Kids with tough Questions

As Christmas comes a little closer lots of talk comes around to traditions and family. Lately my two boys have been asking about Grandparents. My eight year old has asked about my father before. I don’t lie and say he’s dead, although that’d be easier. He asks where he is and why I don’t talk to him. So far, the only thing I’ve said is that he wasn’t a nice father and he was mean to lots of people. I think about how these questions will get harder as both my kids get older.

My family is a huge priority for me. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do to help them, protect them and give them opportunities to experience life. Talking about how some parents are mean to their kids and can go to jail for the terrible things they’ve done, is a delicate subject. We teach our kids about respecting parents and to listen to adults in general. My kids ask questions and they demand very specific information. Vague or evasive answers always lead to 20 more. It’s actually more efficient to give them a thorough answer the first time. They also have excellent memories and active imaginations. All good things but, when the time comes to answer why my dad was mean, what did he do, why didn’t he say sorry, etc, I’m worried that I’ll upset them so I give very incomplete answers. Sometimes out of the blue I get asked why my dad was mean. Even this amount of information plays on his mind. I don’t them to have ideas of their mom getting hit or treated badly. I don’t think I will ever need to tell them about the sexual abuse as I’m sure the idea hasn’t crossed their mind. That too, is a good thing.

I hope that when heavier discussions come I will be helpful in helping put my family in context. Right now as we get ready to set up our Christmas tree and make lists of things we want to give to various people, we will focus on those that continue to be part of our lives.