“I don’t know.”
When every question you ask your child is met with a nonchalant answer such as “I don’t know,” you know that something is wrong. It can even be infuriating at times, especially when you know that it is code for something that you cannot decipher yet.
In this article, we will cover everything you need to know when situations like this arise.
Children often resort to saying “I don’t know” when they are unable to express their feelings or do not know what they are feeling. Here are three times children are likely to say that they do not know.
The process of ‘Question-answer’ is a part of every parent-child relationship. Hearing “I don’t know” repeatedly can be difficult. Here are a few ways to respond when your child does not know how to answer the question you just asked.
Younger children are more likely to respond to close-ended questions that require yes and no answers rather than open-ended questions. This line of questioning is likely to work when you are trying to figure out what is on their mind.
Younger children are more likely to express their opinions when they are given options to choose from. It increases the chances of them engaging with the questions.
If the child is embarrassed or afraid to answer the question, you could ask them to use their imagination to answer questions. You can ask them to answer hypothetically. It will give you more information than the standard “I don’t know.”
We have now covered the probable reasons behind “I don’t know” and different questions you could ask to understand what is going on in the child’s mind. However, it is important to also help children work through “I don’t know” so that they can be critical thinkers and consequently, better learners.
Here are some questions children could ask instead of “I don’t know” as per the book 7 Steps to a Language-rich, Interactive Foreign Language Classroom by Seilitz Education, LLC.
Download the printable poster below for your child’s room to ensure that they remember this. Ask your child to colour the poster by using their favourite colours to add a personal touch.
These are some ways to help your child navigate the “I don’t know” situation and become a more confident communicator in the process.
What are some of the techniques you use to deal with your child saying that they don’t know? Let us know in the comments below.
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