“Why?” is an overused question.
It is important in that the why needs to be taught. Wisdom is gained as children understand why we do what we do or why we don’t do what others do.
Why is overused when children use it as a power tool to wear down their parents.
The teaching of why is something taught as a part of our teaching, training and guiding of our children, NOT at the demand of our children.
Let me give an example, if a child is told not to run in church, it is not ok for them to ask why. If the child asks “why” it appears they are thinking that if they can come up with a better answer than the parent can then they can run in church.
At the time of a command a child is to obey their parents. Our definition for obedience is doing what you are told when you are told and with a good attitude. The act of asking “why” does not fit into that definition.
The time to answer the why question, because it is good for a child to understand why not to run in church, would be out of the moment. For us, that was during our set aside character training time each day, but it could also be during the ride home from church. At that time, the parent can explain that running causes fear to other people, like those drinking coffee, holding a baby or elderly. We want to be respectful to others so we do not run in church.
Still, a child does not have to agree with the parent or even understand, a child needs to obey because that is how God set it up. As parents, we can trust that understanding will someday come, but do not waver in requiring obedience just because a child disagrees with your reasoning.
I know many parents these days don’t want to stunt their child’s curiosity and want to answer all of their child’s questions of “why”. Note there is a difference between “why” for curiosity and “why” as a challenge to a parent’s authority. A child asking, “Why is the sky blue” is curiosity, but a child asking “why” after being told to do something is a challenge to the authority.
It is important to teach our whys for doing things but we are not required to do so at the demands of our children’s “why”.