Friday, July 2, 2010

The Hard Questions

Brayden, my 7 year old, is at that age. You know the one where he is finally old enough to question everything and actually know the difference between being told the truth and getting fed a heaping spoonful of this is what I want you to hear.

It's pretty terrifying.

So when Brayden asks me questions that are important to him, questions that he wants answers to, questions that he will pester me with until he gets an answer that he deems as acceptable, I walk a fine line between giving him the truth and giving him enough information that is appropriate for a seven year old.

My example being last week when he asked where babies come from. My answer was a simple one,

Me: "God. Babies are a blessing from God."

Brayden: "Okayyyyy. But how do they get them out of the moms stomach?"

Me: "They go to the hospital."

Brayden: "Well what do they do once they are at the hospital?"

And this is how Brayden came to know about a very very very (can't stress that one enough) PG version of what a c-section entails (because I wasn't about to go through what a vaginal birth entails with my son). And let me tell you, I was sweating bullets through out that entire conversation.

I thought that perhaps the worst was over. I mean, could it possibly get worse than explaining the dreaded baby question? Why yes, yes it could.

Brayden has always been interested in airplanes. With his father working at our airport and working with and on airplanes each and every day it was sort of inevitable. So the other day when I spied Brayden playing with a fleet of paper airplanes I didn't think much of it. But the closer I got the more horrified I got. You see, all 10 or so of his little paper airplanes had drawings on the sides of them. German insignia drawings. World War II era swastikas to be matter of fact.

Me: "Brayden Anderew, why would you draw that on your paper airplanes? Do you know what that stands for?"

Brayden: (Rolls his eyes - Oh how I HATE that) "Yeah mom, it means they are German planes."

Me: "How do you even know that?"

Brayden: "Video Game. The German planes are the cool ones."

Me: "Buddy, I'm sure that the planes were neat and all, but that symbol is a very very bad symbol and is not something that you should draw on things or use when you play planes."

Brayden: "Why not?"

And that was how Brayden came to learn about a very very (stressing that one again) PG version of the Holocaust, which was most defiantly a talk that I certainly didn't think I would have to have with my child any time soon. It was hard, and balancing on that fine line of honesty and appropriateness was one of the hardest things I've ever done. And I'm sure as time goes on there will be more tough questions and situations that call for truthful talks.

So mom's, how do you get through the hard questions that your children ask?


  1. You know, my kids already recognize the swastika, and though they don't yet know the significance, they do know it's a bad thing. We went to a war museum and the swastika's were everywhere...I told my girls that the people who wore the swastikas on their clothes, and planes were bad people who hurt lots and lots of very good people. Luckily that was enough for them. My kids are a little too young to understand more than that, being preschoolers.

    Hard questions indeed!! Good luck!

  2. eek! I am dreading the time when my daughter starts the questions! But good job momma! Sounds like you handled it all very well!

  3. Hard questions are handled with the addage "Honesty is the best policy," you just don't have to tell the nitty-gritty of it all.

    When my daughter was 4, she asked "where babies come from" after her cousin was born, and I chose to explain the C-section as well. I've since handled questions on religion, menstrual cycles, and "why are there boys and girls?" in the same manner... it's all the truth, just not the whole truth. And quite frankly, I'm okay with that!!

  4. I try answering all the questions truthfully. All my girls were c-sections and the two older ones were with me right before and right after I had the youngest. I have not needed to explain any other kind of births ;)

    Myso questions my girls have are medical. What are spinal taps, what is bone marrow. For those I try to back my answers up with visuals, videos or images online and they end up learning at the same time.

  5. my son is 7 also. He was 4 when I had his sister and he was quite interested in pregnancy and birth at the time. He didn't question how the baby 'got in there'...only how it was going to come out. I plainly told him I was going to push the baby out my vagina...just like any mother animal would do. It wasn't a big deal for him and he often asked me 'is today the day you push our baby out?'. When it comes to natural phenomena like birth, breastfeeding, death, killing animals for meat for that matter, I am open with them on their level. Genocide on the other hand is not natural and normal on any level and would be tough to talk about with a kid of any age. The swastika has an interesting history however that dates back to the navaho and scandinavian cultures if you are interesting in learing about it more.


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