Answering kids awkward questions has been creating uncomfortable silences and red faces from parents since … let’s say FOREVER.
I am sure it is part of the reason we insist on embarrassing them when they are old enough to finally grow a sense of shame. Kissing them in public, wearing socks and sandals in front of their friends and making lame jokes is all payback for those earlier years.
No doubt most of you can relate to a situation where you have had to use some creativity and censorship in stringing together an acceptable answer for your child.
Here are just a few awkward questions kids might ask. And I hope you are prepared with a response … because, you may just be caught off guard when you least expect it.
What’s a condom? And other awkward questions.
What is a condom?
This opens up a whole other can of worms because if you aren’t careful it will follow with even more awkward questions. And, you may have to explain the whole reproductive system in an afternoon. Can we just pretend a condom is a balloon?
Do you hate Daddy?
This is one question many separated mums can relate to (as well as explaining an absent dad). Even on a day where my ex is being particularly difficult, I smile and tell them ‘no, I don’t hate daddy – if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have you’. Hold. That. Smile.
What happens when we die?
This is something all children think about at some point, especially if they know someone who has passed. If you aren’t religious this question is particularly difficult, because ‘I don’t know’ or ‘nothing’ offers little comfort to a child. This is one question you should be prepared for, because it will come.
Where can we get a baby?
I suppose you could answer this and the condom question in the same sitting for a really interesting discussion. Depending on their age, a watered down version of the truth is probably the easiest option. Telling them ‘Mummy has to grow a baby in her tummy’ is probably better than something creepy like ‘you go buy a doll baby from a special shop and it magically comes to life in the night’.
What’s an eBay?
Because when you are 7, you need an eBay. I’ve also been asked to explain what a hashtag is, and honestly the amount of follow-up questions it created I would have preferred the original condom question. While these aren’t traditionally awkward conversations, the fact my children are already more technology savvy than I am is cause for alarm. I felt utterly bewildered and confused when I heard ‘Mum I need to know our IP address RIGHT NOW so I can connect with a kid from school’ … I don’t even know what that means?!
How do I get milk in my boobies?
This is most likely to come from a child who likes to play with baby dolls. Breastfeeding is something we should all perceive as normal, so again – the best way to answer this question is with honesty. And when they are older, you can always blame them for the sacrifices your body made in order to give them life.
FUNNY QUESTIONS ASKED BY A CHILD (CONT.)
Why is that lady so fat?
This question is made even more awkward when your child says it in a loud booming voice in ear shot of the entire supermarket. If this happens to you, you can use it as a teaching moment to enforce the power of words, and how easily people’s feelings can be hurt.
Why is the sky blue?
This falls into the category of all those questions you should know the answer to … but don’t. Actually … why is the blue?? For these there’s always the delay tactic of busying yourself with an inane task while you frantically think of a half suitable answer. And if all else fails, admit defeat and do what every self-respecting parent does … Google it. That is … if they don’t beat you to it.