How to answer the embarrassing questions your kids ask about TV ads?

How to answer the embarrassing questions your kids ask about TV ads?

Do you find it difficult to answer the embarrassing questions that your kids ask about what they see on TV? Here are five most embarrassing questions and how to answer them.

Recently, a concerned mum contacted us. "My girl is asking embarrassing questions about an ad she saw on the TV. I have ignored her, but this is making her think about it even more. How do I answer her?" This is a situation all the mums go through in their lives, and giving a right answer at that time is essential as children are naturally curious.

The ads on TV used to be subtle when I was a kid. Things were implied, and not overtly stated! Thus a Nirodh or a Mala D advertisement would play a song and that was it. There was no sexualisation of contraception. The ads have come a long way from now. How to explain what a condom is, much less, why is it chocolate flavoured?

Don't worry mums. We have an answer for a few of the most embarrassing questions that your children ask.

But before you go, there are two things you should remember

  • Curiosity in kids is a good thing
  • Kids are not going to be satisfied till you give them a good answer. They will end up asking the embarrassing questions to others!

Here are the top 5 most embarrassing conversations. We will play it through two conversations.

1# Ads about condoms

Condom ads are everywhere! in newspapers and on the TV. The kid is going to ask questions sooner or later.


Typical Conversation:

Kid: Mum, what is this new chocolate?

Mum: It is not a chocolate, It is not for you.

Kid: But why is it not for me? Mummy, batao na!

Mum: Shut up/ Don’t bother me/ Ask your Dad.

Better conversation:

Kid: Mum, What is this new chocolate?

Mum: Why do you think it is a chocolate?

Kid: That woman was talking about the chocolate. Moreover, her husband was looking at one.

Mum: That is true. She was talking about chocolate, but it is something for grownups.

Kid: Why is it for grownups?

Mum: Well, they are grown up right? When they are not yet ready to have children, they use this chocolate. When you grow up a bit more, I will tell you more about it! Promise!

Does the second one look more appealing? It engages your child to ask what he thinks. This is very important. It is also important to satisfy the curiosity of the child for the time being. You don't want them to go asking the question around and get weird answers!

Read on for more meaningful conversations

2# Sanitary Napkin ads

My mum used to be embarrassed when these ads came on TV. Lucky for her, we never asked what they were for. But, you might not escape the questions.


Typical conversation:

Kid: Mum, what is this napkin?

Mum: It is nothing, don’t ask me such questions.

Kid: But here she is putting ink on it. Is it to blot my pen?

Mum: Shut up/ Don’t bother me/ I am busy right now.

Different conversation:

Kid: Mum, What is this napkin?

Mum: What do you think it is?

Kid: That woman just put ink on it. I think it is for my pen./ I think it is a new napkin like the one we have to wipe our hands.

Mum: Well, this is for girls when they grow up. When a girl reaches a certain age, her body changes. She then needs this napkin every month.

Kid: Why don’t boys need one?

Mum: Boys need other things! I will tell you all about it when you reach that age! Promise!

Do you think the different conversation would work?

Read on for more meaningful conversations

3# Intimate scenes on screen

Sex sells. And that is why it is there everywhere. Even male underwear needs women to sell it. Sad as it may be, it is a potential goldmine for embarrassing questions.


Typical conversation

Kid: Mum, what are they doing?

Mum: Shut up and run from here.

Better conversation

Kid: Mum, what are they doing?

Mum: They are grown up now. This is a special kind of love you reserve for someone you want to be with for a long time. This is how babies are made.

Kid: Do all adults do it?/ Chee, I am not going to do it.

Mum: Well, Don’t worry about it now. There is a plenty of stuff you need to do before you grow up!

The kids go through phases of fascination about sex. Deal with them in a mature way.

Read on for more meaningful conversations

4# About cigarettes, pan masalas and alcohol

Though ads about these are not allowed, they are coming with surrogate ads using music CDs and sodas. In every movie, you will find one scene where the actor is smoking or drinking. Add the cool persona of the actor to the act, the kids will end up finding smoking and drinking itself to be a cool thing. Many kids imitate smoking while reciting the dialogues of famous movies.


Typical conversation:

Kid: (Imitating someone who smokes)

Mum: (peet pe ratta!)

Ye kaha se seekha? Yaad rakhna agar wapis aisa kiya to!

Better conversation:

Kid: (Imitating someone who smokes)

Mum: (In amusement) What are you doing?

Kid: I am smoking a cigarette/ I am a cool gangster now!

Mum: But do you know that the cigarette causes a terrible illness? Thousands of people die every year because of it!

Kid: (a bit shocked) Then why do people smoke?

Mum: They are fools. But you are not! So stay away from cigarette and smokers!

Kid: Okay mum!

If you deny the kid, his curiosity will increase rather than decrease. Handle the situation in this way, and you won't have to worry till he grows up.

Read on for more meaningful conversations

5# Morning after pills and ovulation strips

These are the new additions to the things parents find hard to explain to kids.


Typical conversation

Kid: Mum, ye kya hai?

Mum: Ye kuch nahi. Go and study.

Better conversation:

Kid: Mum, Ye kya hai?

Mum: What do you think it is?

Kid: I don’t know. The aunty seems stressed about something.

Mum: Well, that aunty wants to have a baby/ wants to wait till she has a baby. This is going to help her do that.

Kid: Okay. Thanks!

Beyond these questions

We understand that it is not always easy to stick to the script. Kids will come up with baffling questions that even the most educated among us cannot answer. A good way is to tell the kid that you do not know how to explain it better 'at that time' and would follow up on it. And then, do follow up. There is nothing to be ashamed about these realities of life, and the better way to handle these things is by being honest.

This will teach them important life lessons and you would end up having a mature kid who can think and act. The world needs such kids!

Have we answered your questions? To find out how other parents are handling these questions, ask them on theAsianparent Community!

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Written by

Anay Bhalerao

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