How to Respond to Awkward Questions From Your Kidhttps://mythrivecollective.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/pexels-photo-4473774.jpeg16001067Dr. TerryDr. Terryhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/f246e1e2a880d1fa66aa616d7aec1fc4?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Kids say the darndest things! How to respond to awkward questions from your kid? They are inquisitive by nature and are wired to be curious about the world around them. Sometimes they ask the cutest and most interesting things. Other times, their questions are awkward, embarrassing, or come at the worst possible time.
Where do babies come from?
Is that a man or a woman?
Why does my friend have two daddies?
Is Santa real?
Do children die too?
When they ask these kinds of questions, they do so because they want to know more about life. Children come to their parents all the time to clarify the things they don’t really understand. Their brains are trying to figure out how and where to categorize the new information or situation they have encountered. They look up to you whenever they face issues because you are someone they can trust. This is why no matter how difficult and embarrassing their questions may be, you can turn these situations into teachable moments, even if you don’t know the answer yourself.
Keep these tips in mind when scrambling to figure out how to respond to awkward questions from kids.
Stay calm even when your child asks you an embarrassing or awkward question.
Don’t get upset or laugh it off. If you give a strong reaction, your child may get the message that it’s not OK to ask you those kinds of things. He or she might avoid you the next time and would rather ask someone else they feel more comfortable talking with. Worse, they might try to get their answers from an unreliable source. The most important thing is to stay approachable and make your home a safe place where questions may be expressed.
Take time to really listen to your child’s questions, concerns, and thoughts.
If your child is talking, remove any distractions and focus your attention on what they’re saying. This will build your child’s confidence and trust in you for they will feel that you are taking them seriously.
If you’re unsure why the child is asking the question or what kind of information they’re looking for, reword it to see if you’re on the right track.
For example, “I want to make sure I understand. Are you asking about what happens to someone’s body after they die?”
Do not ignore your child’s questions and be willing to answer them.
If you do not know the answer, do not shut it down immediately. Instead, tell your child that you will try your best to find an appropriate solution and promise to get back to them as soon as you do. Being honest with our children helps keep the line of communication open.
Do not scold or criticize your child if he or she asks you a question about someone which may seem insensitive or hurtful to that person.
Remember that children simply don’t have enough information or experience to be tactful or considerate so be gentle in explaining to them why such questions should be kept private. This will also teach them the value of discretion.
Keep answers truthful but short and simple.
Avoid going into lengthy detail regarding the entire subject, especially for children who may be too young for complex answers. You may, however, give them additional information to match what they can process and understand as they grow older.
Adjust your answer to your child’s age and level of understanding and maturity.
Aside from giving your child just the information he asks for, choosing age-appropriate words or vocabulary will help your child better understand your explanation.
Use everyday examples, books, videos, or even funny anecdotes to answer these types of questions.
These will help your child better understand your explanations. And by doing so, your child will feel that his or her questions are worth your attention no matter how awkward or embarrassing they may be.
Be patient with your child.
Children may not recall the whole conversation so they need repetition to test facts. You’ll most likely be asked the same question over and over again so be prepared to repeat your answers many times.
Never forget: It’s OK to tell your child that you just don’t know or you wonder about the same thing yourself.
This is not a sign of weakness or a sign that you’re not equipped to be a parent. Rather, you are modeling for your child how to stay calm even in the face of uncertainty. You can also use it as an opportunity to learn something together. (“Let’s find a book or YouTube clip that explains it to us.”)
We hope that after reading this article, you will have a better idea of how to respond to awkward questions from kids. Remember that communication is key to a healthy parent-child relationship. By being available and approachable to our children, we will have opportunities to offer input into their lives and teach them values and principles.
However, if you still feel uncomfortable having conversations like these with your child, Thrive Collective can help. Reach out to us if you would like support in talking with your child about challenging situations and finding the right skill and strategies to help you better respond to their questions.
Need more parenting tips aside from how to respond to awkward questions from kids? Check out our other blog posts HERE.