Talking about abstract things with young kids might be a real challenge. Kids mostly think more concrete; they like to hold things, taste things, feel things. And they grasp things we say in a concrete way. That is why when you tell your kids that angels will protect them from the monsters at night, they think two concrete angels will appear in his/her room in the middle of the night. It sounds a little creepy, doesn’t it?
Many parents find it difficult to explain abstract concepts to their kids like How to talk to kids about Allah?, How to explain life after death to a child?, How to explain what a miracle is?
Don’t you worry, there are some useful tips to respond to all of these questions.
1.Ask questions to your kids
When I was teaching at a kindergarten, a child asked “How can I fly?” I asked her, “How do you think you could fly?” Her answer was much more simple and understandable than my possible answers. She said, “If I had wings, I would be so tired of flapping them as fast as a bird. So I will take on a plane and go faraway countries. I could jump on a rocket too, to visit the moon!”
Sometimes answers that kids expect are more simple than we think. So let them think about their question and find an answer by themselves.
2.Give them a chance to express their feelings
Ask kids about how they feel and encourage them to express their emotions. How would you feel if you were flying?, How did you feel when your friend’s pet died?, How do you feel about Paradise? When they realize their feelings about the events and the abstract things, those will become more understandable in their minds.
3.Let them build bridges between the concrete and abstract
If you want to tell your kids how important is not to lie in any case, even though they feel so bad and are in a bad situation, you can tell them that being honest is as hard as walking on a rope. It is hard, but our kids are strong and talented enough to manage walking on the tiniest ropes. It is normal to shake sometimes or feel dizzy, but they will succeed eventually.
Don’t give up on explaining abstract concepts to your children, but don’t rush. As they grow up and get matured, their mind will be more open to understanding abstract concepts of our faith. Be guides on your children’s way to a deeper understanding of abstract concepts. Try to compromise with them, communicate with them. And wait patiently, every flower blossoms at its own time.