Ah, Those Awkward Parenting Moments...
Sheila was zipping through the grocery checkout line with her first-grader when her awkward parenting moment arrived. As the cashier scanned a head of lettuce, Sheila heard a familiar little voice ask: “Mommy, what is oral sex?”
A memorable moment for all in earshot—and the reason Sheila changed grocery stores for six months. She wasn’t sure she could ever face that cashier again!
We want our kids to talk with us. To ask us—rather than their friends—the hard questions about life. About sex and God. About right and wrong.
But we may be terrified that when they do, we’ll drop the ball. We won’t know what to say...and our children will walk away unsatisfied.
And thinking we’re idiots.
Sooner or later your child will ask most of the 100+ questions you’ll find in Trust Us…They’ll Ask. The questions may surface at the grocery store, while you’re riding in the car, or in the middle of a church service. But you can be sure these questions are coming.
And now you can be ready with an age-appropriate answer...and relevant Bible references to help you and your child explore God’s perspective on the issue at hand.
A crack team of child and preteen experts and parents is at your fingertips, ready to help you prepare for the awkward moments. These experts have grappled with the tough questions from a Christian perspective—and crafted answers you can look to as a resource that will satisfy your children and open up ongoing communication.
So relax—you’re not alone. And your kids will think you’re brilliant!
Oh—and enjoy the awkward moments...
They’re part of the joy of parenting.
And they make wonderful stories to share with your kids later!
Here’s a sample of the helpful advice you get in Trust Us…They’ll Ask.
[Q:] If lying is wrong for me, why do you do it?
Older preschoolers generally understand the difference between truth and lies...and they need you to model the importance of truth. When your preschooler sees you lie, it erodes confidence and trust. If you lie, own your mistakes, apologize, and ask forgiveness. It’s a teachable moment.
Welcome to parenting: Your behavior either supports or contradicts what you’re teaching your children. If your child catches you in a lie, it’s a good opportunity to help your child understand some “lies” are simple misunderstandings and others are intentional misrepresentations. If you’re being challenged about the former, talk through ways to communicate better. If the latter, apologize—and let your child see you try to make amends. Humiliating? Maybe. But you’re modeling integrity.
Preteens can sniff hypocrisy at 500 yards, and they’re often quick to condemn it in others. If you expect your preteen to be open to your observations about her character, be open to her observations about yours. Respond not with defensiveness but a willingness to listen. Pray together that neither of you take shortcuts like lying—and ask for forgiveness. Your child will never forget the conversation.
Related Scriptures: Exodus 20:16 addresses lying, Proverbs 6:6-9 laziness, and 1 John 1:9 confession of sins and forgiveness.
[Q:] If God always forgives, why do I have to do the right thing?
Most preschoolers are eager to please. Tell them how happy Jesus is when we make good choices and obey him. Obeying Jesus shows that we love him. But if we do make mistakes, he’ll forgive us if we ask. Together with your preschooler, ask Jesus for help in following him.
Elementary-age children know a forced, insincere “I’m sorry” doesn’t mean much. Build on that insight by asking how God must feel when someone sins and then offers up a weak “sorry” to fix the problem. Obeying God isn’t a system to beat; it’s a choice to live our best and to show God love. Help your child see forgiveness as a way of setting things right with God when we make mistakes—but it’s not a license to sin. The passages below will help.
Your preteen already knows right from wrong—but still requires help making healthy decisions. Practice thinking ahead, weighing the benefits of making a good choice against the consequences of making a bad one. Talk about why making a good choice shows love for God. Actively praise your child when he or she makes good choices. Model forgiveness when the choices aren’t so good.
Related Scriptures: Hebrews 10:19-22 assure us of forgiveness, but Romans 6:1-2 warns us to not continue to intentionally sin.
For more answers to the questions children ask, purchase your copy of Trust Us…They’ll Ask, available at your local Christian bookstore.