Welcome to the March 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Tough Conversations
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have spoken up about how they discuss complex topics with their children. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
Driving home one night, this powerful question rang forward from the backseat of the car:
“Mommy, what does the Bible say?”
I believe that the world was created by God, and that His Word is the truth that shapes all of our lives. I was in bondage to original sin when I was born, just like every human being since Adam’s fall from Grace, but through the substitutiary sacrifice of Jesus’ life-blood on the cross, all of our sins resulting from human nature are forgiven.
This is what the bible says to me.
Through my Baptism, my old self died with Jesus. My bondage to sin died with Him and I am now bound to seek righteousness in my resurrected life, as a result of His resurrection and ascension. I believe that the Holy Spirit guides me and helps me to see how to form a more intimate and right relationship with God, and directs me to shine His light in the world. . .
I believe that Jesus will come again and that through faith we will be returned to Paradise. And until then, I listen to God’s Holy Spirit in my life and I read the Bible, which is God’s Holy Word, in order to strive for a right relationship with God, which brings me peace and joy.
That’s, in a nutshell, what I have gleaned from The Bible thus far in my life.
How in the WORLD do I even begin to explain this to a four year old? Especially MY super curious and sensitive four year old, who I know is going to take my answer very seriously to heart and mind.
But she needs an answer. Right now, in the car, while I’m driving through sleet and snow.
“Mommy, What does the Bible say?”
It’s a Toughie
Even if you are not a fellow Christian, I’m sure you can understand what a tough question this was for me. Even tougher because my preschooler wouldn’t let me off the hook with a “we’ll talk about it later” . . . She is very persistent.
I thought to myself, She doesn’t even know what “sin” is yet! How can I explain the Bible to her?
Calm and Simple
When in sticky situations like this one, I have learned to address the tough situation as calmly and simply as possible. We might not always be as calm or as simple as we desire to be in a tough situation- but calm and simplicity usually do help get us through. In this case, my “calm and simple” rule helped me to answer a really tough question in an environment that necessitated a quick explanation.
Abbey asked if the Bible was about Jesus and Santa Claus.
“The Bible is not about Santa” I replied. “The Bible is God’s Word written down through history.”
“So it’s about God’s Love and how He loves everyone, even all of our friends and even people that are mean to us or people we don’t even know?” abbey ventured.
Since she asked for clarification, I explained a little more to her, but left it pretty simple. No talk of death and resurrection. . . Yet.
“It’s a long book, and as you grow, you will read more and more of it and understand more of the story of God’s love for us” I finished.
It seemed to satisfy Abbey’s curiosity for the moment, and she went off into a thoughtful discussion with herself about God loving everyone, even people who are mean, or that live in different cities than we do.
And I breathed a sigh of relief- because when she asked that question in the place and time that she did, i wasn’t sure that i had a good answer. I know she’ll ask again and again, and that as she grows, she’ll learn more about Jesus and the power of his Holy blood shed for us. But none of that would make sense to her at four. There’s no way I could really tell her fully “what the bible says”
I’m very glad that I was able to come up with an answer that was truthful, but simple enough for her to understand at a preschool level. In the moment, I honestly didn’t think I would be able to explain it. I felt like a deer in the headlights.
Religious or not, Christian or not, I’m sure we all can agree that a loaded question like that can make for a very tough moment.
Have you ever had a moment when you didn’t have a good answer to a question?
Has your child ever asked you a really hard question? Bonus points if it was totally out of the blue!
What helps you through tough moments with your child?
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be updated by afternoon March 12 with all the carnival links.)
- A Difficult Conversation — Kellie at Our Mindful Life is keeping her mouth shut about a difficult topic.
- Discussing Sexuality and Objectification With Your Child — At Authentic Parenting, Laura is puzzled at how to discuss sexuality and objectification with her 4-year-old.
- Tough Conversations — Kadiera at Our Little Acorn knows there are difficult topics to work through with her children in the future, but right now, every conversation is a challenge with a nonverbal child.
- Real Talk — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama explains why there are no conversation topics that are off limits with her daughter, and how she ensures that tough conversations are approached in a developmentally appropriate manner.
- From blow jobs to boob jobs and lots of sex inbetween — Mrs Green talks candidly about boob jobs and blow jobs…
- When Together Doesn’t Work — Ashley at Domestic Chaos discusses the various conversations her family has had in the early stages of separation.
- Talking To Children About Death — Luschka at Diary of a First Child is currently dealing with the terminal illness of her mother. In this post she shares how she’s explained it to her toddler, and some of the things she’s learned along the way.
- Teaching 9-1-1 To Kids — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling talks about the importance of using practical, age-appropriate emergency scenarios as a springboard for 9-1-1 conversations.
- Preschool Peer Pressure — Lactating Girl struggles to explain to her preschooler why friends sometimes aren’t so friendly.
- Frank Talk — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis unpacks a few conversations about sexuality that she’s had with her 2-year-old daughter, and her motivation for having so many frank discussions.
- When simple becomes tough — A natural mum manages oppositional defiance in a toddler at Ursula Ciller’s Blog.
- How Babies are Born: a conversation with my daughter — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger tries to expand her daughter’s horizons while treading lightly through the waters of pre-K social order.
- Difficult Questions & Lies: 4 Reasons to Tell The Truth — Ariadne of Positive Parenting Connection shares the potential impact that telling lies instead of taking the time to answer difficult questions can have on the parent-child relationship.
- Parenting Challenges–when someone dies — Survivor at Surviving Mexico writes about talking to her child about death and the cultural challenges involved in living in a predominantly Catholic nation.
- Daddy Died — Breaking the news to your children that their father passed away is tough. Erica at ChildOrganics shares her story.
- Openness — sustainablemum prepares herself for the day when she has to tell her children that a close relative has died.
- Embracing Individuality — At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy addressed a difficult question in public with directness and honesty.
- Making the scary or different okay — Although she tries to listen more than she talks about tough topics, Jessica Claire of Crunchy-Chewy Mama also values discussing them with her children to soften the blow they might cause when they hit closer to home.
- Talking to My Child About Going Gluten Free — When Dionna at Code Name: Mama concluded that her family would benefit from eliminating gluten from their diet, she came up with a plan to persuade her gluten-loving son to find peace with the change. This is how they turned the transition to a gluten-free lifestyle into an adventure rather than a hardship.
- How Does Your Family Explain Differences and Approach Diversity? — How do you and your family approach diversity? Gretchen of That Mama Gretchen shares her thoughts at Natural Parents Network and would like to hear from readers.
- Discussing Difficult Topics with Kids: What’s Worked for Me — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares parenting practices that enabled discussions of difficult topics with her (now-adult) children to be positive experiences.
- Tough Conversations — Get some pointers from Jorje of Momma Jorje on important factors to keep in mind when broaching tough topics with kids.
- Protect your kids from sneaky people — Lauren at Hobo Mama has cautioned her son against trusting people who’d want to hurt him — and hopes the lessons have sunk in.
- Mommy, What Does the Bible Say? — Amy at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work works through how to answer a question from her 4-year-old that doesn’t have a simple answer.
- When All You Want for Them is Love: Adoption, Abandonment, and Honoring the Truth — Melissa at White Noise talks about balancing truth and love when telling her son his adoption story.