your child is in his or her way of reasoning about the world. Answer him by returning his question. Once you have clarified what he knows, provide him with a scientific explanation, if necessary using an encyclopedia for children, because his questions are sometimes real glue! Is not your answer enough, at least for the time being? It is possible that she disrupts her ideas in this matter! He may express these doubts right away … or in a few weeks. Besides the scientific explanations, he also needs to know that we listen and love him!
… to his delicate questions. If the issues he poses in public is confusing if you are not available to answer him, if you are embarrassed and afraid of getting entangled in explanations, defer your answer. However, do not leave him in uncertainty!
… to his repeated questions: “Why are you doing this? Why do you do this … “He asks you questions all the time? He is undoubtedly trying to “occupy the ground” with you by capturing your attention, whatever the subject! You have every right to reply kindly: “Because it is like that! “