Barbie Kyagulanyi: Awkward questions!

barbie Matooke Republic copy

I have never had to deal with awkward questions from children like I did in 2014. I was pregnant with our fourth child and the siblings monitored the bulge of my stomach like they were watching the growth of a bean seedling in a tin at the teacher’s window in class. My daughter once after touching and feeling the baby kicks asked, “How did this baby get in your stomach?” That hit my ears like thunder. I held her face in my palms and said, “Please call your brother, I need to send you guys to the shop for bread.” I watched her walk away and not to ignore her question, when they returned from the shop I asked the brother. “Do you know how babies get into their mother’s stomachs?”

Adorable African American boy hugging expecting mom's belly over white background.

Yes! That’s what we sturdy in science.” My daughter knowing that her class isn’t doing the science subject yet calmly said,” I will wait for my time to study that in science”. I narrowly escaped the embarrassment! How and when do you tell your children the truth about sexuality? When they are with you in public places like the swimming pool, beach or mall where lovers get intimate and cosy kissing, holding hands and romancing away, how do you manage the reaction from your children?

I’ve learnt to ask questions when they show concern. Like if they ask why people are doing bad manners, I calmly ask them what they think. Of course sometimes depending on which age group asked, I forge an answer to fit in their imagination and level of understanding. I will sugarcoat and lie about certain things to protect a tender mind of a 3-6 year old but I will be blunt and sincere with my 11-year old.
I will not tell the truth to littler ones because I don’t want to confuse them but I won’t hide the truth from the older ones because as a parent I know that we are the main source of knowledge for our children and they believe in our word and guidance.

Children are exposed to so much mature content and information on TV, the internet, magazines, newspapers and radio. We must be ready to address queries that rise from their confused brains. However, we must try as much as possible to prevent them from being exposed to such stuff. Parents should know that some children mature faster than others and therefore we have to monitor what kind of company our children keep. Children’s cartoons are mature these days. We should be aware that our children get to see these embarrassing things earlier than we did. When answering awkward questions from children, first recollect yourself and put into consideration the age of the child you are talking to. Use simple terms, you will be compelled to play around with the truth and with some children, you will need to be as very truthful as you can.