Tough Questions

07 May Tough Questions

Kids ask a lot of questions. The older they get, the harder the questions and most often we don’t know the answers. Kids pick up more than book coverwe might realize too. While it may seem that they are paying no attention to you at all, later you’re taken off guard by a pretty in-depth question directly related to what you didn’t think they heard.

The other day, my daughter asked me about nuclear bombs. She wanted to know what they are and how they work. Since we are a news listening family, I knew that this came from radio and TV news broadcasts about North Korea. It took me back in time when I was a high school senior and my English teacher asked the class if we were worried about nuclear war. I remember thinking, no, why would we? My teacher however, grew up in an era where children had Duck and Cover drills during the Cold War. For us though, the Cold War was a history topic.

Interesting how life circles around. Now I had to think of a way to help my child understand something I didn’t understand. However, I didn’t want to just “Google it”. I wanted her to know how nuclear war impacts people on a level she could comprehend. I requested two books for her. One was Sadako and the other was a nonfiction book about Hiroshima. We read Sadako together and talked about the story. Then I gave her the nonfiction book so she could read it and take in what a nuclear bomb can do. Then I asked her if she had any questions. I hope this was the right thing to do but in parenting there’s no manual of instructions that let me know I’d done it right.

Over the years working at the library, I’ve had many questions from parents who want to help children deal with tough questions. Death, disease, pet loss, same-sex relationships, puberty, and the list goes on. Although these are tough topics, I’ve had the opportunity to help adults get information that’s been reviewed and edited before publication so they and their child can get accurate information. This is one way in which public libraries meet community needs.