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Q & A: How To Address Awkward Questions From Your Kids

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

My best friend recently confided in me that she had to have “The Talk” with both her daughters when her 10 year old, pretty much out of nowhere, asked her when she’d be getting breasts and then asked about sex.

I can remember when my girlfriend was pregnant with her first and in fact took a flight to congratulate her twice, once on her pregnancy and just after her first daughter’s birth, so you’ll excuse me while I pick my jaw up off the floor.

And, while I’m shocked, it’s likely most parents are not. You see, I don’t have kids and so asking about “adult” topics is something I don’t expect from children. In fact, according to most experts and some most excellent moms and dads, these questions are almost expected and likely when they are “least expected”. Thanks to billboards, radio and TV ads, magazines, and a sundry of “sexy” programs, including some aimed at kids, children are asking question much sooner these days. And, that means mom and dad must have an answer. Also, while YOU may be flabbergasted, exerts suggest that you should be flattered that you’ve done a good enough job that your kids feel comfortable enough to come to you.

Here’s how to tackle tricky questions tastefully.

· Keep it simple and age-appropriate: Remember, kids hear and see things they don’t and may not be able or ready to understand. And, in fact, may words with a “hidden” meaning may not come across the same way to youngsters and kids. Keep you cook and answer the question with the facts and nothing but the facts, then move on. But, be prepared for more questions and for follow-up. Remember, brushing you child off now may only encourage him or her to go elsewhere when YOU are good and ready and WANT to talk.

· Buy yourself some time if you have to: If you don’t have a good answer, aren’t sure how to answer or are in public, explain to your child that you’ll address the issue later. Then, get busy finding a way to address his or her questions and concerns without him or her having to nag you.

· Consider not only age, but maturity and peer groups: Regardless of you first reaction experts suggest that if you think your child CAN handle it and that the truth may leak out via one of his or her peers, just be honest and answer his or her question with a few or as much detail as you feel is appropriate. And, make sure to leave room for more questions and for discussion. On the other hand, if you child is not mature enough for the answer give him or her a modified generic answer or explain that you’ll be happy to explain when he or she is older or at another time.


Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > Q & A: How To Address Awkward Questions From Your Kids

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