Answering the unanswerable

“Mummy, tell me why do they show people kissing on the lips on TV? You say it is bad and nobody should do this.”

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Ooops! Now this is a tricky one,” I thought.

Kissing on the lips is not allowed with children is a part of the lesson I impart to him and remind him from time to time in addition to the other lessons on sexual abuse.

I did not have an answer. I have always been uncomfortable with such scenes when they appear on TV or in movies when watching with Dhruv. Such kissing scenes are ubiquitous and I am not talking about the more explicits. This  being one of the reason among many others, I do not watch movies with him unless animation. I have a ‘No TV’ rule in the house on weekdays with the allowance of 1 hour of cartoon/NGC/Discovery channels viewing on weekends. I have been doing all of this because I did not want myself to get embroiled in uneasy situations, uneasy questions and expose him unnecessarily for he is just 5. It wasn’t enough, clearly.

“Mummy, tell me why do they show people kissing on the lips on TV? You say it is bad and nobody should do this.”

“Ummm, Dhruv, you see a lot of things are depicted on TV which does not really happen in the real world around us. You have seen people fighting and killing each other in movies but does this happen in our surroundings. No, except in case of war or when terrorists strike.”

“Yes, Mummy.”

“So is the case with people kissing each other on the lips in movies. This is just movies, does not happen in the real world.”

I did not hear a word from him in response but the inner voice jolted me, “That was a crap for an answer. Untrue. Completely.”

In the following days, I prepared my mind with the logical answer, fed the mind with courage to let the words flow out of my mouth with ease. After all, I believe in giving correct information in response to his questions and that is the reason why I talk about penis and vagina because I want him to see hings with objectivity, private parts included.

I was ready for the question to come again. It had to come again since he had not accepted my previous answer.

And it came.

I asked him to repeat twice.

I cleared my throat but the words just remained stuck in my throat.

I told him I knew the answer, yet I didn’t know how to let him know.

“You don’t know anything, Mummy. When 2 grown-ups are in love, they kiss each other on the lips. I know it.”

Are you aware of bombs exploding? In that moment, it felt the same, bombs exploding in me. Those were exactly the words I wanted to tell him – When 2 grown-ups are in love, they kiss each other on the lips and yet I couldn’t say it.

“How did you know about this, Dhruv?”

“Mujhe khud hi pata hai. I know it myself.”

“You know it right.”

You can tell me this question was nothing. There will be more uncomfortable questions waiting in tow. How am I going to handle them? Do you know of resources which I can read to become better equipped to deal with the forthcoming questions? Will you be kind to share those with me?


I have been meaning to write this post for a long time now, more than a month. I held it all this while since I was not sure if I will be able to do justice of putting it into the right words and sensibility.

The latest question to come by is – “Why does the teacher only discuss about the boys’ private parts in the class and not the girls’?

LInking this post with

#MondayMusings hosted by Corinne Rodrigues,

#Monday Musings

#Mommy talks hosted by Nabanita Dhar,

#mg hosted by Mackenzie Glanville,

Reflections From Me

and, Microblog Mondays hosted by Melissa Ford

22 thoughts on “Answering the unanswerable

  1. An@m! says:

    Reading your posts always made me think a lot. I have a habit of observing situations and then wondering how to deal with them. Watching parents dealing with their kids, sometimes i realize there is no “single rule for all”. We as parents can only try and behave as per our own wisdom and understanding of right and wrong.
    Jeeezz… i am scared.. mera kya hoga kaliya. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  2. BellyBytes says:

    I wondered where you were all this while. I can imagine what questions your little boy is going to ask….This reminds me of two things –
    1) When we were little and people kissed on the screen, my aunt who almost always accompanied us to the movies would tell us to look for bed bugs in our seats! That way we were distracted from looking at the screen.
    2) When I once explained to my little girls about periods etc, imagine my shock when one of them announced in the middle of a family dinner ” do you know every month my mother lays eggs?” I shushed her before she could elaborate further.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Obsessivemom says:

    Whoops you’re in a spot!! I’ve been there too. And with teens approaching I’m getting in deeper than I can handle on some days. You did well to tell him that TV isn’t real life. You could also talk about different things being okay in different cultures. I’m not sure if Dhruv is old enough to appreciate that but you could begin with simple things like we say a ‘namaste’ while in other cultures people shake hands or kiss to greet each other, then take it from there. Good luck Anamika, tough days are around the corner. #mg.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. upasna1987 says:

    Gulp, and I thought this is the most difficult phase with being a toddler. Silly me, keep coming these. I need them. You have done the justice to the post Anamika.

    Like

  5. Shilpa Gupte says:

    Whoa! That was a tough one, Anamika! But, you did well.
    I have a 7 yo nephew who bombards me with questions that often leave me stumped. But, I make an attempt at answering as truthfully as I can, taking into consideration how much of it he will be able to comprehend. And, I am mastering the art of answering such googlies by keeping a very straight face, camouflaging my nervousness as best as I can and giving the answer like he was a mini-adult and whatever I said was the ultimate truth. He takes that better and then doesn’t mull over it much. Although, I know as he grows, there will be tougher questions and I will have to prepare myself as well as I can. His mother and I discuss everything and we swap tips and tricks to get him to believe that what we say is a fact. Let’s see what happens in the future.

    Like

  6. deepagandhi says:

    I know exactly how it feels Anamika. It is very difficult but we need to be prepared to give them answers. I was pretty clueless myself but when my girls started asking such questions, I knew that its time to talk to them. I feel 5 years is too early.You can wait for some more years and then talk to him.

    Like

  7. Parul Thakur says:

    Ha ha! I found the post totally amusing and funny and haven’t I told you this? Dhruv is smart. That answer was simple and though I don’t know a word about raising kids, I would say answer a question with a feeling. Like love and kissing on lips. Super duper love and birds and bees, kind of thing;) hope it works! 😀

    Like

  8. sunainabhatia says:

    :DDDDD…..I am laughing because I am in the same situation so many times…..my 8 year old will come with questions about babies and all…..and I have to answer in a manner that is appropriate for his age…..and he also answers like Dhruv – mujhe pata hai, I know….arrey bhai kaise pata….but no answer, just a shrug…..:D….

    Like

  9. Mel says:

    There are great books out there — like picture books — for covering all information, from pregnancy and birth and beyond. I’m not sure which ones would be available overseas. But some of it is practicing, or even admitting to your child that this is a hard topic for you to talk about. I think saying that aloud sometimes helps the child to understand why you’re taking long pauses. That you’re not trying to keep information from them, you’re just trying to figure out the best way to say it.

    Like

  10. mackenzieglanville says:

    with a 12, 9 and 7 year old I have had a lot of questions. I always go with age appropriate honesty, seems to work best for me. They know so much and learn so much quicker than we ever did! #mg

    Like

  11. shalzmojo says:

    Oh my god todays kids are just way toooooo smart. This post made me laugh yet at the same time made me pause too. We cant screen our kids from everything but thier inquisitiveness needs to be rightly tempered with answers to make them understand; lest they develop wrong notions.

    Like

  12. respectformyself says:

    Hey. Being a mother of two children myself (and went through a lot of uncomfortable questioning already – oldest is 10) and a Montessori Teacher I can give you following advice I learned in my studies about child development and giving children answers: only answer directly the question with true factional facts and not more. Children want to hear the truth but are not ready for the entire lecture… if so they will ask more. Why do adults kiss on the mouth? Because they show affections and as adults you are allowed to do so. Point. We can not protect them all the time. Later the see, observe, go to friends, listen… but we can show them they can trust us and can always come to us for advice. Hope it helps.

    Like

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