3 Steps to Help Answer Kids’ Tough Questions

Children are known for their capacity to ask questions — and lots of them! They are naturally curious about how the world works and are eager to explore and learn, so of course their little brains are like a never-ending pinball machine of thoughts. In fact, studies show that 4-year-olds ask approximately 200-300 questions a day. Wow — God certainly created children to be little discoverers!

Some questions are easier to answer than others, but we have to be prepared to answer ANY question they throw our way. As their parents and caretakers, they look to us for answers to all of their questions — big or small. When it comes to the big (and sometimes prickly) questions, we have some practical tips to help you feel confident and ready to respond instead of leaving you scratching your head and speechless.

Remember, it’s important to consider your child’s temperament and developmental level as you work through these steps, since every child is different. And, as often as possible, point back to God’s Word with your answers. After all, the Bible is God’s instruction manual for our lives!

Step 1: Prepare Yourself & Your Answer

First, acknowledge that you heard them by saying “That’s a great question!” Instead of rushing into an answer, pause and ask them a clarifying question. This does a few things: it will buy you time to come up with your response and it also stops you from answering the wrong question. Asking your child, “What do you think?” will help you get a better sense of exactly what they’re asking. Sometimes, it’s completely different from what we originally thought and we don’t want to add confusion. 

Many questions come up at the most inopportune times, like in the grocery store line or when they’re about to walk into school. You can say “That’s a great question! Let me think about that and we can discuss it after school. I’m excited to explore that with you!” In this scenario, you have time to pray and check for appropriate Scripture that will help with your answer.

Step 2: Answer the Question

Your answer should be honest, age-appropriate, simple, and straight-forward. If your answer requires a lot of information, take it slow and pause between thoughts so they have time to process. Be aware of your tone and delivery as your child may need some reassurance if they are asking a question in pursuit of comfort. For example, if a child asks “Why did Grandma die?,” it might be their way of expressing that they are fearful of death. In all answers, try to point back to God’s Word as the truth! With this example, you have a great opportunity to explain the Gospel message and the promise of Heaven with Jesus, our Lord and Savior and that there’s no reason to be afraid of death.

Step 3: Follow-up & Respond Accordingly

After your answer, follow-up with your child by asking “Tell me what you think about that” or “Tell me what you heard me say.” This helps you feel confident that they understood your answer and will also help them in processing your answer. If you sense they are still struggling with the topic, continue the conversation with prayer and Scripture by saying, “Let’s continue this conversation at home and look through our Bibles for some more help.” This will teach them that we can turn to prayer and God’s Word for all situations.

As parents and caretakers, we’ve all experienced burnout from incessant questions. But, we have to remember that their curiosity is part of their normal development. It’s also an opportunity for us to teach them truth and inspire hope by always pointing them to God’s Word! At Bible2School, there are three questions we hear most often from children — and they are deep, life questions that all point to God’s Word! Hear what they are and how to respond in this blog.

Relevant Bible Verses

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
-Psalm 23:4

“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
-Matthew 19:26

“For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not,  I am the one who helps you.”
-Isaiah 41:13

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good.”
-Romans 8:28

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Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments I give you…Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road…Deuteronomy 6:5-7