- Family and Parenting»
- Parenting Skills, Styles & Advice»
Your Child's Questions Deserve Answers
Dr Seuss, the acclaimed American writer managed to get it right when he said, 'A person's a person, no matter how small'. He gave the children of the world, their due. Yes, children are just as important as a grown up you or me. In fact, it's mighty unnerving sometimes how children can actually sense, understand, analyse and respond to their environment. Perhaps, William Wordworh, the poet, gave us a hint when he said, 'Child is the father of man'.
Childhood is often underrated. We often tend to underestimate or dismiss the presence of children; busy as we are juggling through life, work and routine. We may not do it intentionally, yet, there are times when other things take priority and we just flow with the tide. Well, it's time we take a break and do some introspection.
Consider these facts:
- Between 1 to 3 years of age, the rate of a child's brain development is the fastest in comparison to his entire lifespan
- Childhood is the 'key' to a responsible 'adulthood'. The child's brain cells are highly active, making the most connections among themselves before the age of 10.
- Language is picked up best during childhood. Little babies whose parents talk to them know about 300 more words at 2 years of age than their counterparts who are rarely spoken to.
- A child's brain is impacted by all his/her caregivers.
- Bonding with your children equips them to handle stress better later in their lives.
- Babies can relate to your facial expressions, your face can make them feel happy or sad!
- An active child will have an active brain.
And that's not all. However, I'm sure you got the idea.
Children And Their Questions
If you're a parent or caregiver to a child, chances are that you've been questioned and how :) I have some adjectives for these questions - 'endless', 'difficult', 'irritating', 'innocent', 'honest', 'alarming', 'repetitive', 'confusing', 'frustrating', 'mature'...to name a few. Well, child psychologists around the world have jogged their brains crazy trying to answer why kids ask questions. The answer is rather simple.
I'm a parent of two and my answers come more from experience rather than any technical or professional skill. I feel that life is the biggest teacher in more ways than one. Sharing my 'answers' are my way to connect and help parents deal with what I deal everyday. Here goes:
- Kids are always looking for explanations. They have so much to soak in; so many knots to iron out in their minds.
- Some questions are repetitive because your child may take time to digest an answer and remember it.
- Children need to know the truth.
- A study indicates that childhood is an inquisitive time, kids are learning language and questions come naturally.
- Communication is an inherent social need, kids often communicate through queries.
Again, that's not all. I'm sure you got the idea though!
Provide Those Answers
It's an enriching experience to become parents. You're blessed. You get the bright chance to not only create but also shape up a life, a life that's meaningful and inspiring, a life that can make a difference and a life that's worth every moment of your time, effort and love. When you realize this, you realize that your role is the most crucial in your child's life.
And, we need to try and play our role with dedication and conviction. We may not be perfect buy we can surely do our best. All it requires is some patience and some conscious effort. The rest will come naturally, no training required.
What You Need To Do
- Encourage your children to ask what they have to. Do not snub, do not ignore, do not beat about the bush.
- Let them feel that their questions are important to you. Listen attentively.
- Take your time weaving the answer for what you say is going to stay. Be as close to the truth as possible.
- An akward question needs wit and some clever use of vocabulary. For example:
Q. Are you going to die?
A. Well, my dear, I'll wait till I get old!
- Honest questions deserve honest answers and a lot of love. Lets take an age-old example:
Q. Mom, how are babies born?
A. Sweetie, babies are born out of love. They are part-daddy and part-mommy growing in the tummy!
( You can use some sweet rhyming words in your answer, the rhyme would fascinate the child and you get some time to work on your answer )
And, that's not all. All parents have this wonderful, natural way with their children. Instinct would help them frame their answers right to suit their individual child. It is good to remember that niether all questions, nor all answers can be same. There is no right or wrong answer just as there is no right or wrong question.
Every question though deserves an answer.
Take The Question, Answer Will Come
Keep the channel open between yourself and your children. Welcome those questions, they are your child's gateway to a confident future. They are also your relationship managers. The more questions you answer, the stronger will be your bond with your child.
My dear parents, do not let your child's questions get cold. Instead, warm their minds with your answers. They have a long way to go on the road of life, make them 'road-friendly'.