How to Respond to Your Child’s Embarrassing Questions

Play it cool. That’s just one of the reminders I have racing through my mind when my child asks embarrassing questions.

how to respond to your child's embarrassing questions

If it hasn’t happened on your parenting journey, it will.

There is absolutely no way possible to avoid the embarrassing, turn-your-face-red questions that your super-cute child has swimming around in her ever-learning mind.

“Mom, how does the baby come out?” asked my three-year-old in front of about five other adults.

“God makes a special way for the baby to come out.” I smile in reply.

My three-year-old accepts the gentle, honest response — for a few months.

Then she probes even more.

“I know God makes a special way for the baby to come out, but how exactly does the baby come out?”

Finally I give her a more definite answer.

“I’ll tell you when you’re older.”

how to respond to your child's embarrassing questions

But there are even more personal questions that my kids have asked. It’s not that they’re being super nosey — oh, well, who am I kidding — yes, they are being nosey, but they’re being a good kind of nosey.

It’s the kind of nosey that makes them want to learn — to know more about life — and to understand more about their surroundings.

Because of that one fact I firmly believe there are only a few ways to respond to those embarrassing questions that will help your child want to keep learning and asking questions — even if they do make people uncomfortable!

How to Respond to Your Child’s Embarrassing Questions

  • Stay calm. I’m being completely serious. Don’t burst out laughing or run away in shame. Instead, stay calm and only respond when you can keep your composure. Why stay calm? So your child will continue bringing personal questions to you. If you overact to your child’s questions, then they’ll avoid you in the future and ask someone else they feel more comfortable talking about the “deeper things of life” with.
  • Give an “as needed” answer. I have reiterated to my kids over and over that I want them to know as much about a specific topic as possible. However, as a parent, it’s also my responsibility to decipher when they are ready for details about sensitive topics. When questions do arise about important, but embarrassing questions, I quickly decide what information they need to know at their specific age. As they grow older, I give them additional information. But, I always give them some sort of answer that does help them on their journey of learning and exploration!
  • Keep the lines of communication open. Don’t shut down your child’s question immediately. Take time to listen to your child’s concerns, questions and thoughts. Bring up the topic again if you think your child is matured in this area and would appreciate additional knowledge. Then, turn around and ask your child questions about their past probing questions. Communication is key in a healthy parent/child relationship!
  • Use real-life examples, models, nature or even books to answer these types of questions. By taking the time and finding out an effective way to answer your child’s question, your child will see that her questions are indeed important to you! Plus, bringing in outside resources can make everyone more at ease about sticky topics!
  • How do you handle your child’s embarrassing questions? Have you found any additional ways to address the sticky topic questions? Share your ideas with us on Facebook!

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