explain why tomorrow

Parenting: Explain “Why” Tomorrow Instead of Today

explain why tomorrowWhen your child thinks he must know “Why”

I discovered that I can explain why tomorrow just as easily as I can today. One of a child’s best “arguments” when told to do something is to ask “Why?!” The problem is that often he already knows “why”. He just wants to argue or put off what he’s been told to do.

My kids also found questions that just had to be answered when it was time to go to bed. They weaseled out of bedtime by asking question upon question, usually beginning with “Why” or “How”.

Of course, being the reasonable parent that I was, I attempted to explain “Why” or “How” far too many times! I wanted my kids to understand the reason, which – I thought – would make them want to obey. Oh my! With my half-dozen, I should have known better.

Explain “why” (or “how”) tomorrow

Finally, one day I changed my tactic. I realized my kid really knew why (or how) – he just wanted to debate with me to get out of the chore or to stay up longer.

You know what I did?

I started replying, “You do it today, and I’ll explain “why” tomorrow. 

I had to turn my face so my kid wouldn’t notice me grinning – because it was obvious from his expression that he already knew “why”. He also realized, with my answer, that he’d just lost the war.

I discovered that giving the answer tomorrow, when he didn’t have to know “why” today, decreased the friction in our home. My kids were less argumentive. They also complied quicker because there was nothing else to do but obey. I could not be accused of being secretive or not giving an answer if I promised to explain “why” tomorrow. And yes,  if they wanted to know why tomorrow, I gave them the answer.

For an easier today

Granted, there might be times it is reasonable to explain “why before you task a child with a job. Most times, though, you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle if you promise (and follow through) to answer the question tomorrow, instead of today. When a child really wants to know “why”, he is willing to wait. When he only wants to argue, he’ll still need to wait – but you’ll unruffle his feathers, if you don’t answer today.

Save yourself – and your child- some friction and frustration. Just explain “why” or “how” tomorrow, instead of today.


Pinterest Parenting Explain Why Tomorrow Instead of Today

Photo credit: Pixabay.com

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