Answer hard questions
Oh my goodness the questions this week:
Mommy where is your Dad?
Mommy who killed your Daddy?
Mommy what is bad roses?
Mommy what is bad drink?
Mommy where is heaven?
Mommy is Jesus making your Daddy better?
Mommy what are we doing next?
Mommy what are we doing after that?
Mommy, why does this taste good?
Mommy what makes the ice cream taste good?
Mommy who is Aunt Tara’s mommy?
Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy……..
I think I’m going crazy with questions. However, they lead to good discussions, so that is a good thing.
Where it all started
So, on to these innumerable questions. This first came up when I was trying to help them draw relationships between people. I was explaining that Mimi is my Mom (Mimi is the one on the right in the picture). This, of course, led to the discussion of who is my Dad.
So, I explained to them that my Dad died before they were born (actually a month before I got married). This led to the question of who killed my Daddy. They are thinking of video games where people die because someone is killed, but it’s okay because they all come back to life. So, we talked about how no one killed him, he died of cirrhoisis.
Of course, that led to what is “bad roses?” I explained how it was a really bad owie in your tummy. Then, of course, they had to tell me how they had “bad roses,” because they had owies in their tummies. I then explained that they don’t have “bad roses,” because you have to drink lots of bad drink to get it (which will soon lead into a sticky problem if they ask too much about what bad drink is because Jeff does drink the occasional beer, but that’s a problem for another day).
Then they started asking about heaven because I said he was in heaven with Jesus because he told Jesus he wanted to be friends with him. Since they had just heard the story of how Jesus had healed someone, they made the connection that Jesus was going to heal my Daddy and bring him back.
This has had good sides and bad sides to it. On the one hand, we’ve had lots of great conversations about how to be a Christian and heaven and what God can do. On the other hand these are really heavy topics for a 4 year old. I don’t think they always understand it. Actually I know they don’t.
I’m always trying to look for ways to incorporate the Bible into what we talk about, because it is central to what I believe and I want them to realize it is important too.
So, it’s been an interesting week. I will say that car rides are a great place to have conversations with your kids. We’ve been having all sorts of interesting questions come up there. Of course that’s also where I’m forced to sing endless variations of “10 Little Indians,” so there’s downsides too.
Why answer the hard questions?
Sometimes you have to say, “I’ll talk to you about this when you’re older,” but it is always better when you can to give an answer.
It may be a simple answer in comparison to the topic, like my answer for my Dad who died of cirrhosis after years of drinking a bottle of vodka every 3 days, and who knows how much more alcohol.
But give them an answer.
You are building trust that will pay off years later.
I’m updating this post 10 years after I first wrote it. Now my kids know my Dad exploded my parents’ marriage because he decided the woman he had an affair with and his alcohol was more important than his family.
My kids know the dangers of allowing alcohol to control your life, and they know our family has a tendency towards alcoholism. They also know some people in our family and many of our friends drink alcohol with no problem. They have the occasional beer or glass of wine with friends, and that is it.
It’s all because of a conversation that started 10 years ago.
Answer hard questions when your kids ask them.
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