Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Answers to Tough Questions.
"Mom, have you ever lied to me?"
Yep. Abi asked me this the other day. Ugh. And of course, I wanted to lie and say no. But I didn't.
Abi has her PhD in tough questions. She's never really been the "typical" kid with the trains of thought she follows (I have NO idea where she gets that from...), and from the time she could talk, she has kept our mental abilities firing on all cylinders.
I am a HUGE believer in being open with children. Rod and I made a commitment that the words, "We'll talk about that when you're older" will never come out of our mouths. I once heard Dr. Dobson say that as parents, we need only answer the question they ask. Nothing more, and certainly nothing less. So, really, in the end, there is no "big" talk about sex, dating, etc... the idea is that by answering the questions that are asked along the way, we are creating an open relationship with our kids where they know they can approach us with questions and concerns and not get awkward put-offs and blank answers.
Believe me. It's not as easy as it sounds.
Abi is a question fanatic. She thinks of things I didn't even care about until I was in high school. Let me just share with you SOME of the questions we have answered.
"If God has all the money, why do we tithe?"
"Why do some people give their kids up for adoption?"
"What do I have to do to go to Heaven?"
"Daddy, do you love Mom more than me?"
"When someone gets a divorce, do they not call each other 'honey' anymore?"
"Can boys have babies?"
"Girls shouldn't marry other girls, right?"
"Is Santa real?"
"Why do people kidnap kids?"
And my personal favorite, at age 4...
ABI- "Mom, where do babies come from?"
ABI- "You know what I mean."
ABI- "How do they get in your stomach?"
ME- "Well, before you're born, part of you lives in Daddy, and part of you in Mom. So, Daddy gave his part to Mom, and together it created you."
ABI- "Is this why girls don't have the same privates that boys have?"
ME- (gulp) "Yes."
ABI- "Ok." (left the room)
I gave her just enough information to answer the question she asked. She has no idea how the "parts" work... she just knows that she got the info she needed at the moment.
In essence, I built a bridge, so that when the next question comes up and she needs more knowledge, she knows she won't get awkwardness and the run-around from me. Because in reality, when we push their questions away, thinking they are "too young" to need to know certain things, we create a gap between us. And let me tell ya, they will get their answers from SOMEONE.
I want that someone to be me.
I'm not saying we need to bring our three year olds into the delivery room in order to expose them to real life. I'm not saying we need to march around looking for huge issues to introduce to our kids. Yes, sometimes we have to be preemptive and address issues before they are noticed by our kids. But most of the time, if we just sit back and follow their lead, answer the questions they ask, and show them candor when they ask for it, we will raise children who know we are approachable and willing to listen.