Whole Parenting Family

Parenting the Little Kids with Big Questions


My five year old (almost six) has been asking the big questions that little kids ask. And I’m sorting through what the answers are. Often I have to preface my response with: Let me think about that one.

His latest:

What is God’s plan for my life and how will I know what it is?

And I choked on my milk and took two deep breaths because this feels so above my pay grade. And then I remember that this is my pay grade and these are the questions I have to hold in my heart for the kids. These are what I’m here for. (And to be pooped on. LOTS.)

I started out with: God has a plan for all our lives, and we don’t know what that plan is, but it will unfold over time.

Then I went towards: God doesn’t shout down from Heaven, parting the clouds, to tell you exactly what you should do.

(Eliciting giggles and chortles.)

I explained that we make lots of little choices and those little choices lead us to bigger choices. And that as we choose, always putting kindness and love first, we get stronger and stronger inside. That’s our conscience. That helps us know if what we’re doing is right or wrong.

He wanted particulars. What if God wants me to be a soldier or a doctor? I want to be a baseball player. 

Now it was my turn to laugh a little. I shared my view that God isn’t going to force him into anything, ever. He gave him the right to chose. He’ll know what the best path is by trying things, and sometimes failing, and then trying something else. It will feel right inside. God answers requests for help and guidance, too!

After he lapsed into silent though on all this, I did too. How did I know that staying at home with my kids would be the “right” decision for me? And how do I know now things like where to send my kids to school or where to put the little energies I have (aside from homing & momming).

This talk–this line of questioning from my tall skinny boy–reinforced in me that I can answer the big questions. Because I’m living out my answers to them. Not perfectly, not always consistently, but I’m trying.

Nothing keeps us honest like kids. They also can smell chocolate on my breath from across the room.


  1. Sara on April 13, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    I used to study theology in college, but my daughter makes me rethink/think through everything so much more carefully now! So I totally hear you.
    On a similar note, your post and the post I’m linking to below showed up in my feed together. Maybe that means it’s just for me, but I thought I would at least share this: “I used to think discerning my calling would always be that mountain-top moment of clarity and call, but now I know that it can also be lived into as we follow Jesus. It can be ordinary and slow and communal. And our vocations or callings can fade and change and shift, too. There isn’t a “one-and-done” nature to our discipleship in the kingdom of God. I’m called to my whole life: I feel equally called as a wife and a mother as I do to my writing and preaching or any other aspect of a life seamlessly lived in discipleship to our Jesus. All of our lives are a proclamation.” (From http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2016/april/your-calling-isnt-just-between-you-and-god.html?paging=off)

    • Natural Mama Nell on April 14, 2016 at 1:23 pm

      I love it! What a great article. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Charlotte @ to Harriet Louise on April 14, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Oh gosh. I’m nearly 25 and emotionally/mentally paralyzed trying to figure this out for myself. Wish I had had some guidance growing up. We’re complete strangers but reading this makes me so happy for you and for your boy.

    • Natural Mama Nell on April 14, 2016 at 9:22 pm

      We are not total strangers! The internet makes us friends 🙂 And I think we’ve all been there or are where you are, girl. So you’re not alone!!

  3. […] Did I explain that properly to my kid or am I completely bluffing my way through […]