Answer the Question
It’s a typical day, you’re going through the motions of your daily routine when, out of left field, your kid asks a question that stops you in your tracks. One of those complicated, real-world questions that you weren’t ready for just yet. One of those hard topics that makes you cuss your husband because he’s conveniently never around when it’s asked. We’ve all been there. It’s like the universe is making you put all your parenting skills on the line in that single moment. But let me tell you, as hard as it is, every time it happens I force myself to take a deep breath, use the tiny moment I have to gather my thoughts, and answer the question. Because in our house, we talk about the hard stuff.
Let Them Know They Can Come To You With Hard Topics
We talk about it all. My oldest daughter is six years old and thus far we’ve discussed body parts and how they work (periods have been the biggest shocker, can you blame her?), death, divorce, religion, gun violence, and most importantly – consent and boundaries. Of course, I only answer in a way that is age-appropriate and most times I keep the details to a minimum, but I answer their question. Always.
Why? It’s not that I want to, because these topics are tough even for adults. Honestly, I’d rather crawl in a hole and tell them to go ask their father. But I want my kids to know that they can come to me with anything this world throws at them and I will do my best to help them understand it. Do I always get it right? Absolutely not. Sometimes I wonder if I ever do. But the important thing is I’m letting them know they can trust me and we are opening up that line of communication so the conversation can continue as I have more time to perfect my approach on the topic and as they grow and are able to process more sensitive information.
My Support Is Limitless
So many adults avoid difficult questions and hard topics from children because they want to protect them, or frankly, it just makes them uncomfortable. Do I worry about my children losing their innocence with each new question? Of course, I do. I want my babies to stay little forever. But the reality is they will grow up and I don’t want this world to eat them alive. When they start to take notice of their surroundings and the world, I want them to ask about it without shame or embarrassment. I want to encourage their curiosity and share in their wonders. And as our kids get bigger, so will their problems. So I say, bring on the hard questions and all the discomfort because, when the going gets tough, I want my kids to know my support for them is limitless.