Tuesday, January 15, 2013

How to Answer Toddler Questions

They say the average child asks up to 100 questions a day between three and five years old. Samantha has been asking me questions from the time she could form sentences. Until she is happy with the answer and feels it it complete she will continue to ask the same question a million different ways. She is super curious, inquisitive and speaks what's on her mind.

The best advice I can give that has worked in my house is be open and honest and as prepared as you can be.

These are a few questions that Samantha has asked over the last few months along with my response.

Why doesn't Santa Claus just drive a car?
Toddlers do not really understand the difference between reality from fiction yet. So this is when you can be creative and have some fun.

Mommy: Santa has a car but it is not big enough or fast enough to deliver all the presents to all the little girls and boys all over the world.

Samantha: How about a truck?

Mommy: Travelling at night can be tricky. Since Santa needs to travel in the sky he needs Rudolph and his magical sleigh so he can navigate through the clouds at warp speed to make all the little girls and boys happy on Christmas morning.

Samantha: oh.

"Mommy, how did you meet me?"
Its obviously too early for the full discussion on where babies come from, but having a simplified version will satisfy their curiosity.

Mommy: Mommy and Daddy wished upon a falling star to have a little girl named Samantha. Then one day mommy woke up and she was pregnant. You were growing in mommy's tummy. Then on your birthday, Mommy and Daddy went to the hospital and you were born.

Samantha: oh yes, I remember. That was fun.!

"Mommy where is your Grandma? Where did she go?"
Death is a part of life. Although it is a difficult topic, it is important to talk to your toddler about the cycle of life. Creating a far fetched story might confuse them such as "My Grandma lives in the sky now." Keep it simple.

Mommy: My Grandma was old and her body stopped working properly so she moved to heaven.

Samantha: Where is heaven?

Mommy: It's a beautiful place far away where everyone is always happy and there is lots of fun things to do.

Samantha: Like what? What do they play?

Mommy: Mommy is not sure because its a secret place that only people that go there know.

Samantha: Oh ok.

Sometimes I find turning around the question works. It's a great way to stimulate thought and alleviate the childs frustration if you don't know how to answer the question at that moment. It also shows that you're really listening and satisfies their little inquisitive minds.

Everyday Samantha makes me laugh, smile and think and really this is only the beginning.


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