Tough Questions Kids Ask
Tough Kids Questions
Top 9 Questions Kids Ask that Addle Parents
Wrong Answer: “You Want To Know WHAT!”
At eight-years-old, we were asked #7 by our niece. Our mythical answer to her question felt ridiculous, but it was in front of her four cousins, so she felt safe and we, on the other hand, felt terrified, embarrassed, and completely uncomfortable – not to mention ‘Stunned and Surprised!’
We answered her question, “That’s a mommy and daddy question, but they come from mommies and daddies who pick up their babies from the stork.”
“AHA!” we both said, and quickly changed the subject to camp sing-along activities. We were feeling stupid with our answer.
¹Top 9 kids Questions That Addle Parents:
- 1. Is God real?
- 2. What happens to us when we die?
- 3. What makes thunder?
- 4. What is infinity?
- 5. Why is the sky blue?
- 6. Why do you blink?
- 7. Where do babies come from?
- 8. How big is the world?
- 9. How do birds fly?
According to ²website data there is no really ‘right’ answer to the tough questions kids ask. Often, they are trying to make sense out of their own world, but they may also be confused and hide their real questions by asking other, ‘related,’ questions. You can help them respond competently and confidently.
To answer kids effectively, consider their age, whether they truly need or want to know, and if they will understand your answer, or whether they are just trying to, ‘get your goat.’ (For instance, talk to your tweens and teenagers about having unprotected sex if they start asking questions).
Your message will be received much faster and better if you are comfortable with those particular conversations. Your nervousness projects and your body language and answers show it. Reduce your own nervousness and you’ll help kids understand that it’s okay to ask you all the questions they want and need to instead of their not asking any questions, because of your unease with answering. Admit your discomfort right up front, so kids don’t think they are asking, ‘bad’ questions.
Information and elaboration are two different things with kids. They may want to know why people die, but really don’t need Grandpa’s medical record or history to explain it. Better answer if they ask you about dying is to say, “We all die, but not for a very long time.” At that point you can use that opportunity to talk about healthy lifestyles and how that can help people live longer lives. Also help them understand what a normal life expectancy is for older adults.
If kids are asking you about drugs, whether you took drugs (or not), and what effects drugs have on people – be honest. Don’t lie if you smoked weed in high school. Admit your own behavior, not excusing them (or yourself – at the same time). Emphasize the effects of choosing to participate in drugs. Ask them to do some research with you, if you truly do not know the answer. Don’t make it a homework assignment. Short, direct, and honest information is important in your answering kids questions. Encourage their confidence in making good choices.
Divorce – Big, Huge fear for kids, and their questions are more about the unknown of, “What is going to happen to me,” than anything. Unless you are absolutely 100% positive, and you have begun the divorce process, then be quiet about getting a divorce. If there is no way to avoid the question, then to begin, parrot something they already know – for instance, “Yes, dad and mom have been fighting lately, and we know that’s hard on you, . . . “
Answer each of their questions in ways that give them enough information to help them understand and ease their conscience. But too much information about your divorce-Not necessary. They don’t need your personal details (and they don’t honestly WANT that). Exercise neutrality when talking about your partner – Bad mouthing only forces kids to defend that person, or worse, falsely believe they are the cause of your divorce.
For Those Other Questions –
- Be grateful they asked, and tell them so . . . .”Thanks, it means a lot to me that you asked . . .”
- Tell them it’s normal, “for their age,” to want to know the answer to . . . .
- Look up the answer together if you do not know.
- Find out what they are really asking by asking questions back, so that you are answering the question they are truly asking you.
- Don’t be afraid to tell kids that a question is personal and you don’t want to answer. To help them understand, compare it to something they would only tell someone else as a strict confidence, or privacy in the bathroom.
Article Source Credits:
1 – Better Homes and Gardens magazine, July 2005
2 – The Telegraph, Sunday 01, March 2015