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What Are The Toughest Topics You Have Had to Explain to Your Kids?

Posted by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 11:52 AM
  • 14 Replies

The 8 Toughest Things to Explain to Kids

Being a parent certainly has its moments. All you can hope for is that the good ones outweigh the bad.

Now, when it comes to teaching your kids all sorts of life lessons (fire = bad!), some are easier than others. A quick slap on the wrist and a loud "NO!" will suffice when your 3-year-old tries shoving a fork in the outlet on the wall. But there are a number of tough topics every parent must deal with at some point or other.

Explaining the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus to your youngsters can be fun and easy. It's the really tough topics that parents fear. Here's a look at 8 of the Toughest Things to Explain to Kids.

  1. Death. Hands down, this one's the hardest thing to explain. Heck, you can't even truly explain it to adults. Depending on your child's age, you may really delve into the reality of death, or merely touch upon it with a more cheerful discussion of the afterlife. Word of advice: Taking the kids on a field trip to the local morgue is surprisingly not the best of ideas.
  2. Cancer. The Big C can be tough to explain to kids beyond "so and so is very very sick." There's also the radiation, chemo, and a slew of other tests and medications. Just get across two important points: it's not contagious and laughter is the best medicine.
  3. Being Gay. Back in the '20s, this one was super easy to explain to kids. Everybody loved gay kids because gay meant happy. These days, it has quite a different meaning. Nothing wrong with explaining it to kids (in fact I encourage it), but don't be surprised if you get some laughs or chuckles from the younger crowd when you mention two men (or women) getting married to each other.
  4. Drugs. Last year, my first grader came home from school repeatedly saying, "Say no to drugs!" I praised him for that. And then he said, "Daddy, what's a drug?" So yeah, teaching drug prevention is great, but explaining drugs themselves seems to be something left out of the school programs.
  5. Sex. Whether junior's curious as to why mommy and daddy are "wrestling in bed" or he overheard someone talking about it, sex is a tough one to broach with kids. Thankfully, my two boys still think you only kiss someone when you love them, and then you get a baby in your belly somehow.
  6. Booze. Similar to explaining drugs (alcohol is one, after all), it can be even tougher to explain since it's legal. "Silly juice" seems to be a common phrase amongst parents looking for a way to briefly explain it.
  7. When Daddy's in Jail. Thankfully, I've never had to deal with this one personally! But I can't even fathom explaining to my kids that daddy did something so horrific that he has to go away for a very long time.
  8. Divorce. If you're explaining divorce to your kids because you're going through it, well, that's just rough no matter how you slice it. If you're just explaining it in general, you can hopefully get away with emphasising that the two parents are still a mommy and daddy. They still love their kids tremendously. They just don't like each other anymore. Try to keep the sordid details out of it. No need to mention the 22-year-old secretary in the red stilettos.

Which topics are tough for you to explain to your kids?

by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 11:52 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Michelle on Mar. 4, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Idk if it was tough per-say but we've had to talk about death several times.

by Platinum Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 12:46 PM

sex, body changes

by Ruby Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 2:59 PM
I'd have to say sex.
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by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 5:40 PM
So far (Z is 2 1/2) I've had to try to explain "who is ny daddy" why "daddy isn't here" and why "daddy doesn't want me"... Needless to say when she decided recently to tell me "I don't want to talk to my daddy and I don't want you to talk to my daddy. Ok mom." I decided to go with it. Watching her dissapointment and heart break get worse and her resolution grow was a horrible experience. She's so smart and so doesn't deserve to be treated as if she is unwanted. I think the sex talk is gonna be easy in comparison.
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by Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 5:48 PM
I doubt think any of the above are difficult to explain for them as it might be uncomfortable for me.
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by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 10:33 PM
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by on Mar. 5, 2013 at 9:52 AM

When my stepdaughter was 5 her grandfather died abruptly and it was heartwrenching thinking about telling her. When she got home from school my husband took her on his lap and asked her "Do you know what happens when someone dies?"

She blew us away with her explanation which included your body no longer hurting and you get to go to heaven and play all the time. When my husband told her that Grandpa had died she got a little said but then smiled and said "I bet he's jumping on the clouds like big trampolines!"

Cancer and Homosexuality were not difficult ones to explain to my children. Neither were drugs and alcohol.

I think one of the hardest topics for my little ones to understand was why their big sister has two moms (me, who big sister lives with most of the year, and her bio-mom who she goes to see during the summer). My three year old has demonstrated some jealousy over big sister having two moms and has asked me repeatedly why she doesn't or where her second mom is.

by Bronze Member on Mar. 5, 2013 at 10:00 AM
I feel number 7 needs to be changed to "when a parent or a loved one is in jail." It's not just Dad's that go to jail, but mom's, siblings, grandparent's and other close family relatives that can have an impact on a child's life.
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by on Mar. 5, 2013 at 10:37 AM
1 mom liked this

 The recent mass shootings were some of the hardest conversations I have had with my children. They really question why G-D will allow this to happen. Its tough and I used the help of our ministers at church.

by on Mar. 5, 2013 at 10:43 AM

 This was never an issue with me and my girls. I have had an open dialogue since they were small.

Quoting Janet:

I'd have to say sex.


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