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Old 07-16-2017, 12:29 PM   #1
MrsHutch
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Default Teach kids to stop asking questions?

Will y'all help me flesh out this idea I had this morning?

Where to start...

So I don't really enjoy being around my kids. I am an extrovert, but having kids makes me feel like an introvert because I just want them to go away all the time. I'm reading Hands-Free Mama right now, and for as much as I deeply desire to implement her methods, I keep wondering how she tolerates so much "connection time" with her kids because honestly I'd go nuts.

In the course of a convo with a friend, I've realized that my girls are so exhausting to be around because all they do is constantly ask me questions and my brain can't deal with the never-ending task of answering them. We don't have conversations, we just have pepper mama with questions time. Random questions. Obvious questions that they either already know the answer to or could easily figure out the answer with a tiny bit of effort. Hypothetical questions. Questions I couldn't possibly know the answer to. Questions about what we're going to eat.

I know kids need to ask questions to learn, and I guess asking lots of questions is better than never asking questions, but for the love GIVE ME A BREAK.

My oldest is a hopeless extrovert and just wants to be near me and talk to me, but doesn't really know how to do that other than ask tons of questions.

My younger daughter wants to know ALL THE THINGS. Not in a curious-about-the-world kind of way, but in a want-to-have-all-possible-information kind of way. It's hard to explain. She wants to know what we're having for dinner. What did daddy eat for lunch today? What time is Daddy coming home from work? What time did I wake up this morning? Part of it is that she always needs to know what's going on because she can't just trust me to take care of things (she was 6mo old when removed from her bio parents, so I really think this is more personality than a result of previous trauma, but could also be trauma-related I guess), and part of it is that she just likes to know everything.

I talked to them about it a bit this morning, but I think my approach wasn't great.

Rather than merely forcing myself to endure their presence (and then inevitably getting tired of the questions and telling them to go away), I'd like to teach them to be better conversationalists so that they are actually enjoyable people to be around. I expect that will be easier with my oldest since she actually wants to make conversation. I don't know what to do with the younger one.

Does anybody have any tips, ideas, etc?
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Old 07-16-2017, 12:40 PM   #2
Mother of Sons
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Default Re: Teach kids to stop asking questions?

Mostly it's the age I think. It gets better later. You can turn it around and ask them questions about what they are asking about. Guide them towards finding the answers themselves rather than just answering.
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Old 07-16-2017, 01:03 PM   #3
MegMarch
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Default Re: Teach kids to stop asking questions?

I have a 6 yr old. I tell her sometimes that I need no more questions for awhile. She worries she will forget her question so she "puts on her remember mind" which is just a routine where she pats legs then head.

I also help her call or text grandparents. She doesn't ask them much but it meets some of the same needs.
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Old 07-16-2017, 01:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Teach kids to stop asking questions?

Agree with MoS.

Many of my standard replies:

I don't know, what do YOU think?
You should ask daddy about his lunch when he gets home.
We can look that up when we get home. Will you remind me, please?
Great question! You can look that up during your computer time.

I've also realized in my own parenting that I *want* to be fully on and available for them at all times, but I just can't do it. So I also will answer with:

Honey, I love talking to you but mommy's head is tired right now. Will you ask me later?
Mommy needs a quiet time. Let's hold our questions until XXX o clock.
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Old 07-16-2017, 01:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: Teach kids to stop asking questions?

I think it has to be an in-the-moment "no more questions for now" kind of thing. I definitely do that and agree that being peppered with questions is extremely annoying. But like you said, they do need to ask questions to learn. So I answer about as many as I can take and then tell them no more questions and ask them to tell me something instead. Or sometimes I'll just say no more "why" questions if that is what is bugging me particularly and I feel I can tolerate other questions.
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Old 07-16-2017, 01:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: Teach kids to stop asking questions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsHutch View Post
....Rather than merely forcing myself to endure their presence (and then inevitably getting tired of the questions and telling them to go away), I'd like to teach them to be better conversationalists so that they are actually enjoyable people to be around. I expect that will be easier with my oldest since she actually wants to make conversation. I don't know what to do with the younger one.

Does anybody have any tips, ideas, etc?
I think you got some good ideas in the pp - ask their opinion, what they think, look things up together, etc.

I don't even know what the goal of being 'a better convesatoinalist so they are actually enjoyable people to be around' looks like in little kids.

I also think that the constant NEED to connect with you circles back to you 'merely forcing myself to endure their presence'....ouch. Kids pick up on these things and it scares them. I imagine it might scare your girls more than most. They want to know you and they want to know 'stuff' so they feel more able and secure. When mine were obviously NEEDY, usually there was a reason they couldn't articulate. You have a lot going on in your world right now....I imagine it might be unsettling for them.
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Old 07-16-2017, 03:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: Teach kids to stop asking questions?

This is the hardest part of this stage (9, 7, 5) my 9 year old annoys me the most because it is SUPER obvious things like "what are we having for lunch?" as she watches me pull the tuna and bread from the fridge.

Part of it is is her temperment, she needs to know every detail and she likes to be *told*, like it validates the experience for her to hear some one else say it.

Either way I am really working on my patience and trying to turn it back on them and have them do some critical thinking. I am also trying to be sure I tell them that I need some quiet time in my head BEFORE I am ready to snap from the 15th question in a 5 minute span (and it's always when I am just trying to complete a task before the toddler takes some thing apart or starts shrieking for me to hold him).

It is a lot.
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Old 07-16-2017, 07:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: Teach kids to stop asking questions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ValiantJoy07 View Post
This is the hardest part of this stage (9, 7, 5) my 9 year old annoys me the most because it is SUPER obvious things like "what are we having for lunch?" as she watches me pull the tuna and bread from the fridge.

Part of it is is her temperment, she needs to know every detail and she likes to be *told*, like it validates the experience for her to hear some one else say it.

Either way I am really working on my patience and trying to turn it back on them and have them do some critical thinking. I am also trying to be sure I tell them that I need some quiet time in my head BEFORE I am ready to snap from the 15th question in a 5 minute span (and it's always when I am just trying to complete a task before the toddler takes some thing apart or starts shrieking for me to hold him).

It is a lot.
This is kind of my approach. I try to differentiate between questions that are just filling silence or are not wanting to think on their own and questions that they really feel the need answers to. So I do my best to address things they need to know before the questions start. Like one kid feels better knowing a rough schedule for the day/week, so I do a quick overview every morning. For the little boring questions, I have no problem asking for a break or saying "look at what I'm doing right now. Save your questions for when I look like I have time to answer them." When I can answer them, I (depending on where everyone is because you can't do this all the time) try to get them to find the answer themselves.
I do want to say, your language in this post is kind of harsh. I've been there, so no judgement, but you may want to look at your emotional/mental needs that may be unmet so you don't feel so personally attacked by the questions. It does sound like there is something going on there that is causing stress and maybe anger for you and uncertainty and neediness for them.
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Old 07-16-2017, 07:19 PM   #9
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Default Re: Teach kids to stop asking questions?

I find myself referring them to the menu plan when they want to know that is to eat. Or asking them to look at my hands before they ask a question because the answer can often be found there. If it's practical stuff, they know what our routine looks like and can repeat it. For your kiddos, I might consider posting a general schedule if you follow one daily. So you don't have to think about it, just point them to the wall.

I also encourage mine to figure out how to answer their own questions if it's about random things that they can look up in a book or wherever. I feel for you. Our families are made up of pretty much the same ages plus an extra 1 year old.
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:03 AM   #10
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Default Re: Teach kids to stop asking questions?

Thanks for all of the comments. I'm not saying that where I'm at right now is a good place, I'm saying I'm trying to do something to change it.

I know there are other things going on too, and I'm also addressing them. I (unhealthily) deal with stress by closing in on myself and pushing others away, and the last 6 months have been very stressful with our move and DH traveling a lot.

I'm also realizing that I'm not as much of an introvert as I thought (I've for a long time thought I was 50/50 I/E), I'm just a relationally starved extrovert. Taking a new favorite quote from a recent thread there, we were made to connect deeply with people whose butts we haven't wiped, and I'm still working on that. Though it's 500% more possible here in our new home and church than it was in our previous one, so the prognosis looks good for that.

Thanks to those of you who acknowledged that the questions are normal and hard for you as well. I like a lot of your tips and will be using them.

I still think for my oldest that she really doesn't know it, but what she wants is to learn conversation skills. She just wants to talk with me but doesn't know how to do that except 20 questions style. I've been looking for a kids' book about it to try to help her (she loves to read and loves books like that), but haven't found anything perfect yet. If you know of anything, I'd love recommendations. I know that I need to initiate conversations with them as well, to model good conversation skills, to connect with her, and to head off the 20 questions. I'm getting there and trying, I really am.
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:50 AM   #11
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Default Re: Teach kids to stop asking questions?

My oldest is like VJ's (asks questions she knows the answer to and it helps her feel better? or something?). We got this book from American Girl, and it is great! I wish I had had this book as a kid. I don't remember what ages it is recommended for, but I would think most or all of it is ok for a 9 year old.
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:30 AM   #12
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Default Re: Teach kids to stop asking questions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdhfly View Post
My oldest is like VJ's (asks questions she knows the answer to and it helps her feel better? or something?). We got this book from American Girl, and it is great! I wish I had had this book as a kid. I don't remember what ages it is recommended for, but I would think most or all of it is ok for a 9 year old.
Thank you! I'm pretty sure we have that one. Maybe I could casually suggest a re-read.
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Old 07-17-2017, 11:29 AM   #13
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Default Re: Teach kids to stop asking questions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsHutch View Post
Thank you! I'm pretty sure we have that one. Maybe I could casually suggest a re-read.
My Dd really got a lot out of this one: https://www.amazon.com/Feelings-Book...elings+journal

Maybe it would help in your Dd's in self awareness of the feelings she's having that are behind the questioning that is so frustrating for you.
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Old 07-17-2017, 11:30 AM   #14
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Default Re: Teach kids to stop asking questions?

Is there anything you can ask her back to redirect the conversation to her answering instead of asking? Like, "What do you think we're having for lunch?" Yep, that's right, it's tuna sandwiches and apples.

Sometimes when I'm feeling overwhelmed by the peppering of questions, I default to saying, "I don't know," which I usually then correct to, "I do know, but I'm thinking about which ingredients to get out for dinner, and you're asking so fast the words aren't really sinking into my brain for me to answer you. I will try to listen better in a minute, but first I need to get this." And then sometimes that little break of almost automatic speech is enough that I can actually answer or narrate what I'm doing, or sometimes I really do need a moment of quiet. My kids are quite a bit older, but it seems to have finally sunk in that when mommy says "I don't know" in that tone of voice, it means to stop asking for a few minutes.
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Old 07-17-2017, 11:33 AM   #15
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Default Re: Teach kids to stop asking questions?

Another idea... Do you connect through reading together? One fun activity with my Dd(8.5) is to read her Highlights magazine together because it has funny stories and activities that facilitate connection and conversation but it's guided by the magazine and not all on her or my shoulders.
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