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Kids ask questions. Lots of them and sometimes (if not MOST of the time) they will get stuck on the same question and ask it repeatedly.

Can we go to Target?

Is there going to be a tornado?

Do I have to go to soccer?

Can I have another piece of candy?

How long until we leave? 

After you’ve answered the question once, kids know what you’re going to say. That’s if you don’t change your mind because you’ve become tired of saying “no” and surrender to your child’s wishes.

KIDS ASK REPETITIVE QUESTIONS FOR TWO REASONS:

1) To get a different answer

2) To get some mental relief

The first reason is simple: They want you to change your mind and give them what they want.

The second reason is not so simple: By asking the question, they get some mental relief. For many kids the same questions run through their minds repeatedly and they are unaware that they’ve already asked the same question 12 times.

If this sounds like your child, try the 5 Question Rule.

The 5 Question Rule is quite simply being willing to answer the same question 5 times and then saying, “I have already answered that question.”

It looks like this:

Daughter: What time are we leaving for dance class?

Mom: You’ve already asked that question 3 times. I will only answer that question 2 more times. We are leaving at 4:30.

This gives your child the mental relief she needs while also giving her the freedom to choose when she is going to ask the two remaining questions. By saying “you’ve already asked that question 3 times,” you are helping your child become more aware of her behavior. By being willing to answer it two more times, you are helping her get the mental relief she needs. Kids need to learn to self-soothe, and by setting boundaries you are helping them deal with the uncomfortable feelings that go along with not always getting what they want.

For more information about how to handle kids’ questions, discover Why Smart Kids Worry.

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