Odds are your kid
is eventually going to ask you all 10 of these uncomfortable questions. So you might want
to start working on your answers now.
I'm not here to tell you the
answers. I just want you to know that the questions are coming, so you don't get caught like a deer in headlights by these stumpers.
1. Will I die someday? (Or a common variation, "Mommy, will you die someday?" )
For your child, this is a question of wanting to feel
secure. As tempting as it may be to tell your child that you'll be together
forever, try to find a way you can be honest while at the same time making your
child feel secure.
2. Who do you love more, my sister or me? (Or, do
you love Daddy more than you love me?)
The obvious answer to this question is, "No of course I don't love anyone more than anyone else!" But you may need to have a more thorough
explanation ready to back that answer up. The question will most likely come at
a time your child is feeling "less-than" another family member (maybe because a new baby
is taking up more than their share of the attention, or maybe because your child has
been misbehaving a lot recently).
3. Where do babies come from? (Or "Where do I come from?")
Before you get too panicky, take a moment to consider
that this question may or may not even be about sex. Especially for younger kids, the sex talk
comes in gradual stages, starting with more vague curiosity. Saying something
like, "You grew in mommy's tummy" might
buy you a whole year before the next round of questions.
4. How much money do you have? (Or "Are we poor?")
Kids asking this question are most likely
thinking of one particular item they want, so simply answering "We have enough money"
or "No we are not poor" is probably going to be followed by a request for a
pony and a go-kart. Be ready for this
question with a simple explanation of limits and budgets, or else be ready to
buy a pony and a go-kart.
Whatever you do, don't laugh if your kid drops an f-bomb at the dinner table, no matter how shockingly funny it might seem.
5. What if you and daddy fall out of love? (Or "Why
did you fall out of love with my dad and what if it happens again?")
It's a scary thought for children to think about losing
their family unit, and it's made especially real by seeing it happen to their
friends or knowing that you were in a relationship that ended before this one.
You can't deny that it sometimes happens, but you can assure them that your
family is strong, and if your kids see an occasional argument that's just
something that healthy couples that love each other sometimes do.
6. Who is God? (Or "Is God real?")
Though parents mostly think about
spirituality as grown-up stuff, kids start forming ideas about God and how the
world works from the time they 're toddlers. No matter what you and your family
believe in, be ready to talk about it in simple terms that hit the main points of
7. Why do people do
bad things? (Or, "Why are there wars?")
Eventually, whether it's on the evening news or in a history
book, your child will learn that the human race is capable of doing some pretty awful
things to each other. This is an especially tough
question to answer. It's okay to tell your child that you don't know.
8. What does "f@c#" mean, and why can't I say it? (Or, just
yelling "F#@-ing @$$!" )
Whatever you do, don't laugh if your kid drops an f-bomb at
the dinner table, no matter how shockingly funny it might seem. That just gives
the swear word a feeling of power, which makes it pretty irresistible not to repeat. Less reaction
is more when it comes to talking about which "rough" words are off limits in your family.
9. Did you ever do drugs? (Or "Did you ever drink before you
To any kid past toddler age, honesty is pretty much
required here if you want your kids to trust you in the long term. So start
thinking now how you can be honest about your past without sounding like you're
endorsing the poor choices you may have made.
10. Why do women have
to wear shirts when it's hot out and men don't? (Or "Why do only women shave
This question might feel like an invitation to talk about
gender inequality and insist there are no such rules in your house, and it
totally can be that if you want it to. But for your kid, this is probably not
so much a question of if they, as individuals, are allowed to go shirtless or
shave their legs. It's more a question of why society expects different things
from men and women, or maybe they're even wondering about why boys and girls
are built differently physically. Try to
feel out which inequalities your child is really wondering about before you
answer so that you can tackle one issue at a time.