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Salim Solaiman

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What are few tough questions you faced so far from a KID

It's another discussion on my KID series , I already few on KIDs on threads below , where some thoughts of TED community are there

http://www.ted.com/conversations/1535/why_kids_lose_curiosity_in_the.html
http://www.ted.com/conversations/1568/what_about_having_ted_kid.html
http://www.ted.com/conversations/2841/how_should_kids_curiosity_be_h.html

Being naive and curious , kids often come up with very simple but challenging questions.
Was wondering do those questions has got any specific pattern , depending on the culture , society , country they grow up ? Or there are some common basic tough questions as well.

It would be great if share following

1) What are few tough questions you faced from KID/s?

2)What were your answers if you had given one ?

3) Do you think those answers were sufficient meet the curiosity ?

4) What could be a better answer if you think now the answer gave was not good enough?

Well let me give a recent example of such question......

Why countries fight each other ?

I answered sometimes in some country there are bad people , who fight..... by answering so, I found that was a dumb kind of answer as was bombered immediately more questions..........



Looking forward for your active participation............

Share:

Closing Statement from Salim Solaiman

It seems KIDs came up with challenging questions at least to them who contributed here may be it matters to them how to face those challenges of KIDs. Thankful to all the contributors.

Now a days as KIDs are far more expose to lot of information sources they can come with very difficult questions, which I faced many times. Kids being our future we need to handle those in a way , so their natural creativity or curiosity doesn't being impacted negatively, and also they get an unbiased fair answer, which should be right to each and every child of humankind.

As @ Debra said rightly as adults we shouldn't fall in the dificulties by giving or setting an example to KIDs which gives the message it doesn't matter if one talks and walks differently. That will highly impact KIDs morality negatively which no rational human being can do.

Wishing for a better tomorrow for Kids of today and tomorrow.........:)

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    Jul 11 2011: The toughest question that comes to mind was once when a relative of mine, who is a high-functioning autistic, asked why the kids at school were so mean to her. It wasn't that the answer to this question was so challenging, but rather how to frame it in such a way that a pre-teen autistic could understand. To tell a child "many kids are insecure, so they put down others to make themselves feel more secure" sounds like nonsense, and it's an especially tough sell to a child whose autism impedes their emotional perceptions of others.

    I honestly cannot remember what I told her, but I think the hug I gave her in reply was appreciated more than any rational response.
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      Jul 11 2011: Thanks Tony for taking time to share.
      Totally agree with you the "HUG" was the best response as anyone will feel helpless in such situation.
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    Jun 13 2011: I found the most difficult questions to answer for my children concerned the behaviours of adults. It often arose when adults behaved badly. These are tough questions to steer a child through because adults impact children far more than they realize and it demoralizes kids and even opens the wrong doors of permission.
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      Jun 14 2011: I wholeheartedly agree! I don't have children of my own yet, but have nannied and have a younger brother. One example Id like to share - a boy I watched from 9months old to 4yrs old once made me question my own decisions. I have been a cigarette smoker for years, but always keep it separate from the kids I watch because I worry it will leave an impression, even if subconscious. (Someone they looked up to did this, so now they try it). When this child was around 3 I was sitting for his mom, I thought he was down for the night so I wen tout onto the porch for a smoke. Shortly after I came back in, he woke up and came into the living room - hugged me and said "You smell funny". I'm sure I came up with something to brush it aside, but I had always been honest with him and was now faced with what to say to explain my dirty unhealthy habit, and I drew a blank...Difficult!
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      Jun 14 2011: Absolutely Debra , many times we hear with our effort of so called white lie ," why you are lying " slamming on our face from kids...and we don't have an answer !!!
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        Jun 20 2011: Salim, i've quickly looked up what white lie is and got that is 'a lie not intended to harm, but told in order to avoid distress or embarrassment'.. in other words, its still a lie. I found out very early with my kids that its very important NOT to lie. First, you'll get caught and then your child will lose trust in you. Second, you're teaching your kid that its ok to lie 'under some circumstances', but forget that teaching when you caught your kid lying to you, and blow your top off. Third, you then teach your kid thats its ok to lie so long as you dont get caught, and the child then gradually learns that itsok to behave in some way or other considered 'wrong' by society, so long as they don't get caught.
        But our jails are full of the ones that got caught.

        Quite a mess that we end up creating..

        Sometimes I think parents need to be supervised on how they do this parenting job. We assume we all have the skills just coz we can make babies, or coz we can legally adopt them. In normal situations, we would perhaps hesitate to qualify one as an expert just because they have a natural ability in a certain area or are able to utlize a right to gain a certain social status.

        I was once adviced to always speak the trith but keep the language at the level that the child can understand, and when I hit a level that they can't, to be very sincere and respecful and tell my child that s/he will understand better when they are a little bit older. That worked for me when my kids were younger. These days they the ones who get embarrased when I ask questions.. :) HA!!Payback time!! Now I can do this for the rest of my or their lives... seems parenting does have its kicks after all.. :)
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          Jun 21 2011: Ronald , having fresh simple mind Kids don't categorise lies into White Lie, Lie & Damn Lie as we adults do.........

          Agree what you said.
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    Jul 4 2011: I have a 6 -year nephew who asks me to read comic book for him every time i visit him becuz he dosent know many words in it. one time I read about"and here comes the darkness..."(which implies the evil force is going to take over) i read it with very low, slow voice and a suspious look. "what is darkness?"he immediatly become very nervous and lowered his voice too!(even though he dosnt know what it is but he know from my change of tone and facial expression that is something to be afraid of) and i just find it tough to explain to him some abstract things in a way that he can make sense.
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      Jul 4 2011: Hi Amily
      That proves we communicate more with our body language, tones of voice etc etc. How intelligent & sensitive your nephew is ! Really great , I am always amazed with kids power of underatnding !!!

      I am also a bit confused how to communicate such abstract thing to a kid but may be they are capable of understanding that as well.

      My 6+ son asked questions like as below different times
      How universe looked like before it was formed?
      Do god still making planet? (was confused with this , as previous question tried to explain scietifically , now he came up with something different !)
      How tornedo forms ?
      Why titanic sank ?

      I tried to give a scientific explanation in a simple way (not sure , whether really could), but asked him did he understand what I said. He told "YES"
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        Jul 5 2011: Yes , he is a adorable boy!
        sounds like your son asked many good questions there;) and you were being a patient father making efforts to help him understand them. Very nice. and i wonder what he would tell you if you ask him to tell you back what he understood.

        dose he draws pictures or dose other playings? usually vocabulary makes a challenge for kids to communicate or understand.
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          Jul 5 2011: Thanks for your interest & time Amily.

          Yes I try to be patient with them as not all the time around & their mom says keep all your questions for your dad....

          Everytime I explain , I ask him whether he understood or not, and got & YES asnwer. But your's is a good suggestion , next time will aske them to explain what they understood.

          Well he is very much fond of drawing. Whenever he sees something intesting outside or on TV he draws,colors. Like to build different thing with blocks, even recently started making different thing by cutting papers...... Took him to beach , he started making sand castle.....

          Asked him where he got those question in his mind , Cartoon or book they usually say.

          Recently as I couldn't answer something I googled then they immediately started googling....
          And asked is Googole always right ?
          Another difficult question to answer as it alos bings junks.....
          My elder son is now 9 and recently found he asks far less questions than usual , so thinking I never discouraged , why he stopped
          But good to see he sometimes tries to answer to the younger .....
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        Jul 5 2011: You are welcome Mr.Salim.I often get amazed at how creative children are when they make things new like drawing and crafts. I am curious what it would be like for them to channel their questions and understanding thru drawings or things they do which is another topic.

        Glad to know that google now is sharing your work!
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    Jun 17 2011: 8 yr old son Q: Why did you and mum separate?
    Ans: We couldnt cope... you know, we stopped being friends.
    Little fellow walks up & down infront of me, as if expecting more, then when nothing else comes from me, he abruptly stops and asked me: Only that?
    Ans: Yap!
    End of chat- he's never asked that again. Guess I blew it.. !

    In retrospect, I think it must have appeared like a very silly reason for two people to split up a family, you know, just because we stopped being friends... doesn't make sense to me either, now that I think about it, some 12 years down the line, seeing how we gained more respect of each other after the split..

    So, if I was to be asked the same question again, I'd say we were both a little bit too stubborn, (thick headed is a better word) and stuck in our own ways to give the marriage what it really needed, ie, courage to face up to our own hangups, acceptance of each others uniqueness and the patience required to grow any friendship. I think we also lacked good counsel, but again, I wonder whether we'd have taken it in even if it had been offered.

    But I also know deep inside that the answer that would be closest to the brutal truth is this: if I had the chance to do it all over again, I'd NOT have married his mum.

    What I'm saying is that one needs to know when not to tell "the whole truth" to a child. When he's older and there's any wisdom to be gained by him hearing those words, then I will.
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      Jun 17 2011: Hi Ronald
      Yes some "brutal truths" as you coined properly is difficult to be explained to kids though they are probably most sufferer of those truths.
      In some cultures couples just tolerate each other giving priority to their kids but thats again a masked relationship if not exposed and kids again suffer.
      Don't know really which is better and how to make kids prepare for such situations.
      Thanks for sharing, best wishes.
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    Jul 4 2011: My 5 year old nephew asked me this : Can I make babies? because I just love them.Again,I ran away from him.haha
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      Jul 4 2011: Hi Aizat
      "Fathers of future, sleeping in minds, who are kids today"
      Tried to translate the essence of one of the line of a poetry in Bangla...... you can tell him , defintely he will be but have to wait a bit :)
  • Jul 3 2011: My niece (7 years old) heard suicide-explosion-voice within our town and asked me; why are they doing that to us?

    I am still not able to answer……………. .
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      Jul 4 2011: Hi Shukrullah, yes that's really difficult to answer. We advice kids not to have small fights while , we ourselves are involved in deadly wars for decades.......
      • Jul 4 2011: I totaly agree with Debra.

        They do copy immediatly. Children are cute, lovely and very very creative as long as we do not brain-wash children’s mind with existing systems and bad beahviours created and followed by current and previous generations.

        As long as children’s do not know today’s solutions; they will surely find out new and better ones.

        I used this comment in other conversation too.
  • Jun 15 2011: @Salim
    What I meant was: It is not my place to answer that specific question as I am not THEIR parent and furthermore, I don't know exactly what I would have said as I am not A parent.
    There ya go.
  • Jun 14 2011: My five year old daughter once asked me what sodomy was.
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      Jun 15 2011: YIKES! I sure would get to the bottom of where she was exposed to that word at her age and I would be knocking some of the heads in her life!
      • Jun 15 2011: Not to worry Debra. I have always encouraged my children to ask questions. ..... Of course I gave the classic answer..... I'm the dumb one in the family. Ask your mother.
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          Jun 15 2011: Mine asked so many questions that the neighbour called one 'Mr Why' but some questions are red flags! Glad all is well.
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        Jun 17 2011: Hi Debra & Gio
        Well that's a tough question to be answered. Agree with Debra , getting the source of exposure is important to know but once exposed & asked it needs to be answered that's the challenge.

        These days kids get come across many subjects or events because of TV as well, so we need to be on our toes........ unless we use the killer answer of "Don't Ask such silly /bad thing"..... How come they will know which question is silly / bad ..........?
        • Jun 17 2011: Salim I agree.... Honesty has always been my strength. Today children are young adults, with questions we would not have dreamed of. Encouraging your children to come to you first, in my opinion, is a bases for a better relationship with them.
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      Jun 14 2011: Edwin- you could look at it that way or you could give yourself a pat on the back and realize that you had made it so clear to him that he thought it was pretty simple. That, my friend is art and genius to be able to distil things so well that a child can understand them!
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    Jun 13 2011: A question from my brother when he was 6 and I was 17 :

    Why do women wear bras?? men and women have breasts but why only women wear bras???

    Being a teen, I was not ready for those kind of questions.And coming from a child, I don't know how to explain it to him properly.My face went red and I simply said ; Why don't you ask mother if you want to know more about it...

    How about it? Salim, how would you explain to him about the bra?
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      Jun 13 2011: Hi Zainal
      Good to meet you again.
      Well at your that age , the question naturally came up with certain degree of uncomfortableness that you explained already.

      .......... as your curious brother has good certain observation before coming to the question ..... which needs a realistic answer in appropriate way...

      Guess now you also can explain the same in a better way , realistic way..............

      Am I right ?
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        Jun 13 2011: well I have to say that I'm still naive about these things.I'm not sure what my mom told him but it helped a lot,I think.

        I know your a father Salim.How would you answer to him?

        By the way, my name is Muhammad Aizat.Zainal is fathers name. ;)
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          Jun 13 2011: Hi Muhammad Aizat
          Thanks for correcting me about your name, sorry for the mistake (it's cultural one)

          Well let me give my hypothetical answer to a 6 year kid about his curiosity with bra....

          First I would explain him gents and ladies dresses are different in many way , so the bra is a ladies under garment. Moreover I would also explain it's not an universal dress for ladies as men also don't have any universal dress i.e. some men use cap others not, even some man don't have a shirt to use as he can't afford , so it's a matter of choice as well.......

          Even then if his curiosity evolves around breast and it's difference between men and women , I would explain the biological reason as ladies either were / are moms or they will be mom and for their babies they have different breasts than that of males......

          Not sure hypothetical kid will be satisfied or not though...... what do you think ?
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        Jun 14 2011: I knew you could answer that one Salim! thanks!!!! A detailed answer would be the ultimate solution.I like that!!!
  • Jun 12 2011: Well, I have a question asked by a pair of four year olds twins.
    1) How are babies made?
    Well, when mommies and daddies love each other, they... I changed the subject to going out for a treat promptly after that. This answer obviously would have not satisfied an older child, but since then, the twins have not asked. I should have done something else rather than sheltering them, but what am I to say? I am not a parent of any kind.
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      Jun 13 2011: Hi Paige

      That's an important point you came up with. Yes the questions evolves with the age of the kid and same answer can't satisfy them as they grow up , if they come up with it again in later age.

      That is one of the most common questions I guess and we give varried answers depending on culture, societal perspective.
      Well one can face question of kid even not being a parent.

      I faced lot before being a father......Thanks for sharing :)