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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Just Answer the Question

Kids are very literal.  At least, mine are.

When my kids ask questions, I often answer what I interpret as their question, rather than their actual question.  Oftentimes, it turns out, they just want an answer to their question, the one they actually asked, not the one from my imagination.

Sometimes it is difficult for me to hear the question they are asking, because my mind automatically jumps three steps ahead.  I have to train myself to repeat the questions in my head, to make sure I am really hearing what the kids are asking.  By answering their questions literally, I avoid making assumptions about what they might "really be asking." 

When my kids ask me cancer questions, I have to listen even more carefully, to make sure I really do answer their questions.  I worry that there are other, more difficult, issues that concern my kids.  So far, I seem to be the only one delving that deep.

My kids are not usually concerned with my existential questions; they just want to know if anything is going on that will mess up their plans for the coming week.




Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,
RivkA

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

consider it one of your triumphs - you are raising perfectly normal and well balanced kids, despite cancer!
yashar koach :-)

love
BW

Henya said...

I think that this is one of the joys of motherhood. But sometimes it is hard to come up with simple answers for the simple questions kids ask.

Anonymous said...

What you're describing is what's usually written about when giving over sex education - you know, where'd I come from? no, I mean like what city?

Klara

Anonymous said...

Klara,

Or like:
What is sex?
Well, it's...
(twenty minutes later)
So, do I write M or F?

LeahGG said...

*giggling* at Klara and anon...
reminds me of the time my friend's daughter (3-4 at the time) asked how you make a baby. After a whole explanation including mention of IVF since she was an IVF baby, she announced that her babysitter could make a t-shirt. (as if it were pretty much the same thing)

yeah, I actually think that they can't deal with the big questions and that they know that there aren't really answers anyway, so they're just trying to figure out how to live today.

Batya said...

Important post. So frequently we answer incorrectly by projecting how our own minds work.

RivkA with a capital A said...

BW -- well, I'm not sure they are "perfectly normal", but we like how they're turning out (mostly). :-}

Henya -- It is really hard for me! I think my husband has an easier time just hearing/answering the question. In general, he's a lot more literal than I am.

Klara -- LOL!! Those annecdotes are classic!!

Leah -- I'm giggling too!

Batya -- yeah

Susan Tipton said...

I so get this! I do the same thing- especially when the kids are asking me questions about their ill brother.

Btw, I think it so wonderful that you are discussing things with your kids. Out of love my parents choose to hide my mother's illness for several years.

It didn't work- we knew something was wrong but my sisters and I thought the something wrong was us. The weirdness their secrecy caused was much harder to deal with than life, after they finally "came clean".

Blessings!

RivkA with a capital A said...

Susan -- thanks for the affirmation!