I am now doing a part time job dealing with primary school kids from age 5 to 12. Looking somewhat different from the majority of the people in this school, kids would approach me and ask why I have “that thing” on my head. I knew I would have to deal with this question since I’m the minority in this country, but I wasn’t expecting it to come from an 8 year old on my very first day.
My first reaction was a 20 second silence. Not that I didn’t know what to answer but I was thinking on how to give her a simple answer which is not confusing. In the end my response was “because I have a different religion”. Older kids would ask a lot of other questions regarding the head scarf like “do you wear it when you take a shower” “don’t you feel hot” “what else must you cover” “do you wear it at home”. Because these kids are roughly 11- 12 years old, I answered as simple and as truthful as I could which I think is just what they needed.
Just a few days ago, a new kid arrived and she asked me the same question. Instead of just saying I have a different religion, I said I have a different belief. Because I was not attending to any other kid at that moment, I figured its better that I have a two way discussion with the kid so she understands better.
Me:- You know how different people have different names and look different from one another. They also come from different places, countries. Can you tell me what else is different between all of us?
Girl:- Different eye colour, different hair colour.
Me:- that’s very good. What about different language
Girl:- yeah! and different way of dressing too
Me:- that’s right! And a different religion, that’s what I have, A different religion.
I find this an effective way to approach younger kids provided that you have the time to have the conversation. Some people would say you should tell them why you are covered so they understand why your religion wants you to cover. As for me i would elaborate on that if they raise the question, which usualy comes from older kids.
Some other answers I came across from other people were :-
“I tell them that I want to look as nice as Mary, the mother of Jesus”.
“this is what I believe and it helps me to stay modest"
Add some other responses you may think would help.