The best way for
children to understand how things work is to ask a lot of questions. But how
many, on average, do they expect us to answer on any given day?
According to a recent poll conducted by London-based toy company Chad Valley—which produces Tots Town, a range of developmental
play sets aimed at 18-month-olds to 3-year-olds—the answer is 73.
poll asked 1,500 mothers and fathers in the U.K. to list the
most challenging questions their kids have ever asked.
These were the
1. Why do people
2. Where did I
3. What is God?
4. How was I
5. What does “we
can’t afford it” mean?
6. Is Father
7. Why do I have
to go to school?
8. When you die,
who will I live with?
9. Why is the
10. Why can’t I
stay up as late as you?
surprisingly, many parents polled confessed to Googling answers when they weren’t able
to formulate a convincing explanation of their own.
those located right here in the U.S.—start probing Mom and Dad the second they
learn to talk, but at what age does this line of questioning go from adorable
to overwhelming? Researchers connected to the poll tend
to think that a child’s inquisitive nature doesn't "peak" until
children are 4 years old (when a child’s hours of operation are from about 6 a.m.
On average, moms
answer roughly 413 questions a week, while dads handle the rest. The result:
Four out of 10 parents admit to feeling drained and hopeless. As an added
bonus (and a warning to all newbies), half of those polled said their child
showed increased curiosity whenever they overheard an adult conversation.
Another 46 percent attributed their child’s third-degree behavior to “other
children” or their imagination.
Even so, most parents
were proud of their child for showing an interest in the world, as were the executives
at Argos, where Chad Valley toys are sold.
With the aid of child
psychologist Dr. Sam Wass, representatives from Chad Valley Tots Town created a series of videos that illustrate kids' most challenging questions.
grow up, it’s natural to be curious about the world around them,” says Dr. Wass.
“As parents, it’s easy to forget just how much of our children’s knowledge
comes from what we tell them. But it can be tough to address the trickier topics—such as money and bedtime."
educational and visual aids such as toys can help to soften the difficulty of
broaching trickier subjects," he adds. "Expressing complex thoughts and ideas through
familiar items can often help children’s understanding.”
Earlier this summer, Tufts made headlines by asking applicants to consider, in the form of an admissions essay, what #YOLO (that's "You Only Live Once") meant to them. While this question received more publicity than most weird essay topics, it's by no means the only example. Schools—particularly the University of Chicago—have been asking would-be students to ponder bizarre topics for years. Click through for the most baffling questions...