“Mummy, why he got no hair?”
“Why he so fat?”
“Why her stomach so big?”
“That auntie got baby inside her stomach?”
These are definitely not what I had in mind, when I was eagerly waiting for my little one to start conversing with me. But like what little ones do, they never fail to amuse us.
Not that these questions are amusing, just brutally honest. While some people can laugh it off, most people will find it offensive. Especially towards a stranger, with finger pointing at that stranger no less. And speaking in a volume of 9/10 is not helping things at all.
Most of the time, I had to quickly pull her finger pointing hand down with a “nooooo” in what I hope was an inaudible whisper that only my little one can hear. And what follows next, will be more “why?”.
And sometimes it’s kinda hard to explain, when the said subject is less than 5 footsteps away…
So how do we avoid these kind of situations?
Social Etiquette – Think before you speak
Kids are seriously lacking in EQ sometimes. And despite the embarrassment it can cause, it is a good scenario to teach them what is appropriate and what is not. Gently explain to them that while they may have questions but they do not have to point and hurl the question straight in that person face. And that some people do not like being told “fat”, “bald” or other descriptive words. However, instead of telling them to be quiet or keep their opinions to themselves, I told my girl to always whisper to me the question/ideas she has regarding another person. Kinda like sharing a secret and my girl loves that.
Explain as neutrally as possible with all sorts of possibilities i.e. She is not that fat, she could be big boned, maybe she is indeed pregnant, maybe she loves to eat etc. Never give a one way answer i.e. she eat too much or she never exercise. I mean, I hate to be judged and do not want to judge people either. There could be many possibilities and the least I want is to teach my child to be judgmental at such a young age.
Always Give Answers
Sometimes it’s really hard, especially when they ask about things that we have no definite answer to i.e. why do ants have 6 legs and not 8 like a spider? These are the kind of questions that always stumped me and I will have to say Mummy has no idea why too, sometimes nature just like to create each creature differently.
Kids are born to be curious because there is so much to learn for them. Give them answers, lots of them even if there is no correct answer. You will be surprise how they can remember even when you think they won’t. And once you answer all those embarrassing questions, they will stop asking (not so often at least).
Or you can try to find the answer together with your kids. It makes learning so much more fun together!