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When real life smacks you in the face, how do you explain it to a toddler?

another question has prompted this one. If you have a serious issue at your leaving, death in the family, you tell your 2-3yr old the truth when asked or do you make up a sugery excuse?
I am all for the truth, but in a comforting way that will explain but not cause undue distress, another mom suggested telling the child stories of magical lands and gifts for the child, I am all for fantasy in a child's life, but not at times when a divorce may be on the horizon, or a new baby may be on the way....thoughts?


Asked by shivasgirl at 9:47 PM on Jun. 24, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 24 (20,833 Credits)
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Answers (11)
  • Keep it simple, but be honest.

    Answer by tspillane at 10:57 AM on Jun. 25, 2011

  • i'm for telling kids the truth just on a level they can understand

    Answer by cara124 at 9:52 PM on Jun. 24, 2011

  • I totally agree with you. "Adult things" can be explained honestly to a child in a simplified way that they can understand and even if there are aspects they don't understand, it's better to give them an explanation than to lie/tell stories.

    Answer by judimary at 9:49 PM on Jun. 24, 2011

  • at that age, you answer questions in simple terms. No need to lie, or make up stories.

    Answer by daughteroftruth at 10:10 PM on Jun. 24, 2011

  • I'm good with age-appropriate honesty. At 2-3, a child might not understand that much anyhow, but I still think honestly is the best policy, in terms that the child can understand based on their age.

    Answer by Freela at 11:49 PM on Jun. 24, 2011

  • i agree with cara124, i wouldn't make things up. I would tell the truth but in a simple way

    Answer by ElsaSalsaaa at 9:53 PM on Jun. 24, 2011

  • i couldn't agree with cara124 more... that is the best way to let them know if they ask... when it comes to death my son is still to young to understand so i don't explain that at all to him cause he just doesn't ask but when he does i will let him know, but talking to them at there level is the best way.

    Answer by mommys2cupcakes at 10:05 PM on Jun. 24, 2011

  • 2-3 year olds have a very limited undestanding. Answer it very simply and don't add more than that to your answer. It is more important that they see you strong and OK even though you may not feel it. They will copy you. Just keep giving alot of hugs. It is OK as well at times to say I don't know- if they ask something that may be speculation. Good luck.

    Answer by LeJane at 10:26 PM on Jun. 24, 2011

  • Yes, truth, but maybe not the whole truth. Keep it simple and not scary.

    Answer by CarriePM at 10:28 PM on Jun. 24, 2011

    This was actually a pretty good might check it out?
    I'm all for honestly with "real life" issues. Fairy tales would be damaging later, I think.

    Answer by KellyGirl_TX at 12:32 AM on Jun. 25, 2011