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Childhood Curiosity: Are There Any Unanswerable Questions?

Parents help their kids most when they respond in a clear, truthful way.

Parents often don’t know how to answer the questions their kids ask.

“My son is only 4 years old and has asked me stuff that I do not know where he has heard it from,” said Lizbeth Landa Figueroa, a 33-year-old mother living in Veracruz. “Sometimes, he does surprise me, as I do not expect to hear certain sensitive topics out of him.”

Thanks to easy access to the Internet, all possible topics are a keystroke away.

The flow of information that children get may confuse them. It is the basis for the many doubts that may arise in them.

Parents sometimes enter into predicaments when their child asks them something they do not know how to approach, or it’s a subject a small child isn’t expected to know. They wish to answer their children but in an understandable, truthful way.

“I tried not to get nervous and immediately looked for some information online,” said Landa Figueroa. “I managed to answer my child via drawings — an easy medium for him to understand. It went very well, and it is all thanks to the advice of our psychologist.”

Open dialogue between parents and children is important to generate bonds of trust. (Quokkabottles / Unsplash)

Specialists such as psychologists affirm the best way to answer childhood questions is to answer as truthfully as possible, yet in an entertaining way, according to their age, without overthinking.

“It is always important to listen to the children, know their opinions, and be as calm and serene as possible at all times,” said Javier Jiménez Castro, a 45-years-old psychologist who graduated from Universidad Cristóbal Colón in Veracruz, Mexico.

Parents are adviced to speak of any doubts regarding sensitive topics no matter how young their children are to generate a bond of trust. Moreover, it is essential to give them a foundation of knowledge, so they can form solid ideas.

“The most important thing to remember when holding a conversation with a child is to listen to them and instill in them values and disciplines, so they can form their criteria,” said Javier Jiménez Castro.

Children’s spontaneity can cause complicated situations for their parents, so it is important to create a foundation of mutual respect for common values. (Caroline Hernandez / Unsplash)

People need to keep a dialogue open, the specialist comments, so that children feel safe to ask whatever they want, and the parent can answer concisely.

“Not being afraid that the conversation will become repetitive is the key for a good parent-child relationship,” said the specialist. “The best thing a mother or a father can do is to speak as openly as possible with their children, as this way they are less exposed to risky situations caused by movies, TV shows, friends, or on the Internet.”

“There is an important rule: Parents should always instill values such as love, respect, discipline and tolerance. “Children’s spontaneity makes them have many natural concerns and doubts.” Teach them that everyone has something unique to them and what makes us all different. Furthermore, it is necessary to encourage them to obtain new friendships that leave something positive in them and, above all, to nurture their self-esteem,” said Jiménez Castro.

(Translated and edited by Mario Vázquez. Edited by Fern Siegel.)