One of the big lessons I’ve learned being a stay-at-home dad, which I am sure applies to all parents, is when a question is asked, use the shortest most informative answer possible. Especially when they are “life’s big questions” — life, death, sex, etc.
I do find it very difficult at times to explain things to my kids. I tend to ramble on. I need to pause, think about my answer, so I can communicate it more effectively.
I have found at times, I get tongue tied while explaining things to my sons. By the time I do get to the point, it is normally two or three minutes later and both my boys have already moved.
It doesn’t help that I am, and always have been, super logical with my kids. My wife laughs at me because she thinks I’m too logical with our kids. She frequently tells me that they don’t understand. My defense to that is, maybe they don’t now but one day they will!
Lately, I am trying to find one-liners to answer any question.
The other day on a walk, my son was talking to me: “some people have dogs and some people get new dogs and some people have dogs that die …” a long pause, then “Why do their dogs die?” he asked.
“Oh shit!” was seriously the first thought through my mind.
We have dealt with this a bit here and there on our travels, coming across a dead animal such as a squirrel, duck or flies that are stuck in a spider’s web.
This is still one of the biggest questions and I am sure no matter how to explain it, a 3-year-old just won’t get the seriousness of it. So my short and sweet answer was:
“Oh,” he replied.
Then he started pointing out all the different color flowers he could see.
I was pretty proud of myself, but part of me also wanted to continue on about life and death. It is still a hard question to answer, and since he is only 3, I have a few more years to figure out how I can answer that question. Until then, I will continue to communicate in the most effective way. Which is also my advise for any parent, keep it short and sweet!
Life’s Big Questions first appeared on OneSAHD.