3-year-old can't explain himself.

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by soco, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. soco macrumors 68030

    soco

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    #1
    So my girlfriend and I are raising an awesome little tyke. He's 3 (as of November) and for the life of us, we can't wrap our heads around him not being able to explain things. I'm not talking about explaining metaphysics lol But more so something like this:

    Mom: "Jack, why are you sad?"
    Jack: "Because"
    Mom: "...but why? What made you sad?"
    Jack: "Because I am"

    or if he's in trouble...

    Mom: "Jack, why did you hurt Sally at school?"
    Jack: "Because I did"
    Mom: "But why? I want to know why you hurt her."
    Jack: "I don't know. I just did."

    It's just a couple of very basic examples but hopefully you get the idea. We don't get mad, but it's like he either doesn't want to answer the question, "Why?" or doesn't understand how to. Some of her concern is that he can't, possibly some sort of deficiency, but I lean more towards the idea that he just simply doesn't grasp how to explain his feelings and actions yet. Still, I'm not sure how to help develop that.

    Any ideas? Comments?
     
  2. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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    #2
    He's only 3 ... he will come around ... IMO, nothing to worry about.

    in 2 years he will probably have an explanation for everything
     
  3. juanm macrumors 65816

    juanm

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    #3
    Or worse, he'll ask explanations for EVERYTHING! :)
     
  4. renewed macrumors 68040

    renewed

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    #4
    At three years old the ability to describe why past acknowledgement that it happened and what happened is limited. It's normal. Just wait until he knows why he did it but lies about it. ;)
     
  5. Moyank24 macrumors 601

    Moyank24

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    #5
    My kids are going to be 5 in 2 months - and they still have trouble explaining their feelings or reasons behind some of their actions. My daughter is much, much better than my son, though. She has, unfortunately, gained the ability to make excuses for her actions. And if that doesn't work, she'll blame her brother.

    With my son, I often get explanations that don't make any sense....either way, it's perfectly normal. So, no worries!
     
  6. verwon macrumors 68030

    verwon

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  7. 184550 Guest

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    #7
    My parents had similar worries when I was three or four as I rarely spoke. They took me to numerous speech thearapists who all said that I was fine and I would speak when I was ready.

    Just give him time. He'll explain himself when he's ready. :p
     
  8. malman89 macrumors 68000

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    #8
    There's no need to worry.

    It's kind of like the "what in the world?" responses from those 'kids say the darndest things' shows/moments. Of course they do, they're uneducated and just say what comes to mind.
     
  9. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #9
    "Why?" is a pretty complicated question, really. Some people (e.g., politicians) have trouble with it well into adulthood. Perhaps you need to attempt leading questions, in as non-judgmental way as possible. Make your effort to understand as painless as you can for them.

    If you ask a young child questions that they have difficulty with, especially if they feel pressured to produce a meaningful answer, you can start to erode the child's desire to communicate with you. Then, when they get to be 14 or so, you can expect clipped, monosyllabic dialog and standoffishness.
     
  10. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #10
    Dude, you're twenty-something and can't express yourself. Why would a 3 year old be able to? ;)
     
  11. soco thread starter macrumors 68030

    soco

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    #11
    A lot of good responses that make good sense. Thanks all. :) When you think about it, "Why?" is one hell of a question. To us, as adults, it's easy to put two and two together and be able to tell someone, "Well I ate your last ice pop because it was so hot! Sorry." but to a 3-year-old they can't really reason that in their heads with words yet. They knew at the time that it was hot and instinctively knew ice pops are cold, so that must be nice. It's a further leap to put all of that instinct and sub-concious train-of-thought into words for a human being.

    Because. ;):p
     
  12. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #12
    Ah, so it's an acorn/tree thing.

    Now it makes perfect sense.

    :D
     
  13. soco thread starter macrumors 68030

    soco

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    #13
    Hahaha. It's funny, you just reminded me of the millions of times we, as adults, do the same thing. Sometimes there's just no complex explanation to something.

    "Why are these my shoes?"

    "...uh... because?"
     
  14. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #14
    Your kid's just learning from an early age how to be a dick. I think it's admirable that he's showing such initiative; I wish I hadn't started so late in life.
     
  15. Moyank24 macrumors 601

    Moyank24

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    #15
    Ha!

    I remember the first time I used the words, "Because I said so!"....I felt so dirty afterwards. (But it totally works - who knows how long, but I'm using it while I can).
     
  16. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #16
    Why is this in PRSI?

    Anyhow, my first born could never express or explain himself as a toddler, now at 18 he can talk the spots off a leopard (legal career ahead, methinks...).
     
  17. mikeyredk macrumors 65816

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    #17
    How about asking him how it made him feel before and after the incident? what was he doing? Remember not to go negative. Also I also am curious why this is in PRSI.

    Were you expecting comments like "Spank it out of him; go get woody!".
     
  18. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #18
    Child rearing is a social issue? Or maybe whether parents should threaten their kids with the wrath of god? Or the wrath of Boehner?
     
  19. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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  20. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #20
    I don't think he's being dishonest, he's just not able to yet rationalise his previous behaviour.

    We often do things without thinking, and when we explain ourselves often this is just a rationalisation, our best explanation and this is takes a while to learn.

    I have pretty vivid memories of that age and remember not having any idea why I did things and not really understanding why I was being asked "why" I had done them. It'll come with time.
     
  21. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #21
    The reasons are very simple he's a boy:D
    Us males have never been very good at explaining how we feel:eek:

    My daughters told me to write that.;)
     
  22. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #22
    Search me. I can't explain it.
     
  23. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #23
    Kids (and many adults) are impulsive; they do things in the moment, often without thinking about what they're doing, or about to do.

    A kid does something stupid - maybe he jabbed his fork into the top of the dining room table. He did it because at that particular moment, it seemed like the thing to do. You say, "Why did you do that?" and he's going to say, "I don't know."

    The reality is that, when you question him about it, he DOES know he's not supposed to do it, and he DOES know he was wrong, and he DOES understand why he's in trouble - but you can pester him until the cows come home as to why he did it, and he's going to continue to say, "I don't know" - because he really doesn't know why he did it.

    It's easy to chalk the kid's behavior up to his being 3 years old and having a limited vocabulary but trust me, they don't grow out of this. My kid is 7 and is still doing it, and probably will for many years.
     
  24. soco thread starter macrumors 68030

    soco

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    #24
    I humbly apologize for bringing social issues into PRSI. :rolleyes:
     
  25. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

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    #25
    Developmentally normal.
    You want abstract thought at 3??? :eek:
    You need to read some basic child developmental psychology books.
     

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