What’s a Mama To Say?

My 5-year-old son recently had a little friend over. They found one of the sisters’ cootie catchers (yes, I provided a picture so you know what I’m talking about) and were having some fun with it. Eventually the friend picked “number 7” and my son opened it up and read the comment. It said “You will marry Justin Bieber”. Friend innocently replies “I can’t marry him because I’m a boy and he’s a boy”, to which my son responds “Of course boys can get married”. I’m sitting at my laptop listening to them bicker about whether boys can marry each other, and then it happens – I get pulled in.

My son yells out “Hey mom, boys can get married to boys, right?”

I looked at our little friend and wondered for a moment:  How much information are you “allowed” to share with other people’s kids?

I decided to answer him just as I’d answer one of my own kid’s questions – factually, but in easy to understand terms.

I gave the heads up to my mom friend about the conversation. It’s worth sharing the information because it gives the parents the opportunity to open up more discussion on the topic  – “I heard that you were talking about marriage today?” would make for some great dinner time conversation!

What would you have done? Ever find yourself talking to the neighbourhood kids about sex, religion, politics or other topics that may have caught you off guard?



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8 Responses to “What’s a Mama To Say?”

  1. Linda

    Many, many times with the kids I babysat after school. Some very interesting conversations. We’re talking 6-12 year old girls. I just answered questions honestly, as I would with my own girls. Age appropriately of course.

    • Julie Cole

      I never actually feel uncomfortable answering questions, so I just wondered if I should have when it wasn’t my kid! My kids have never made me squirm with a question.

  2. Amanda

    i’ve had a few awkward moments when my daughter (3) has mentioned her brothers to playmates. While we’ve explained to her that she has two brothers in heaven, it isn’t the sort of thing others want to know about. i’ve even had one mother say her child can’t play here because her daughter was frightened by their urns. Some of us don’t have the luxury of waiting until a child is 7 or 8 before explaining death to them…

    • Julia Kieren

      Amanda, I’m so sorry you have had that experience. You should be able to speak as openly as you want about your sons! That’s part of cherishing and honouring them. As my mum taught me and I teach my girls, sometimes we’re better of letting go of some friendships, if they can’t respect our feelings.

      Talking about experiences in life is how children learn to deal with various situations. When we make it o.k. to talk the uncomfortable feelings decrease. It’s our responsiblity as parents and adults to guide children as “it takes a community to raise a child”.

  3. Judy

    I have told the kids at Bible Story Club that they can ask me anything. Because of the environment, I am always careful to answer according to what the Bible says, not what I think, or what would be an easy answer. Kids can ask tough questions, but they deserve honest answers!


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