Why does my child ask “Why?” all the time?

It can drive a parent crazy to constantly be asked “why” and “what if.” But these questions are a healthy sign of your child’s growing thinking skills. Consider them a window into your child’s developing brain.

Now that he has the language skills to express himself fairly well, he’s using his words as a tool to learn about the world—just like he used his hands and mouth to explore before he could speak.

Some of these questions help him figure out the rules: “Why do I have to put socks on before shoes?” “Why do you wash your hands?” Other questions show that he’s still figuring out how the world works: “Why is there no mail today?” “Why do you have a job?”

Not all his questions are easy to answer, especially when they center around complicated or abstract ideas (“Why is water wet?” “Why is the sky blue?”). But your child is paying close attention to your responses. Even when the question seems silly or obvious, he’s asking because he really wants to know. Hard as it may be at times, try not to lose your patience. Give his “whys” respect and attention. You might even use his questions as a prompt to find answers in a book or on the Internet, which helps instill a love of learning and plants the seeds of researching his own questions someday.


“Caring for Your Baby and Young Child, Birth to Age 5 (5th Ed)” by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

"The Wonder Years: Helping Your Baby and Young Child Successfully Negotiate the Major Developmental Milestones" by the American Academy of Pediatrics.