When children ask questions that have painful answers Remember that the” unknown” is like a wound and the answer is the cream needed to heal it. Yes it may hurt but if you dont apply it an infection could set in.
The infection is the disease of “not knowing.” “Not knowing” can cause you to become angry, distrustful or depressed because the child realizes when information is being withheld or if lies are being told.
The “not knowing” can cause the child to not know how to properly react to situations. Imagine if they were taught the difficult lesson learned from the pain that someone else has gone through. If they weren’t taught that, then they’d be weakened because they could end up doing the same thing because they were allowed to remain ignorant.
The “Not knowing” can cause a child to develop dishonesty, since those who said they loved them were dishonest with them.
With that being said, let me explain why this happens.
Children learn what is expected of them by observing others. We learn how to treat others, based on how others treated us as we developed.
And if they grew up being “shushed” when they asked difficult questions or they were lied to or told “half-truths” they will learn to not trust others, and will learn that it’s “okay” to treat people that way, all the while feeling bitter at those closest to them.
You don’t have to tell them in graphic detail or harsh language, but you should be honest and if the content is too much for their mind to grasp, you can tell them what I recently told my child about a situation:
“Something very sad and painful happened to her, but I can’t explain it to you now. You aren’t ready to understand. But when you are, I promise I will tell you everything.”
She asked, “When did you find out?”
“When I was almost 18, because y that time I was mature enough and ready to hear the whole story. Just know that something very sad happened, and so we understand why she hurts and acts the way she does.”
That was enough for her. She realizes I will be open and honest with her,and in this way I’ve always set the expectation that in our home, HONESTY is the rule.