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When Kids Ask Hard Questions

This past week I suffered a miscarriage.  I was technically 13 weeks pregnant but the baby did not make it past 6 weeks.  My husband and I knew about it about 2 weeks before it happened, however, even time can’t prepare you for the physical and emotional hurt you experience with such a loss.  As if that wasn’t enough to process we now had to figure out what to tell our 5 year old son.

Aden has turned into a very tender kid.  Sure he’s rambunctious and crazy sometimes but we are the ones who see this tenderness regularly.  And he was convinced and excited to meet baby sister who was in Mommy’s belly.

To say he was heartbroken is an understatement but what came next really put us through the paces.  After the tears subsided and he had some control of his voice again he proceeded to ask us some very difficult questions.

  1.  What happened to the baby?
  2. Why?
  3. Where is the baby now? 
  4. Will I ever get to see the baby?
  5. Why can’t the baby come back?
  6. How is that fair?
  7. Who did this to you?
  8. What are we going to do now?

Those are some very.hard.questions and “I don’t know” just isn’t going to cut it!  Those are hard enough to discuss with an adult, how do you explain hard answers like that to a 5 year old?

Aden comforting me after the bad news

Aden comforting me after the bad news

I’m asking you this because one day you will have to explain death or sickness or loss to your children.  It may not be until your kids are teenagers and have a better grasp of the world or it may be during the little phase of life.  Regardless of when that is my question to you is, what are you going to say?  How are you going to answer?  Do you have answers to those questions?  This is important stuff mamas!

I’m not going to tell you that one answer is better than another or one answer is right and another is wrong.  That’s not what this is about.  But when Aden looked at me through tear rimmed eyes and asked me those things it was because he trusted me and needed me to answer him with assurance.  We are Christians and so we answered him through that lens.  However, regardless of what belief system you subscribe to (and we all subscribe to something even if it’s nothing) we need to be prepared as parents to answer the questions we fear the most.  We cannot put a blanket over our heads and hope the topic just doesn’t come up, to do so would be irresponsible and careless.  

I hope this isn’t coming across as morbid, it’s not meant to be.  Death is certainly not something I like to think about but it is very much a part of life.  Search your hearts mamas, and give it some thought so that when the time comes you’ll be prepared.  That’s all I have to say, now let’s get on with life.

Have any of you had to have hard conversations with your children?  How did it go?

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8 Responses to When Kids Ask Hard Questions

  1. Nissa September 9, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    Thanks for sharing this so honestly Shannon. I think this is so important for us parents to think about before it happens because those are some really tough questions.

  2. Christin Pounds
    Christin Pounds September 10, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    Love you, thanks for sharing this. It made me so sad to read about Aden crying so much, such a tender heart.

    • Shannon Ly
      Shannon Ly September 14, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

      Thanks Christin! What was really sweet was when he told us he needed to have some alone time and proceeded to get in the toy box and cover himself with a blanket. Tried so hard not to smile but it was super cute even given the circumstances.

  3. Tasha September 10, 2013 at 11:11 pm #

    I’m so sorry to hear this, Shannon. I just had a talk with my boys just this week about the two miscarriages I had when they were too young to remember. It was strange to bring it up and they were a little sad but I’m also glad for the conversation we were able to have about it. The tough thing about parenting is that we have to teach our kids about the good AND the bad. Many hugs to your family.

    • Shannon Ly
      Shannon Ly September 14, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

      Tasha, I agree it has brought about some really good conversations with him. For that I’m thankful! It’s interesting to see him grapple with such hard subject matter.

  4. Elissa September 11, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    Shannon, thanks for sharing this. It’s easy to share the happy, joyous, or funny parts of motherhood but it’s important to share the hard stuff. I know I have some tough conversations and situations ahead of me with my two little guys.

  5. HBB September 13, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    I am so sad for your loss and for your hard questions.

    When a family member passed away when my son was just shy of three I longed for the right words to tell him. Keeping it simple worked best, and being open to those very hard questions. 🙁

    • Shannon Ly
      Shannon Ly September 14, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

      I agree, simple is best, along with honesty and truthfulness. These things are never easy. Thanks!

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