Kids!! You can never know what’s going to come out of their mouths next! Being so adorably innocent, they tend to say exactly what they see or feel and they question anything and everything they don’t understand. The result can be hilarious but embarrassing as well!
While every kid is different, we find that there are some common difficult questions that many kids ask. This is probably because kids ask them based on what they see happening around them and the way the world runs is pretty similar everywhere. Here we list 10 of the most common difficult questions asked by young kids that can stump the most articulate among us!
10 Tough Questions Kids Ask
And How To Answer Them
1. How does the baby come in Mommy’s tummy?
Ah, the top question on our list! Most kids see their own Moms or other relatives walk around with a big tummy for a while before having a baby in their arms. This begs the logical question – how did the baby get there in the first place? This is a question that can be asked as early as three years of age, so the answer would have to be age appropriate too. As far as possible, stick to true facts; and give out details on a need to know basis.
2. What is that blue thing they’re pouring on the diaper?
You can’t watch TV without watching at least one ad for a sanitary napkin, and kids are bound to be puzzled. Most kids know that babies pee and poop all the while and need diapers, but there are no babies in these ads featuring mysterious blue liquids! A short answer about this being something for big girls and ladies will suffice at a young age and you can move on to more detail as they grow older. Try to avoid making it sound like an illness though!
3. What happens when someone dies?
This question actually has a lot of readymade answers that have been going on for generations. He turns into a star in the sky; he’s now an angel and watching us; he’s in Heaven; he’s with God etc. For a deep question like this, there are hardly any right or wrong answers, although you’ll have your own opinions based on your religious or spiritual beliefs. You may share them with your child in the most simple way possible, although he might not really understand. Don’t worry too much about it; just ensure he isn’t overly terrified. Such questions usually arise when someone dear dies, so your child is probably looking for some kind of closure.
4. Why are people of different colors?
With world news broadcast on our channels these days, your child is sure to notice that not all people look alike; some have slanted eyes, while some have darker skin. A long discourse on human races and genetics may go over their heads, so you can say simply that it’s just the way it is; people look different, even if they belong to the same country. Rather than explaining the difference, you can use this opportunity to focus on the similarities between humans, how our very basic needs and emotions remain the same the world over.
5. Why are people calling that aunty ‘hot’?
Okay, we agree this one can stump anyone! When we were young, it was more about being cool, but today’s youngsters seem to have reversed temperatures! With words like ‘sexy’ and ‘hot’ being thrown around freely these days, kids might hear it from some place or the other. You might want to explain that it’s just a way some people describe others who look a certain way, but it’s better to use other words like, ‘nice’, ‘pretty’ or ‘good’. Saying someone is ‘hot’ has a clear sexual undertone to it, so try to avoid saying it yourself, at least in front of your children.
6. Where is God?
Ooh, super tricky question! The easy but unsatisfactory answer – everywhere! Kids prefer solid, concrete answers, so you might have to go into a little more detail. Does He live in a temple or mosque? Is he in heaven in the sky? Your religious beliefs will obviously come into play here, but try to keep the answer as neutral as possible for a young child. Most kids find the thought of a protective God who always watches over them comforting, so you might want to start with that.
7. Why is that girl on the street asking for money?
This question might be arising out of a mix of sheer curiosity and concern for the child who’s begging, so be sensitive with your answer. You can be completely honest – say that her parents don’t have any money for a home or food, so they have to ask people on the street. Having said that, you don’t want to encourage the begging mafia, so tell your child that there are laws in India about every child being in school and that she isn’t supposed to be doing this. It would be a wonderful lesson for your child if you could actively take some action to help such children in your locality.
8. Why does Ramu kaka eat in the kitchen and not with us?
This actually does vary from family to family and explaining a centuries old class divide will get you nowhere with your 5 year old! In some families, the maids eat with the women folk, while the men eat separately and in some everyone eats together, community style. In most Indian nuclear families, however, the house help is busy serving or turning up fresh rotis as the family eats, and settles down for her own meal later, after the flurry of the family’s dinner. You can explain it truthfully, however it is done in your household, at the same time stressing how hard they’re working to get fresh food on your plate. It is a lovely practice to get the children to compliment the help whenever a dish has turned out really good.
9. You’re okay, then why did you tell that uncle that you’re sick?
Oops, gotcha! We teach our kids to never lie or steal and then they catch us lying to our boss on the phone! They have every right to be confused! The best answer here is to simply not do it – bite the bullet and tell your boss the truth! As they grow older, they’ll realize that societal norms dictate some level of white lying and that you can’t always be brutally honest, a la Dr. Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory.
10. What is love?
Love is….. !!! Kids hear ‘I love you’s all over the place, and the varying contexts might puzzle them. You can explain that there are different kinds of love, and all of them are special in their own ways. You can also say that love isn’t exactly quantifiable and that different people show love in different ways. That’s an important life lesson that kids need to remember as they grow into teenagers too, because that’s when they’re going to see lots of tough love!
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list, and you’ll probably face many more googlies from your young ones as they grow. Saying you don’t know is a safe answer that’ll buy you some time to come up with a more suitable one and that is perfectly okay. No one has all the answers and you’re not a failure if you can’t come up with ones that are 100% safe and politically correct. Don’t worry if you stumble and fall, just dust yourself and get up again!