How to handle an overly inquisitive or nosey child

Here are some tips on how to handle a nosey child, and how to know if your child is just being curious. Read on.

My 5-year-old is as naturally inquisitive and nosey child, as most children her age are. My day is filled answering hundreds of questions thrown my way.

Questions like: ‘Why do the planets go round the sun?’, ‘What is pollen?’, ‘Why do I have allergies?’ ‘Why did the traffic light just turn red?’ and ‘Where was I on your wedding day?’

nosey child

How do you react to your inquisitive child’s million questions? Being patient and trying to answer them is a good start!

Those were just a few of the questions I answered while driving her to school this morning! Knowing that kids learn so much through being curious about the world around them and asking questions, I try to be patient and answer all her questions.

I’m sure many of you have kids who ask questions non-stop too. When our kids are little we can’t wait till they start talking and when they start talking we are filled with pride!

However, with the talking soon comes the questioning, which was no doubt cute at first!

Why do children ask so many questions?

nosey child

Children are naturally curious about the world around them.

Children are naturally curious. They want to know how the world works and why. Young kids learn in three ways – through exploration, observation and of course questioning a trusted person.

And that trusted person is you. They trust their parents completely and think their parents know everything.

That’s why it’s best for you to understand the difference between being nosey and being curious.

So how do you know if you have a nosey child, or if she is just being inquisitive?

Experts say inquisitive kids are intelligent, fast learners and extroverts. Therefore, the best thing to do is be patient and answer as many of their questions as possible.

Rest assured the questioning reduces as they grow older and think they already know everything!

The difference between an inquisitive child and a nosey child

Apart from the general questions, some kids ask questions like ‘Who just called you and what did they say?’, ‘Where are you and daddy going, why am I not coming?’, ‘What are you talking about, is it about me?’

nosey child

Do you catch your curious little one tuning into your conversations all the time?

I am quite familiar with these questions too. This pushes the boundary of being inquisitive well into the ‘nosey’ area.

Why do some kids tend to be nosey?

Just like kids being curious about the world around them, some kids are overly anxious and need to constantly be reassured that everything is OK.

When they question who called you and why they called, your child could be worried that whoever called gave bad news and that news might change their life.

nosey child

Sometimes a nosey child could just be anxious. Try your best to reassure her that everything will be alright.

When they ask you why you are going out without them — even if a responsible and trusted adult is watching them — separation anxiety could come into play or they could be concerned about their wellbeing. So assure them that they will be alright, and that you will be back soon.

However, nosiness shouldn’t go unnoticed either.

If not addressed when kids are young, their nosiness could worsen as they grow up and could be the source of annoying habits such as eavesdropping from behind doors, snooping around on your computer, and even listening into phone conversations.

nosey child

If you have a nosey child, don’t ignore the things they ask and do. Their habits can escalate to even snooping around behind doors to eavesdrop.

Tips for handling an overly inquisitive or nosey child

However frazzled you get by their questions, don’t ask your nosey child to shut up. This will add to her anxiety and make her feel insecure, or even afraid to approach you with questions she is supposed to ask you.

  • If your little one is nosey because she is anxious about everything in general, reassure her that everything will be OK but make sure to follow the next few tips as well.
  • Don’t ignore nosiness. Point out when your child is being nosey and explain that there are some things that are not about her.
  • Set boundaries. For example, children need to be quiet when others are talking and excuse themselves if they need to speak; they need to knock before entering your room, especially if the door is closed; etc.
  • Tell them that your phone calls are private and assure them that if there is something they should know, you will tell them.
  • Finally, agree on age appropriate ‘repercussions’ for when they have broken the rules.

Now, parents, we’d like to know — if you have a nosey child, how do you handle him/her. Please let us know by leaving a comment below.  

Also read: How to help your inquisitive preschooler prepare for primary school

Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Singapore