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What Kind of Questions Do Children Under 5 Ask And How to Answer Them

Around the age of four, girls and boys alike seem to catch the curiosity bug, showering their parents with questions day and night. “As children grow up it's natural to be curious about the world around them,” said child psychologist Sam Wass, who was interviewed for the Independent piece.

The questions that children ask may seem to be a daily occurrence, but if you release how important each of these seemingly simple questions can be for both children and parents, you will definitely look at them with a deeper perspective.


The Importance of a Child’s Questions

Preschool questions can play an important role in the cognitive development of children. When there is an uncompleted concept or topic in a child's mind, it leads him to ask questions. Asking questions allows children to obtain the information they need so that they can bring their knowledge structures closer to adult-like states. The ability to ask questions to gather needed information is an efficient mechanism for cognitive development, so this is a very essential issue for parents to learn about.

By asking questions, creative thinking, and critical thinking are activated and strengthened in children. However, parents should be aware that sometimes children ask questions just to get attention and show their need to communicate.



a 4-year old boy asking questions from his dad who is showing information in a book. Image generated by Dall-E


Types of Questions a Five-Year-Old Child Asks

Parents should be prepared for the questions that their child may ask at a certain age. Topics raised in school or conversations between parents and peers are among the factors that arouse a child's curiosity. Children under five usually ask general questions and the purpose of asking questions is just to communicate.


“Why?”

When children reach a certain age, they start to be more curious and ask questions. According to a 2017 Independent UK article, children ask about 73 questions per day. From the age of five, children often ask about new and more complex things and seek to find answers to many /whys/ that have formed in their minds. They are inquisitive by nature and interested in their environment. It is typical for them to ask how or why things work or happen.


Sexual Questions

Children ask questions about the difference between boys and girls before the age of five, but from the age of five, they seek to know how they were born and how they were placed in the mother's womb. They ask questions about sexual issues.


God

Sometimes children start asking about how God created everything, how big he is, or even why we can’t see him. They ask you about where he lives and many other philosophical questions about his existence.


Death

Children are not familiar with the real concept of death until they are five years old, and they think that death means that someone has slept for a long time or has gone on a trip, but at this age, questions about death gradually enter their minds. They may also ask you about What happens when we die?

One important thing to know is a child’s cognitive development, the culture of the family, and the child's living environment affect the questions they ask.


4 Tips for Answering a Child's Questions

As we said, kids’ nature is to be curious. So, they are very likely to ask a lot of questions. Some questions may be related to what they are currently doing while others may come out of nowhere. But you should be trying to make sense when you answer these questions.

Many parents today cannot answer their children's scientific questions or even some easy, common ones. Studies show that only one-third of parents find accurate answers to their children's questions, and unfortunately, the rest either lie or end things by giving an irrelevant answer.

1. Try not to give misleading information to your children

At a young age, children memorize everything carefully, and your wrong answers may remain in their memory for a long time. On the other hand, after they find the right answer, they may consider you a liar and even lose their trust in you forever. Your answers should be clear, sufficient, and suitable for the cognitive age of the child.


2. Ask the child to answer the question(s)

If your child asks a question that for any reason you were not able to give a real and correct answer to, you can ask your child the exact same question and say “What do you think?” Asking this question can also help parents to know how much the child knows about the subject he asks about and notice the child's cognitive development, this also encourages them to think and be confident.


3. Finding the answers together

Experts believe that the best thing for parents is to work together with their children to find the right answer. In this way, not only the relationship between parents and children improves but also this can be like a game for the child and encourages children to learn more.


4. Admit it when you don’t know the answer

Of course, there are questions that even an adult can’t answer. It’s okay to mention that you don’t know the answer. It teaches them that being honest about not knowing is acceptable. But it is perfectly acceptable to say that you will look into it and get back to the child.


Children asking questions is a very important and vital issue for their cognitive development. At the same time, the way you answer their questions will help you create a close relationship with them and give you a chance to know your child properly.


FAQs


Why do children ask a lot of questions?

When they ask why it means they're curious and want to explore it further by talking about it with you. Granted, preschoolers don't have the vocabulary necessary to initiate a full-on dialogue, nor the language comprehension to understand a lengthy answer.


Do smart kids ask a lot of questions?

Gifted kids are often curious about the world around them and may ask detailed questions to satisfy their thirst for knowledge. This curiosity goes beyond simple interest in a topic and can extend to aspects that are seemingly outside of the scope of a lesson.


Is it normal for kids to ask questions?

Kids ask a lot of questions. Some studies show 4-year-olds ask as many as 200 to 300 questions a day. Warren Berger, the author of A More Beautiful Question, says kids ask an average of 40,000 questions between the ages of 2 and 5.


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