Question: What can I do when my child asks questions over and over (and over) again?
While parents don’t want to squelch curiosity and persistence, your frustration will no doubt slip through and that will lead to some angry feelings.
In my experience, kids ask as many questions as their parents will allow. In other words, if you open the door they will keep asking… even if they don’t need answers. There are many reasons for this. Certainly, some of it is because they’re curious about the world, but often, they’re simply seeking attention. They’re bored. It’s a habit they fall back on. Sometimes it’s worse around siblings or when you’re trying to talk to a spouse because they fear the loss of attention.
It’s helpful to explain to kids that children and adults are different. “Adult talking” is different from “kid talking.” Kids like to ask lots of questions and adults like breaks and quiet time. Tell them, “this is adult time… and we’re not going to ask questions right now…” It’s also good to explain that adults don’t always have answers. You can set up a rule that asking the same question more than once (if there’s no answer to offer) won’t be tolerated. Trust me, even if you’re tough on them about this it won’t squelch their curiosity one bit.
This may be a great time to work on interrupting, which all kids do. If they have a question, ask them to hold onto it for a few seconds and count to three or five or ten before asking.
Finally, if persistent questions are about trying to get what they want (and not about learning something new) that’s a different type issue. Be tough. Ignore those. Tell them that type of asking is inappropriate. They have to learn how to hold back their thoughts and desires sometimes in order to to fit into groups and get along with friends and peers.