Sam: “If I drink my milk what will the baby cow have to eat?”

Nanny V: “Good question young man”.

If only I had an answer to everything… “Why is the colour of the sky called blue?”, ”why is my hair blonde and yours is black?”, “why do I have to brush my teeth/put away my toys/step over the puddle/always listen to you?”, “why why why?”

Being a child can sometimes be confusing. There are so many things to learn. Almost everything is new and at times puzzling, or daunting, and maybe a little scary.

And yet I have always delighted in this wonder. The questions may be challenging when the subject is delicate (like the inevitable, “how did I get in/out of my mummy’s tummy?”), and even mindboggling when I had no idea how to explain “why is my tummy at the front of my body and not at the back?”

Being a nanny does not mean you have all the answers but hopefully you know how to find them. It is also important to ensure there is a right time to explain and describe the details for a young mind to comprehend.

For example, if you are walking or driving and don’t have access to an encyclopaedia or google to describe the theory of relativity, it can still be fun learning. Ask the question back, “why do you think?”, “what if …”, “how would we …”. Create a game and see who comes up with the silliest idea.

After dinner and bath and play when you have a reasonable explanation, take the time to talk and be prepared for even more questions. Accept you won’t and can’t know everything so “I don’t know” sometimes has to be all you can offer. Otherwise, “let’s ask mum/dad/grandpa”.

I still have no answer for the aardvark question, however, in German it is an Erdferkel which sounds far more fun. Any suggestions?


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