How do you answer those questions? You know, the ones you don’t want your kids to ask.
I think any parent can relate to the unbelievable amount of questions children can ask. From the never-ending “whys” when they’re toddlers to “when can I get a cell phone” in elementary school. (Really?)
Being a parent is just hard — there is no other way to describe it — especially when you have curious children wanting to know everything, and I mean everything.
Today my 8-year-old son decided to ask about babies — again! When he was 5 and I was pregnant with his younger brother, he asked the same question. At that time, my answers were something like, “A little seed was put in mommy’s stomach, and that seed is going to grow and become a baby. Mommy will nurture it by keeping it warm and feeding it for 9 months, and then the baby will join our family.”
But then Mr. Smarty pants asked, “How did that seed get in mommy’s stomach?” Well…
At times like this, when a child is 5 years old, I think you can still get away with lying. These are white lies of course, to change the subject and get around the details that a little one doesn’t need to know or really even care about.
But nowadays, my son is 8 years old in the third grade. I cannot lie anymore. This is when it gets complicated. At this age, you know your kids have already been exposed to this information. They hear about it on the TV, news, and radio. Even kids of the same age may be talking about it.
So the technique I used this time was to ask my son questions instead of giving him answers. He asked about how his brother was born and how did he get inside my stomach. Thankfully, answering with questions ended up being the best option. I asked him how did he think his brother was born? What had he seen or heard about it? Who talks about it in school?
You want to ask your child these questions to learn exactly how much he or she may know about the subject. It’s a good way to give yourself an idea of their level of knowledge and make it easier to know what information to include in your answers. I also noticed that my son can get annoyed when he’s being asked too many questions, and that’s helpful to avoid answering things he probably does not need to know in full detail at such a young age.
I’d love to hear from other parents. How do you handle some of the difficult questions that can catch us off guard? How do you find a balance to satisfy your child’s curiosity without sharing too much information? If you have a parenting trick or two to share, please reply in the comments section below.
This post was contributed by Marcela Mendez, Au Pair in America staff member and like all loving mothers, a superstar mom.