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Little Busybodies

Kayla Lett, 5, of Traverse City, MI, likes to know everything. "After every phone call I get, she asks, 'Who was that and what did they want and what did they tell you?'" says her mom, Jennifer.

Why does your child need to be in on every little thing these days? He's curious about how other people do things, and the more info he can stockpile, the more in control he feels. Being in the know  -- even about goings-on that don't really affect him, like when the roofing company is coming by  -- boosts his growing independence, says Susan Newman, author of Little Things Long Remembered: Making Your Children Feel Special Every Day. There's an attention-getting aspect to grilling you, too; the more he asks, the more time you'll spend focused on him.

The onslaught of questions might feel overwhelming, but answer the ones you can. And a simple response might be all he needs: "It was your Aunt Karen on the phone. She wanted to talk about work." You can also try turning the questions around: "I was talking to Colin's mom about soccer practice. What do you think about driving over together?"

If your child is overly persistent, tell him to save up his questions and you'll answer them at bedtime. (Chances are, he'll only have one or two left by then, and they'll be the big ones, like "Does Grandma's party mean I have to miss art class?")

If the matter just isn't his business, tell him so: "It's a mom thing."
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