Important life questions always seemed to come up in the car – when I couldn’t get away or avoid answering. How do we answer the tough questions our kids throw at us at the most inopportune time?
We should be honest and answer only as much as they need to know at their level of maturity and understanding. Sometimes as adults we make the subject too broad and give more information than they are really asking. Give a simple, concise answer and see if that satisfies their curiosity. If they want to know more on the subject we can give more, simple details and offer to get a book on their level to study the subject together.
We shouldn’t act embarrassed or weird when the questions come as this causes children to feel shame for asking. Children need to see us model honesty and observe us explain that if we don’t know something, we’ll find the answer for them. Good parenting doesn’t include being a know-it-all, but it should include investing the time to really hear our children and respond honestly and appropriately.
If you are concerned the level of tough questions your child is asking seem inappropriate for their age, I encourage you to choose entertainment and friends wisely. Any input into their lives should be carefully monitored when they are young (and beyond). Protect them from being inundated with information beyond their ability to process and understand.
In regards the “where do babies come from” question, I suggest the following excellent resources:
The Wonderful Way Babies Are Made
By Larry Christenson
Description: Teach your children about families, babies, and sexual intimacy from a joyful Christian perspective! Updated with soft watercolor illustrations and a section affirming adoption, Pastor Christenson’s thoughtful classic helps you convey a positive, biblical overview of sexuality using read-aloud rhyming text (for ages 3 to 8) and in-depth informational sidebars (age-appropriate for ages 9 and up). 48 pages, hardcover from Bethany.
A Child is Born
By Lennart Nilsson
Description: In this latest edition of a classic originally published almost 40 years ago, photographer Nilsson and obstetrician Hamberger explore the miracle of birth, from attraction between a man and a woman to fertilization, pregnancy, labor and delivery; they also discuss infertility and developments in IVF and other treatments. Over 350 new photographs have been added to the fourth edition, including in utero pictures captured with endoscopy and three-dimensional ultrasound technology. Nilsson zooms in on sperm racing towards the egg, the brand-new zygote, the embryo clinging to the lining of the uterus, a tadpole-like fetus and the remarkably developed ear of a 18-week old fetus, among other moments in the process of human reproduction. With Hamberger’s updated text on guidance for new parents, progress in fertility treatments, genetics and pregnancy health, the volume should continue to be a vivid reference for the whole family.
Happy question answering…you can do it!