Kids really do say the darndest things. It’s nearly impossible to anticipate what a child will say, and as parents, it can either be a real joy or a pretty embarrassing experience when our children rattle off questions that are tough, especially if they are in public settings. So what should one do when asked one of these really tough questions?
Well ignoring our favorite little humans isn’t an option, so parents have to put on our big boy and girl pants and figure out the best creative way possible to respond appropriately. There are hundreds of parenting books dedicated to helping parents tackle these tough questions, but to save some time we've narrowed down the most intriguing, tough-to answer questions right here.
10 Mom, Where Do Babies Come From?
The not-so dreaded question about the birds and the bees is inevitable. Popular culture has depicted hundreds of children asking this question through film and television series. The ways parents respond to the question though depends on the parent.
One of the best ways to respond is to be transparent, honest and to show interest in your little one's question. Sure it may make you squirm a little to hear that question, especially if they are young. But if your little one isn't satisfied with your answer, more questions will follow, says NPR's Life Kit.
9 Mom, Is Santa Real?
Any philosophical question, be it about church, a higher power or good ol' Santa Claus can be really tough to answer. The best way to make sure your child gets the answer he or she needs is to turn the question around and ask what he or she thinks as to get to the bottom of why he or she is asking the question in the first place.
This method allows parents to get to the root question without the fear of losing their little one's innocence or making some unwanted enemies at school.
8 Mom, Why Do I Have to Go To School?
This is a difficult one. There are the obvious reasons, education, the government will fine you, social interaction with peers, but none of these factors really matter to kids, unfortunately. And if your little one isn’t really an early riser the 8 am school bell may be something that inspires nightmares.
The best way to answer this tough question? School is a fun place to discover things you would not anywhere else. Have you wondered how the sun stays in the sky during the day but disappears at night? You can learn things like that in school.
7 Mom, Why Don’t I have A Sister or Brother?
If you are raising your child as an only child or just haven’t gotten around to having baby number 2 quite yet, this can be a tough question to explain to your little one. Emotional readiness, financial stability, and career could all be determining factors as to why your little one doesn’t have any siblings.
Again, these aren’t concepts that are so easy to explain to a child. Instead, consider discussing the aspect of sharing. Well, ‘insert child’s name here’ If you had a sister or brother you would have to share all of your toys and mommies love all the time.
6 Will You Die? Will I Die?
Fact: where there is a beginning there is an end. Though no one knows what happens after the end there is a lot of speculation and that is something you as a parent can explore with your little one should you be faced with a tough question like this.
Blue Horizon suggests being comforting and offering reassurance with a question like this. No child wants to hear that they may one day have to live without mom or dad. But with the right spin, like, "no one knows when that will happen baby, but hopefully not for a very very long time." Can be comforting enough to let your little one finish her cookie without bursting into tears.
5 Why Do People Do Bad Things?
One day your child may ask you about all the bad that happens in the world. Whether he or she is watching the news with you, or whether he or she saw an act of violence or something just out of the ordinary.
"Mommy, why do people do bad things?" Is one of those questions that can really touch us as parents, and it is okay to say you don't know. Bright Horizons, a family research center, says it is exactly these kinds of questions that help build trust between you and your little one. They suggest being transparent and honest.
4 What Does (Expletive) Mean And Why Can’t I say It?
The cursing stage is one that almost every parent dreads. No one wants to be waiting in line at the grocery store only to hear their little one shout a profanity. But kids will be kids, so if the question arises, and kids ask what a profane word means or why he or she isn't allowed to say it, it's best to keep your answer short and simple.
Consider limiting your reaction as well, the less of a shock factor you provide when your kid says a bad word the less power the word will have and the less likely your little one will be compelled to repeat it.
3 Why Do Things Cost Money?
Growing up in a capitalist society is bound to make your little one raise his or her eyebrows a few times when he or she sees things she wants and begins to understand that some things have value or that certain things may be slightly out of reach for mom or dad's budget.
A question about what money is or why things cost money can be a head-scratcher, even for parents, so it is best to take your time and respond with patience and availability. The NPR podcast, Life Kit, suggests giving your kids the facts, but at a pace they can manage, also listen to what he or she may really be asking.
2 Why Do I Have To Go To Bed?
This is one of those questions only parents of particularly determined children get asked. "Well, you have to go to bed because you need more rest than I do because your brain is still developing and all the magic happens while you are asleep," could be a decent answer.
In this case, it's important to remain firm and explain that sleeping is for your little ones own well being. It may not hurt to throw in how much you wish you could go to sleep at that hour too but you have important mom things to take care of so that the next day things will run smoothly.
1 Mommy, Why Is That Man Laying On The Street?
Much like "why do people do bad things or why do bad things happen?" your little one may eventually see sadness in the world. When he or she brings it to your attention it is best to meet his or her questions with compassion and understanding.
But also try to be as succinct as possible because questions surrounding world hunger could be discussed for hours. If you and your child see someone less fortunate it is important to be truthful you may not know why for your family you have a roof over your head but for that man, he does not. And that is okay.