I really don't know whyI don't know if the difference is a male/female one, an employed/at home one, or just a matter of personalities, but some of the most perplexing conversations my husband and I have revolve around the question of why.
"Why is there a green hoodie on the roof?"
"Oh, the boys were fighting and Turbo threw it up there."
"Why is the back door off track?"
"Because some kid opened it wrong." (Or maybe, if I'm feeling both honest and snarky, "Because our back door, like most of our house, is a piece of crap.")
"Why can't they open it properly?"
Honey, I don't know. I really don't know.
I'm not a psychic. I can't read the kids' minds. If I could, don't you think I'd magically know the words to calmly,peacefully, make them recognize my wisdom? Don't you think things would be broken less and few squabbles would erupt?
Now, I recognize that looking into your kids' motivations and Making Them Feel Heard are good, proper, psychologically correct* parts of parenting. I *do* try to listen to my kids about the big things. The truth is, however, that the constant fighting between our sons have put a big dent in my willingness and ability to do that. So has the wall of denial that springs up when I want to know who broke something, who ate my treat, or who made that mess. I stopped asking why, and just started insisting that the fight stop, the mess get cleaned up, and treats get bloody well left alone.
(*not that I care much about head-shrinkery. I have pretty much lost all faith in psychology in the last 7 or so years)
I'm sure that makes me a lesser parent, but not worrying about the why has greatly reduced my stress. I've taken to replying to my husband's "But...why?" with "Why don't you ask (him/her/them?" . Hopefully he'll take the hint one of these days!