It’s Woo’s favourite word these days, his go to response when he doesn’t hear us, doesn’t understand, or just wants to acknowledge that we spoke to him. “What.  What? What!” I hear it more and more each day and have become acutely aware that it is not a passing phase.  Using more appropriate phrases as an example has not been enough, and I’ve been working on actively correcting him, offering alternatives like pardon me, yes, or can you please repeat that, but they haven’t taken hold.

It is not pleasant for me to be constantly reminding him not to  say it.  I get sick of hearing it, so I can only imagine how the rest of the family feels.  I am afraid this will be the language quirk that sticks, because it is the one that bugs me so.  There has got to be a better way to teach him not to do it, I just haven’t figured it out.

I was at a loss for where this was coming from.  Willy doesn’t say it, and I don’t rarely say it, and we both try our best to use polite alternatives to set an example.  I would assume that he senses my displeasure and plays on that, but he does it without thinking and when speaking to others.  Then Woo’s best bud came over for an afternoon on the weekend and it all became clear. He said “what” just the same way, but after everything that was said to him, regardless of whether he heard/understood.  My head exploded.


About lilbunnyrabbitz

Ottawa mom to two crazy little peeps, wife to my favourite geek. More on me later.
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13 Responses to What?

  1. Lara says:

    That whats around here make me insane. K says what before even trying to process what we’ve said. IN! SANE!

  2. neeroc says:

    1 – if it’s a habit don’t feed into it by correction, that can just become another habit. Instead maybe ask him to process – so after he says ‘what’ ask him of he heard or to repeat.

    2 – fight fire with fire. Respond with ‘what what’ or ‘huh’. You might just annoy him out of it.

    3 – never take parenting advice from me.

  3. Alicia says:

    Hmmm what would Mayim do?

  4. Chantal says:

    He’ll grow out of it. Guaranteed. My 9yo and almost 6yo did.

  5. SC says:

    If its any consolation, my 2 y/o is in the ‘huh?’ stage… he says it at least 65 times a day – we call him Goose, because he sounds exactly like a Goose looking for supper ‘huh? huh? huh? huh?’ – the worst part is, he doesn’t stop staying it until he completely understands what you are saying to him… ! I would take ‘What’ at this point for sure!

    I think this post just underlines that no matter what we teach as parents or how hard we try, there is always going to be some ‘friend’ who derails our train before it even leaves the station!

  6. Vicky says:

    Joel does the same thing! So much in fact I was almost thinking about taking him to have his hearing checked. It’s good to read that they’ll grow out of it! I threatened to start calling him ‘Whatwhat’, and he didn’t like that very much!

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