On rare occasions a guest writer will come on to Examiner. Today Philip Lopez has asked to share his essay about parenting and those tough questions parents, at some time or another, have to answer.
If you’re a parent, you’ve undoubtedly discovered that raising children is the most difficult task you’ve ever undertaken. It’s your responsibility to shape their impressionable minds – whether or not they grow up to become productive members of society and successful individuals supposedly hinges on your every move. So go figure they ask the most difficult questions early in the parenting process, when they’re most curious and you’re most clueless. Below are a handful of those questions that make parents cringe.
1. How are babies made? Every parent has inevitably been asked this question in some variation. Most are left wondering how such a thought had entered their child’s mind, and who they should tongue-lash for putting it there. But now that it’s on the table, you have to explain it in terms that are least explicit. “The birds and the bees” talk has long been a go-to option, or you can come up with your own story. Or better yet, defer to your spouse.
2. Why do boys have [this] and girls have [that]? You get the idea. If they happen to ask this question along with question No. 1, they probably know more than they’re leading on. If they ask those questions when they’re 14-years-old, you’ve got bigger problems on your hands.
3. Where do people go when they die? If you’re a Christian, the answer seems simple enough: Heaven. But explaining what Heaven entails and what it takes to get there can take an eternity. Explaining any religion’s afterlife to a three, four or five-year-old is akin to describing quantum physics to a football player – it’s a lost cause. If you don’t happen to belief in an afterlife, well, your answer is easy.
4. Am I going to die someday?
This question is a bit underrated and often unexpected. Your child may or may not realize they are going to die when they pose question No. 3. If they do, break the news gently. Many kids have spent sleepless nights pondering their fate, and you know that when your kid is sleepless, you’re sleepless.
5. Why? “Why?” usually pertains to anything and everything, and the question is typically asked a bazillion times through ages three and four. The best part about parenting a young kid is they don’t realize that you’re pretty much clueless about everything, so almost any answer will suffice as long as you don’t warp their perception of reality.