When my children were in elementary school, I was blessed to have a dear friend whose children were just a stage or two older. She was enormously helpful in preparing me for the next round of ‘opportunities’ (i.e. challenges) that would arise in parenting.
I knew the Holy Spirit was giving me ammunition through her. Because many, many times she would enlighten me about tough questions her kids had asked her, only to have my kids ask the same questions months later. I was able to prepare myself for the inquisitions because of her. Although, we parents many times are flying by the seat of our pants, I think its best, if possible, to have a rough plan.
My friend and I had similar values. I would ponder her answers to the tough questions and add my own personal flair. I can’t tell you how to answers these questions. But, I will advise that you not play down any question your child asks. Make it no big deal, “I’m happy you asked that!”
If it’s a question that makes you uneasy, tell them. Tell them that you want to answer as best you can, but it’s a hard thing for you. This makes you approachable and lets them know you respect their concerns.
If a question seems too private, some experts advise equating it to their needs for privacy, like going to the bathroom. However, in my humble opinion, from raising three sons, the more information you can give the better. Plus, you need to gauge the age of the child. The teen asking about pre-marital sex is probably mulling things over. Your experiences can be their best teachers.
Be sure to give the children adequate attention when these questions start to surface. Sometimes, their true concern is just a little bit deeper than what they are asking. Allow the natural flow of conversation to reveal if there is a question within a question. However, if there isn’t time at the moment of the question to explore it fully, give them a brief answer and tell them that you both will have to talk more about it later. Then, BE SURE that you do bring it up later.
With the advent of internet search engines, the factual questions are no longer as hard to answer (where does electricity or water come from? Why aren’t there any more dinosaurs? for example). When those kind of questions arise, say, ‘Let’s look it up together.’ Then you have the opportunity to engage with your child further.
Here are 20 Tough Questions and 1 statement to ponder your answer and reaction in preparation for one of life’s most wonderful opportunities - raising a child.
1. Why do girls have vaginas and boys have penises?
2. How do babies get in there?
3. How do babies get out?
4. Why does she have a baby if she isn’t married?
5. Where do we go when we die?
6. Why do we believe in God?
7. What if you lose your job and we run out of money?
8. What happens to me if you die?
9. Why do you think you can tell me what to do?
10. I hate you.
11. If you tell us not to lie, why did you just lie to the clerk/nurse/teacher,etc….?
12. Do you really think Jesus is the son of God?
13. Why are there two dad’s and no mom on that tv show?
14. If God is love why does he allow war (or allow people to kill each other)?
15. Janie at school says her parents fight all the time and now they are getting a divorce. You and dad argue, will you ever get a divorce? What would happen to me if you get divorced?
16. What is suicide? What happens to a person's soul who commits suicide?
17. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done, mom/dad?
18. Did you ever get drunk/high when you were a teenager?
19. Did you ever get detention or suspended from school?
20. Did you ever get a driving ticket or arrested for something?
21. Did you ever have sex before you were married?