When do kids ask the BIG life questions?

Curious kids can get us into some pretty tricky situations. Ever been asked a question that’s made you laugh out loud, squirm, or genuinely stumped you altogether?

From how babies are born to how much things are worth, and everything in between, we asked the British public how old their kids were when they started asking life’s big questions.

And if you’re sat there fretting over how to handle these questions when your kid starts asking, read on for our expert tips on how to deal with them effectively.

5.7: the average age kids ask where babies come from

So to the big one. According to our research, kids ask where babies come from at an average age of 5.7 – although 24% of respondents’ kids haven’t sprung the question just yet.

A resolute two-fifths (40%) of parents answered this one honestly and openly, while 32% were slightly less direct, saying babies are born when two people love each other very much. A total of 10% said babies are purchased from the shop.

It seems this is a naturally inquisitive age, with most kids asking why they have to go to school around this point – although they’re typically over the age of six before they start asking how much things are worth, what you do for a living, and how much you earn.

A healthy 59% of respondents say they answer such questions honestly, as kids are old enough for the truth; while 24% dilute their answers to make it easier for their children to understand. Around 11% avoid the truth because they think their kids are still a bit too young.

How to answer your kids’ big questions

Whatever your stance, it’s definitely difficult knowing exactly how to respond when your kid starts quizzing you on life’s biggest questions. We spoke to PhDr. Ivana Poku, Motherhood Life Coach, who shared her top tips.

Where do babies come from?

It’s really important to tell kids the truth about this question – but for now, it could be something as simple as “when mummy and daddy love each other, sometimes they’re blessed with a baby”.

Something that works really well with this question is reading books on the subject. Obviously how much detail it goes into depends on how old your kid is! Younger kids will love seeing pictures of babies in mummy’s tummy, and when they ask questions about how it felt, it’ll only help to support bonding and trust.

How much are things worth?

If children want to know how much expensive items like houses or cars cost, you could try and answer with “how much do you think?”, and then take it from there.

Another tack is to say that, in your opinion, houses are priceless because they put a roof over your head, then ask if they agree with you. The key here is to be creative and playful, but make sure you always consider your child’s age.

What do you do for a living, and how much do you earn?

If your kid asks what you do for a living, then be honest. They’ll likely understand more than you realise, so if they don’t get what your job entails, go ahead and explain it to them. If you avoid the answer on the assumption they won’t understand, it could break the trust between the two of you or affect their natural curiosity and confidence.

When it comes to salary, answer this with their age in mind. You can always be open and honest, without giving away too much detailed information.

Why do we have to go to school?

This is a great question that allows parents to get their kids excited about school through play. Why not use it to your advantage?

So you could look up all the benefits of going to school online and play a game with the answers, or why not draw pictures together and hang them up in their bedroom. Ultimately, you’ll know what works best for your kid, so choose an activity you know they’ll enjoy.

It’s great when kids ask these questions, because it shows they’re curious and learning about things happening around them. But of course, depending on how old they are, it’s hard knowing when to tell them the full truth! Ultimately, you know best how well your kid understands things, and whether it’s time to be totally honest with them, or just give them what they need for now.

Brought to you by the life insurance experts at comparethemarket.com.

If you’d like to find out more about teaching children how they can spend their pocket money, you can find more information here.

Methodology

We undertook a survey with 1,000 UK adults with TLF in May 2021.