Expert Tips On How To Answer Tricky Questions That Your Child Asks

While it may be easy and tempting to simply say, “I will answer this when you are older”, it’s not the best practice. However tough the questions get, it’s always a good idea to engage in conversation with your child and satisfy their curiosity. Kids ask a lot of hard-to-answer questions, but these questions can spark great conversations that build trust. Dr Gurudutt Bhat, a Consultant Pediatrician at Fortis Hospital, Kalyan guides you to answer tough questions that your child asks.

1. Why doesn’t my sister’s/brother’s body look like mine?

Most child educators and safety experts agree it’s a good idea to use the correct terms for body parts when you explain to your child about differences in body parts. Especially when your kids are young, you can explain ‘private parts’ and what body privacy means: that nobody else should touch them. So when your 8-10-year-old child asks this question, make sure you stick to straight facts.

2. Where do babies come from? How did the baby get in your belly?

In a perfect world, talking about sex with our children would be just another topic. However, such conversations about sex can cause anxiety for parents. Ask your child “What do you think?” before answering questions to get a better sense of what is really being asked and what’s likely to be understood. It always helps to understand your child’s questions and current thinking before trying to educate them.

3. What are periods and why do only girls get them?

Here, the facts work the best. With social stigma and taboos being associated with menstruation, it’s best to talk openly about this topic. Dr Bhat advises on keeping it concise, “Periods are the normal process of removal of the lining of the uterus in girls; this happens normally once in 4 weeks. This causes bleeding during periods and since only girls have a uterus, they are the ones who get their periods”.

4. Why am I growing hair in my armpits and around my genital area?

Puberty is another tricky phase of growing up that can give birth to a ton of questions. And if your child comes to you for answers, it’s a positive sign. It shows that he or she trusts you the most and that’s quite an accomplishment with teenagers. You can simply answer it with, “The process of hair growth around the genitals and in armpits is part of growing up called ‘puberty’. During puberty, there are changes in the body triggered due to biological chemicals called ‘hormones’ found in all of us” says Dr Bhat.

5. Why are my friend’s parents divorced? What does it mean?

This question can be a tough one. It’s not that easy to explain why some couples get separated and divorced. If it’s someone specific your child is asking about, try to be honest without giving out private details. “People who get married sometimes cannot get along with each other due to various reasons. That is why they may decide to separate, and that is called a divorce. It does not mean that the parents do not love each other or don’t love their kids.” This is the best way to answer this question according to Dr Bhat.