Amma, why does aunty and uncle not have a baby?
Aunty, do you have kids at your home?
Amma, I don’t want to go to their house. There is no one to play with.
10 Years & above
You guys are old, yet you don’t have a baby!
When are you going to have kids?
Children often ask innocent questions, but most of them are embarrassing and topics even many parents like me have not learned to talk about.
As they grow their innocent questions become more of a know-it-all mock. After the initial shock washes away, it is clear that it is time to discuss a few things with today’s children.
One such that I faced recently and also been hearing about from some friends in particular is kids questioning elders about their child situation.
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While I was conversing with a good friend of mine, my daughter interrupted and wanted to be in the frame. My friend introduced herself with courtesy and they shared their conversations for a bit. While I was proud about it, the next question my daughter asked made my face go blank.
Questions Kids Ask
Aunty, do you have kids at your home? Show them! I was embarrassed that I wanted to hide. I just looked at my daughter and told her they have gone out, now go and play. My friend took the question with a smile, told her that they were playing outside.
She spoke about many cartoon characters that my daughter was happy that she forgot her question. She happily answered my friend’s questions, then waved bye and went away to play.
I told my friend that I was sorry about the question my daughter asked, but my friend just smiled and said that’s alright. At that moment, I knew that I had to accept the situation as it is to learn to deal with it.
It was time to discuss a few things with my 4 1/2 year old, but how was I going to explain this to her.
Choosing to have or not have Children
I don’t know if childless or childfree are good terms to use. I will stick to choosing to have children and choosing to not have children.
Today a question about choosing to have children is a personal one. I think it has always been, but we have never known about it. My grandparents have asked this question to many, my parents and relatives have, that even I thought was quite a common question to ask friends.
This was, until I was cut off by a good friend recently when I told her that I thought she was pregnant, after she posted that they were welcoming a new bundle into their house. Little did I know that time that I had hurt her sentiments deeply. It took me a while to understand that I had crossed lines. I felt ashamed.
Once we have crossed the line apologizing doesn’t really make sense if we don’t understand our mistake.
One of my other good friend recently narrated that she felt deeply hurt after a particular incident.
A good friend’s son mockingly asked the couple why they do not have a kid yet, now that they look already old. The parent of the child was silent and turned a deaf ear to the conversation.
My friend was in depression before a few years, but has now bloomed beautifully. She was deeply worried if she had to isolate herself again. This particular conversation made me think about this situation.
Learning to Respect Choices
As an adult, I had to unlearn a lot about personal choices people make. From asking them blunt questions and hurting their emotions, I have chosen to move back and ask nothing.
I have made a million mistakes in the past, but it has opened new norms for me in relationships. Nowadays, I think twice before asking a question. I don’t want to offend people due to my curiosity. It really hurts.
Do you have kids?
The moment my daughter asked this question, I felt shattered. That’s the whole idea. This question shatters those who planned to have children, but couldn’t due to various reasons. To those who chose not to have children, this is pure annoyance.
When are you planning to have a kid?
When I first asked this question to a close relative, I felt I was being concerned about the person. I was truly concerned, but I had never realized that I hurt her emotion.
People might be in different phases of life. Some might be trying for kids for a while now, some might have to go through miscarriage, some might have fertility issues, the concerns are aplenty.
Growing up in a toxic environment would have made them choose not to have kids. Both working night shifts, single parenting due to work nature are some of the reasons that could have made them rethink their choices.
Are you pregnant? Will you ever have a kid?
I’m surprised you’re not having a kid. You are wrong about kids, you must have one to know motherhood. You must be shamed for choosing not to have children.
There are always plenty of questions to ask, more new ways to mock. Please, kill your curiosity about another’s choices, all they need is privacy.
If you truly care, then please do not hurt. People are willing to share their problems only with those they trust. If you have earned their trust, then share your thoughts with them in a understanding way. Above all, be supportive by listening to them.
Parents, let your children know their limits!
While I was talking with my friend about this, she explained that she is used to such questions from adults all the time. They have the power to hurt more.
When kids ask this, she tells them they’ll be here soon. Kids get excited about it. It is lovely to hear them say that they want to play with their kid and that they’ll take care really well. That explains their love for them as a couple.
Most of the times, such questions from kids are often handled by their parents. There are parents who have told kids, soon aunty will have a kid and sent them off to play. Also, there are parents who have told kids that it is too early for you to talk about such things and sent them off.
The important thing is not mocking someone because of their choice or situation. Children today see a lot and know too much. Instead of being proud of their smartness, it is time for parents to put a firm feet when needed and let their child know their limits.
One need not know the answer to everything. Most times, it is important to learn manners over answers. Elder children must know to talk with respect as much as they must know about personal space.
How I explained to my daughter?
For now, I explained to her that uncle and aunty will soon have a child. She is excited and has already announced she will take good care. I am still thinking how to deal with this in a better way.
Our friends are important to us and we cannot avoid them due to children. We love visiting them and spending time together. I am planning to do a few things for the times she says she finds it boring.
I tell my daughter to take a few toys before she goes to my friend’s place to play with. We try to include her in our conversations sometimes so that she does not feel left out. When other friends come over, their children are often good company. Movie time is a common thing during such occasions.
My answer is going to change over time, but I want to deal with my friend and my daughter in a compassionate way. I think I need to broaden my thinking for that.