Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I'm Tongue Tied

Have your children ever asked you something that you do not know how to respond to? It's those moments where they throw you for a loop and ask something you weren't prepared to talk about at that very moment. Usually it seems to be about something like death or sex, or worse...they catch you in a lie you told them about Santa/Tooth Fairy/Easter Bunny/etc.

So far with my 5yr old and (almost) 4 yr old I've had a few of these situations arise. When my daughter was 3 she asked me exactly how Daddy got the baby in my tummy. I was at a loss. Three seemed too young to introduce the details of procreation so I used the fine are of distraction and the topic was dropped.

At Christmas I took my son shopping for toys for Santas Anonymous and I explained to him how some children don't get toys at Christmas because their parents don't have enough money to buy them. He caught me in the 'Santa' lie when he said 'well they DO get gifts Mommy, they get them from Santa like we do'. I was stuck. I wasn't sure what to say. I busied myself with putting him in the car and when I got in I said that Santa only brings 1 gift to each child and usually the moms and dads buy the rest. So we were buying the rest of their gifts that Santa doesn't bring. It felt like a lame answer with so many holes in it but he seemed satisfied at the time.

Moments like that terrify me. I want to be prepared and have all the answers but sometimes they catch me so off guard or they phrase it in such a way that I just have no idea what to say.

How do you deal with questions you're not prepared to answer? Do you give them just a little bit of info or give them the whole story? Do you prepare yourself years in advance for the tough questions?


  1. Answer a question with a question (that's my motto). "What do you think?" or "What do you know about...." It buys you some time and after giving you their long explanation, they may possibly forget what they were asking in the first place!

  2. My oldest is only 2 right now, so I have some time but I have a friend with a 5 year old and she does half presents from Santa and half from mom and dad on the tags, this year she got caught up because they both had the same wrapping paper, so she told her daughter that Santa wrapped the presents when he got there. I agree though, maybe start putting it on him, asking why he thinks it is, my dad always did that to us. Still does, drives me crazy now.