Stumped by Kiddie Queries?
âMama, where do babies come from?â There is absolutely nothing harder than answering a curious kid, 24Ă7. For those of us still answering questions in exams, it is a revelation. For those of us raising kids, it is a fact. A kid being fed an overdose of satellite TV is bound to stump you with questions that both embarrass and infuriate.
First-time parents dote on their young one like she is the only child in the world. Waiting for her to start sitting, eager to see her stand and walk and even more impatient to hear her utter her first few words. From the first ma-mas and da-das to the incessant banter about everything under the sun, they soon realise it is going to punctuate their everyday life.
While they enjoy most of it, there is a growing uneasiness about what question might crop up next. They range from the mildly inappropriate and embarrassing (âWhy does Rekha Aunty belch so loudly,â in front of Rekha Aunty!) to the downright difficult (âWhere do babies come fromâ). Be prepared for a volley of queries that will test your patience as well as your skill.
The natural answers that come to our mind are â âstop bothering meâ, âdonât ask stupid questionsâ or âsay sorry to Rekha auntyâ. Refer to any book regarding bringing up kids and it will tell you not to stifle the natural urge of children to enquire about things by snubbing their queries. Answer them incorrectly, for lack of time or hesitation to explain, and they may form wrong ideas in their tender minds. So, however tough the issue at hand, make time to listen to your child and answer her truthfully and give enough detail for her age. This will ensure that they develop faith in you and not resort to taking their friendsâ opinions as facts. Lying to them, because you are embarrassed to reply truthfully, will get them nowhere. No one said parenting was a joyride; it is a job entailing huge responsibility, speckled with difficult decisions and one that delivers untold bliss, if rightly done.
A friend once recounted how, as a child, she drove her geography teacher crazy. The teacher explained in great detail the formation of rocks, mountains and water bodies. But she insisted that it was improbable, for just last week they had been decorating their Moral Science (now, value education) notebooks, writing and describing how God had created Earth and everything in it, all on his own! The poor teacher stuttered and stammered about that being another subject and that in her exam, this is what they had to write for marks. It was the English teacher, also the Class In-charge, who explained that it was God who set things in motion; and under his watchful eyes, all natural formations came into being, according to laws of Geography, also laid down by him. The Geography teacher must have sighed with relief.
Forward to todayâs age of satellites beaming hundreds of channels all day long, with content being screened only superficially. The kids have unlimited access to sex, violence and information that was unheard of before the revolution. To top it, there is the internet that enables smart kids to search for anything on their unsuspecting parentsâ mobiles. Apart from the queries about the bees and birds, they ask questions that leave us wide eyed and tongue-tied. But remember, you are in charge and it is your duty to satiate their curiosity. Here is a rough guide to answering the questions your little one can flummox you with â
Where do babies come from?
The most common and yet, the most difficult! Depending on the kidâs age you can tell him that when two people love each other, babies are made. For bigger kids, a to-the-point explanation of male and female organs of reproduction coming together to form babies should suffice. Refrain from telling them things like getting babies from temples and other places. Not only will they find out in due course of time, but from unreliable sources and put your credibility in question and approaching you with problems.
What is Sex?
In todayâs liberated world, be prepared for point blank questions like this. Donât assume they know anything, for their information is bound to be from peers who are equally impressionable. Younger kids can be told that it is when two people who love each other and express it through hugs, kisses and other ways. For the elder ones, a brief outline about people loving each other involving their sexual organs for making babies and enjoyment is adequate. Of course, youâll need to tell them there is right time for everything, and they must not experiment for the love of their life.
Why do people die? What happens after death?
It is mostly brought up when a pet or a family member passes away. The best way to deal with this kind of query is to answer it with a literal explanation of what the body goes through, before bringing in the religious aspect. Tell them that the organs shut down and the person can no longer use his senses and ceases to live. Comfort him by telling him that the spirit lives on forever, turns to a star or whatever your religion says about the last journey.
Why is he/she so dark/fat/blind?
You could say, people from different parts of the world look different. That is how nature or God intended them to be. Maybe, they have a medical condition that made them fat or blind. Also, stress the importance of not pointing out disabilities or physical attributes in public, for it is considered rude to do so.
How much more time before we reach?
The most annoying oneâŚ the question that could turn the best of trips into a nightmare! The longer the travel time, the worse it gets. Tell them a correct estimate of the time it is going to reach the destination. More importantly, remember to carry portable board games or playing cards whenever you travel. This question stems not from curiosity but from being bored. Should you forget to carry games, make up impromptu games involving billboards, vehicles or animals and see how time flies.
Why canât I have a Facebook account?
The same reason you canât have a motorcycle; itâs not the right age for you, yet. If Ramâs mother thinks it is alright for him to have one, it is her decision to make. Everyone doesnât have the same privileges or responsibilities. Be firm. Kids like to push their limits and test their parents. They need to know that some decisions like sweet treats may be flexible, while others are not.
Were you naughty while growing up?
Thatâs a tricky one! Tell them you were very naughty, and they think you can no longer correct them. Neither is there any merit in painting a holier-than-thou picture that they find hard to believe. Tell them you did mess up once in a while, so that they know you too were not infallible and they donât shy away from turning to you for help the next time they find themselves in a fix.
Let the questions intimidate you no more. Are you ready?
| Previous Post|
Hi, I'm A Pink. And You?
| Next Post|
Top 10 Learning and Educational Apps for iPad