How do you explain it to a 7-year-old?

The other day, my wife and kids drove by a Pro-Life rally.  Jada wanted to know what was going on.

Andrea hesitated, and then told Jada that she wasn’t going to explain it.  That she wasn’t old enough yet.

Suprisingly, Jada was okay with that explanation.  Usually she’s very persistent.

Last night, Andrea asked me what I would have done.  The same thing probably.

I know we cannot shelter her forever from all the pain and suffering in the world.  But seven is just too young for that particular discussion.


4 Responses to How do you explain it to a 7-year-old?

  1. sherrieh says:

    I’m going to upset your apple cart. I have found in counseling very young children, they only ask the question when they are ready to hear an answer. This is prime for parents to open the doors to honest discussion with their kids. As adults, we don’t have to give them an adult response. However, they do need a response on their age level.

    Your daughter understands differences of opinions. Rather than focussing on the contentious issue, focus on the fact that adults too have differences of opinions that they are expressing. I find that 7 years old kids totally understand that. It helps them to figure out that they don’t have to believe what everyone else believes. That sets the stage for them when they come to the teen years for standing up for what they believe in instead of following the crowd.

    Uh-oh, perhaps I have to begin a blog for parents dealing with kids growing up. It’s really tough being a parent and moving through the process. My grandson is 9 and his parents frequently call to ask what they should say to him. You can still protect your daughter’s innocence by reframing.
    1. “How can I answer the bigger issue here?”
    2. “What teachable moment can I produce out of this question?”


  2. I don’t think I agree with sherrieh. Children ask lots of questions when they aren’t ready to hear the answers. As parents you know what your children can handle and what they need to wait on. Abortion is such a complicated subject anyway and then throw protesters in on top of it and it’s an ugly mess. I know that if I had known what an abortion was at age seven, I would have been seriously disturbed. I was a very “sensitive” kid and that would have broken my heart.

    Kolin and I broke down and had a very censored, very basic sex talk with Joey (also seven) several months back because he heard stuff at camp about “sex” and didn’t know what it meant and was throwing the word around like an insult. We had a hard time deciding what to tell him, but eventually we got through it. He understands better now that sex isn’t a topic of polite conversation unless it’s with mom and dad and it’s too special to just toss around like an insult. I hope we made the right choice, and I think we did. But I did some serious praying before broaching the subject.

  3. Kevin says:

    I drove by this same corner (I think!) with my 5 and 3 year old and they asked the same thing! I was taken aback and didn’t know what to say when Avery asked what all those people were doing out there and what their signs said. I usually have a decent response for most things but the first thought that went thru my mind was ‘how do I explain abortion!” So, I just said “those people love babies and want to help keep them safe, and they’re telling everyone about it”. That seemed to satisfy them, but no doubt the experience has stayed with me.

  4. mandoron says:

    Thanks for all the great comments.

    Sheerieh, I agree with you that if they are asking they are probably ready to here. In this instance my daughter was curious why there was a gathering of people. Not curious about abortion, at all. Or what pro-life meant.

    Good response Kevin. I hadn’t thought about framing it in terms of loving babies, and not really getting into the subject of abortion at all.

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