Questions of a Scared Six-Year-Old

Last night our son approached us with a huge look of concern on his face.  He was suddenly terrified of tornadoes.  The questions spilled out of him, catching us off-guard as they have in the past.  We did our best to keep up.

[image source]

What happens if a tornado comes?
That would be very rare.  We don’t really get them here, so don’t worry, okay?

Could a tornado take our house down?
We have an old, strong house – it’d be fine.  Besides, we don’t get tornadoes here.

But where would we go if a tornado came?
Well, the weather experts would be able to tell us way ahead of time if a tornado were coming, and if it were, we could drive to safety or go down to the basement.

But if we were in the basement, what if the tornado took away the kitchen floor [the basement ceiling]?  Then it could get in!
[wasn’t sure how to answer that one, but that was okay because his questions kept flowing]

What if it came when we were sleeping?
Honey, the weather experts know really far ahead of time when storms are coming.  We’d have lots of warning, we’d know days ahead, and could travel to safety if needed.

But what if we were driving away and the storm came in the direction we were driving?

What if someone only had wood walls and the storm came?  What would happen to them?
Well, they’d go to the basement.  But if they didn’t have a basement, they could drive somewhere or go to a neighbour’s house with a basement.

Then… the questions took on a more spiritual/religious/philosophical flavour.  *sigh*  My husband and I consider ourselves spiritual rather than religious, so we did our best to answer his mind-expanding questions on-the-fly, not having consulted with each other in advance.

When people die do they become angels, or are they just ghosts?
They become angels.  The good people become angels.

Do they help God?
Yes, they help God and they help the people here on Earth.

When I die I’m going to stop tornadoes.  I’m not going to help God with them.  Why does he make tornadoes?
[I was pretty perplexed at this point, so I’m not exactly sure how I answered that one.]

How did God begin?  How did the earth start?  When was it just space out there?  How long ago was it that nothing was alive on Earth?
[Kid, people spend their entire lives exploring questions like this.  How the heck would I know? – Okay, I didn’t really say that, but seriously?!]

I’ve decided that nothing – no education, no experience – fully prepares you to answer (well) questions like these from a concerned six-year-old.

By the time I tucked J into bed, he thankfully (though strangely) felt much calmer and fell quickly into a deep sleep.  My mind, on the other hand, was reeling…

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Alex July 27, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Welcome to motherhood 😉
I have being asked many questions. For some reasons the first 2 didn’t ask as many weird questions…kind of eased me into it and got me prepared for little C who truly makes up for everyone. She has asked the most deep and unusual question. And not just to me. My mother-in-law was really uncomfortable one day when C asked her why she got divorced. MIL looked at me with a big question on her face. C was about 5 I think. I told MIL to tell her the truth, in an appropriate way. C sees through the lies/bs that adults tend to give to kids.
My advice (not sure if you were asking for it..), be truthful as much as possible. With the spirituality/religion “stuff”, share your opinions but I think we should always explain that these are our beliefs and that sometimes we don’t know the answer. Beliefs vs facts…


Christine (The Brighter Side of Life) July 27, 2012 at 9:48 pm

I’m always happy to get your comments, Alex – thanks!

I totally agree – be truthful yet keep it appropriate to the age of the child. Kids are wise and pick up on things that many adults think are beyond them, as is the case with your youngest.

When it comes to spiritual matters, I usually try to approach it with, “well, some people believe…” and “others believe…” – but sometimes it doesn’t come out so well when I’m unprepared. Arrrgh. 😉


Sarah Ruggaber July 27, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Is that what we have to start preparing for? I am not sure how we would have dealt with those questions. I guess we would start thinking now.


Christine (The Brighter Side of Life) July 27, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Hi Sarah! Yep. Start preparing… 😉 Don’t worry, you have a little bit of time though.

It’s funny – no matter how much I try to anticipate what he’ll come up with, he always catches me off-guard!

Thanks for commenting!


Kira July 28, 2012 at 8:53 am

Well, for the outer space questions you could drive him to Waterloo to visit the Steven Hawking centre for astrophysics where the smartest minds in existence are grappling with the origins of the Universe… 🙂


Christine (The Brighter Side of Life) July 29, 2012 at 7:32 am

Too funny! But maybe someday… 😉


Alex July 28, 2012 at 8:13 pm

I had to leave another message to wave to my cousins 🙂
So fun how the internet brings us together on your blog ♥


Christine (The Brighter Side of Life) July 29, 2012 at 7:33 am

I know, me too – love it! <3


Sarah July 28, 2012 at 8:51 pm

What a lovely post! And what a clever six-year-old boy! 🙂


Christine (The Brighter Side of Life) July 29, 2012 at 7:34 am

Thank you so much, Sarah! I’m glad you stopped by and I appreciate your kind words! 🙂


Sarah July 29, 2012 at 7:37 am

You’re welcome Christine 🙂

If you have a spare time, please visit my site.

Have a good one! 🙂


Christine (The Brighter Side of Life) July 29, 2012 at 7:41 am

I look forward to it! I’ll be offline for a few days, but will definitely visit after that. Take care.


The Open Suitcase August 2, 2012 at 6:21 am

I saw your link on Bucket List Publications and have added a link to your site on mine, too. Hope you stop by for a visit:


Christine (The Brighter Side of Life) August 3, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Thank you so much! I visited and am now following your site – love it!


lovelyshoots August 5, 2012 at 4:03 pm

I have visited your blog and I am going to be following it from now on.
It would be great if you visit my blog:

Though the choice is yours, however, I would be honoured if you follow my blog so that you could get the notifications of any new posts that I make.



Christine (The Brighter Side of Life) August 13, 2012 at 9:40 am

Thanks so much for visiting and following my blog! Welcome. 🙂

I just visited your blog as well, and loved the images of the Cliffs of Moher – stunning! I look forward to exploring your site further!


Krysten August 8, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Stumbled across your blog today via Oh She Glows. This is lovely! I smiled reading through the whole thing. Nothing like little children to make us aware that no experience, degree, or knowledge can prepare us for everything…especially them! Thank you for sharing this little piece of sunshine!


Christine (The Brighter Side of Life) August 13, 2012 at 9:43 am

Thank you so much, Krysten – glad you stopped by! I appreciate your kind words. Hope you visit again soon! 🙂


Ida Mae West-Simone January 11, 2013 at 3:10 pm

The smarter they are, the more possibilities they can come up with to worry about! What reassuring parents you are in handling all of those questions! And what a lucky little guy…

Ida Mae


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