We’ve all had those times when we’re at a loss for words as a parent.
That’s right, those times we’re speechless.
Sometimes, those moments are humorous, and other times your stomach sinks.
Little kids means little questions out of the left field, like “is Santa real?” or “where does God live?”
Those questions might make you lost for words for a moment, but we can handle these questions.
Then they get older, and the questions start to sound a lot more like:
“Mom, why do girls have ‘x’ and boys have ‘y’?”
We got this, Moms and Dads. Speechless for a moment, but we can handle it.
Then they begin to get harder or catch you off guard as they reach the teenage years.
Dad, did you ever do drugs or did you and mom have sex before marriage?
Umm ahh umm ahh….
What To Say When You’re Lost For Words As A Parent
The best thing you can do when you’re at a loss for words is to take a moment to pause and breathe. Pausing to help you gather your thoughts and hopefully prevent those “open mouth-insert foot” responses.
There’s more to it than that, though.
When you pause and breathe, you’re actually getting extra oxygen to your brain and telling that pesky fight or flight response to calm down (you know, the one that makes you want to respond with, “talk to your mother/father”).
Think About What You Would Have Wanted to Hear
At one point in time, you were the same age your child is now.
You may have had a lot of the same insecurities. Or at least be able to relate to what’s going on in his or her mind. What would YOU have wanted to hear at that age? What would have made YOU feel better?
What would have helped calm you down? What do you wish you had known?
This is a chance to communicate all of that (and more) to your child.
Put Your Hand On Your Heart
Physically put your hand on your heart and ask yourself, “what would a loving response look like?”
If you’re putting thought into your response and coming at it from a place of love, you really can’t go wrong.
Conclusion: What to say when your Speechless
We’re all faced, at one point or another, with those moments where we just don’t know what to say to our children. It may be innocent responses from young children about Santa or the Easter Bunny.
Or it may be embarrassing questions like being asked to define medical terms our kids hear on the news… words that we would rather the dictionary explain to them, not us.
Or it could be something else. It could be about our own history with sex or drugs. Or about a tough situation they’re struggling with themselves… and they just don’t have the solution. (And neither do we.)
When those moments happen, there are three things you should do:
- Pause and breathe
- Ask yourself what you would have wanted to hear at that age
- Come at it from a place of love
Even if you don’t know how to respond, if you follow these three steps, there’s no way you can go wrong.
What are some situations that have come up with your kids where you found yourself at a loss for words?
Share your stories in the comments below or (click-here) and join the discussion in our Parent Only Facebook Group, where we’ll be sharing our stories today with one another.