Why Are You So Annoying, Why?

One of the more well documented annoyances of being a parent is dealing with the cursed “whys”. Some experts say that between the ages of 2-4, children are most likely to grill their parents into submission. From my experience, it’s more like 2-infinity. At times it is extremely cute, but after a while it becomes insanely annoying.

Why this?
Why that?
Why do this?
Why do that?
Why not this?
Why not that?

It’s enough to drive a dad to baldness, and to drive a mother to the cuckoo’s nest. Well, that’s how I used to feel, and then I had an eye-opening experience. One of my kids started bawling and I knew my boy was the culprit. I started to go into “Auto-Dad” mode. I began my investigation with, “Why do you have to tease? Why did you do that? Why can’t you just get along?”

Whenever my kids do something I dislike, I tend to ask a “why” question. Why do I do it? I have no idea, because we all know the answers kids give to “why” questions – there are only two responses. One is the shoulder shrug, the other is “I dunno?”. Before I even ask the question, I tell myself not to ask it because I know one of those two responses are going to get me even more hot around the collar.

The truth is, I already know all the answers to my questions. I know why kids tease, I know why they get in each others’ faces. I know why they shake their bums, why they pick their noses, why they smirk at me when I’m trying to reprimand them. I know why they spill their milk, why they throw their food, and why they lick their sisters.


That’s the difference between a parent’s “why” question and a child’s “why”. Children don’t know the answer to their questions. Theirs are sincere. Why does a butterfly fly? Why does your breath smell? Why do doggies poo? Why do you have dots on your face? Why, why, why? As annoying as it can be, they are experiencing it all for the first time, as I explain here. They are trying to fill their little brains up with knowledge and discover the world.

So next time your kid asks a “why” question and it starts to make you twitch, realize that your “why” questions as a parent are the truly annoying ones.




  • Katie says:

    Except when you say, “Go brush your teeth” or, “stop doing that” or “buckle up.”……and their answer is, “why?” I combat those kinds of why’s with a “say, yes mom”. I don’t answer those why’s until they are actively following my direction…..and my mantra is, “follow directions, then ask questions”.

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