Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Well, that's a horse of a different color!

"Wha doin', Mommy?"
"Wha doin', Mommy?"
"Wha doin', Mommy?"
"Wha doin', Mommy?"

"Wha doin', Mommy?"
"Wha doin', Mommy?"
"Wha doin', Mommy?"
I don't know about YOU, but in MY world, this "conversation" (and others in a similar pattern) make up a VERY large portion of my daily words. Sometimes it's just the one time, truly trying to get an answer to the question. Sometimes it goes more like this:
"Wha doin', Mommy?"
"I'm fixing your milk, honey."
"Wha doin', Mommy?"
"I'm fixing your milk, honey."
"Wha doin', Mommy?"
"Same thing I was doing half a second ago, Tucker, Okay?"
"Otay. Wha doin', Mommy?"
Even when it's said in the sweetest little baby voice that can melt my heart at any given second, this routine can get OLD.
That is until I read an article the other day about repetitive questioning and why toddlers do it.
It gave three reasons. One is language development - that your child is still trying to master the words in your answer, so she wants to hear them over and over again. Another is concept understanding - that your child doesn't quite understand what you're saying so she wants to hear it repeated to try and better grasp your meaning.
But the third reason...
Well, THAT'S a horse of a different color!
The third reason toddlers ask repetitive questions, according to this article, is for reassurance. Basically, repetition means constance, dependability, assurance, and security to a toddler. They ask the same question and want the same answer over and over because that helps them know that SOME things in this ever-changing world (like you, your love, and the safety you provide) are constant.
So what she's really saying is,
"Do you still love me, Mommy?"
"Are you still there?"
"Am I still safe?"
"Are you still protecting me?"
"Nothing's going to hurt me, right?"
"You're not going to forget me, are you?"
"You won't stop loving me, right?"
That's a toddler of a different color, for sure.
Love & Shipoopies,


Zipidee said...

Wa doin Mommie?

Mrs. Kay Tippett said...

That is amazing, Leslie! We all learn by repetition. Why should little ones be any different? By the way, she's beautiful!
Kay T.

Mandapooh said...