Don't Freak Out

Tackling Big Questions from our Little Humans

Headshot2 Natalie Frisk

It may start with “Where do babies come from?” or “What happens when we die?” or “If God loves us, why do bad things happen?”

Whatever your first massive existential question is from your tiny human, I want to encourage you to be ready. Not necessarily ready with an answer, but ready for the question. For most of us, when our kids ask these huge questions and we aren’t ready to answer, we panic. We might even freak out a little. Stutter. Stumble. Deflect. Distract.

But here’s the goods: when our kids come with those big questions, we don’t need to have an answer ready. What is helpful for us, and them, though is for us to be ready for questions. How? Here are a few ideas:

  1. Be curious and ask, “What do you think?” (It gives you a picture into why they are asking AND buys you time!)
  2. Be honest. “I’m not completely sure, but here’s what I think…” or “Well, I’ve wondered the same thing and someone that is waaaaaay smarter than me who has done a lot of research on that thinks…” or “I’ve never thought of that. I don’t know.” I don’t know can be some of the most powerful words you ever tell your kids.
  3. Be helpful. If you don’t know or if you have an opinion but don’t have strong backing for why you believe or think something, help your child find some good information from a reliable source. This will help them to learn skills when they don’t know things, and also teach them how to decipher and find reliable sources on this vast world wide web.
  4. Be prayerful. Either with your child or after your conversation, pray that the Holy Spirit would help lead and guide them into great discoveries. Pray that you would help point them in the right direction. Pray that God would take them the rest of the way.

And here is what’s not helpful: freaking out. If you are calm, curious, and lean into these conversations, your kids will come back for more. If you do freak out, you risk shutting down these big life chats with your kids. Don’t get me wrong, you can freak out internally. No one is ready to tell a 4-year-old where babies come from. But try to play it at least calm if not cool on the surface. Try to appreciate in the moment the curiosity and innocence of your child’s questioning.

Listen parents and spiritually parents: you’ve got this. There may be an un-ending fountain of questions that come your way that you aren’t prepared to give an answer for, but you can be ready for the questions.