How do I answer their questions?

A friend relayed the following Heart-thumping-What-should-I-say-Yikes-I’m-stumped-Situation:

She was reading to her preschoolers the story of Noah’s Ark and they asked her:

Where did all of the other people go?

(Meaning: those who weren’t on the ark.)

This mom wondered: How should I answer!??
(While thoughts swirled in her head: what if my reply causes my kids to become fearful of rain storms!)

Hmmmm… There is always the response of answering a question with a question:

Where do you suppose they went?

Would that work in this situation?
How would you have answered this question?

Would you have explained that…

  • The people were very bad. (And left it at that.)
  • Or…The people were very bad and as punishment it rained and rained. It rained so hard there was a flood. (And left it at that.) Or
  • Or would you have gotten more specific and said… The people were very bad; they were so bad that God decided to wipe them all out and so he created a flood.

I think that I would have liked to add a couple of questions to this conversation:

Do you suppose that all of that rain was really rain or was it God’s tears?
Why do you suppose God was crying?
Do you suppose this story is meant to teach us to obey God?

You know your kids best. What would you have answered? (Please share your answers!)

Photo credit: Josh Madison
Licensed under: Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

One thought on “How do I answer their questions?

  1. My children, who are almost 4, asked a lot of questions about the flood. They wanted to know why there had to be a flood, where the people went and why they were so bad.
    I was in a quandry because I hadn’t “prepared” appropriate, thoughtful and honest answers. The more I tried to give them answers, the more they asked. Ugh. I felt like I was opening up a can of worms.
    Well, I did the best I could at the moment. Happily I realized that this one conversation did not have to be the only one we had. This could be one of many that will hopefully begin to explore all of the aspects surrounding the story. Here are a few that came up for us. What does it mean to be “wicked”? Will God do that today? Did they all die? How did they die? Where did all the water go?
    Wow, the mind of a 3 year old is amazing.

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