To tell my almost 5yr old that there MAY be a God but if there is he does not answer prayers

(22 Posts)
Catmint Wed 10-Jul-13 21:04:46

Yanbu. Matter of fact is perfect. Some people believe x, some people believe y. Lots of people don't know what they believe.

The balance between respecting what other people believe, what you believe and what your child believes on a day to day basis is what is important.

ThePowerof3 Wed 10-Jul-13 20:59:40

Oh and Yanbu

ThePowerof3 Wed 10-Jul-13 20:59:21

My DD started worrying about death etc from age 4 and going to church and church school has given her comfort so I go along with it, no big theological questions have come up yet though

curlew Wed 10-Jul-13 20:56:38

"You could be opening a can of worms that at this young age kids don't need to think about. Especially if they are naturally inquisitive.

My son believes there is a heaven in the sky. No god = no heaven = questions about what happens when we die."

If they are inquisitive and ask questions you answer them. If you happen to be religious , you answer the questions in that context, remembering to say that not everyone believes the same. If you aren't, they answer them in the context of what you do think, remembering to say..as before. Why on earth would you tell children stuff about heaven if you don't believ it? It's like telling them that the stork brings babies.

That is awful that a child believes God will kill them for killing bugs!
I do believe God answers, just sometimes the answer is no

lastnightidreamt Wed 10-Jul-13 20:53:25

My children go to a very godly school, and I have had my faith shattered over the last couple of years.

I tend to stick with "well, some people believe this...... and others believe this........".

It seems to work as I don't want to completely overrule what they learn at school.

Shallishanti Wed 10-Jul-13 20:51:38

I think those ARE the rules of all the religions, aren't they?

GiveItYourBestShot Wed 10-Jul-13 20:46:38

"I finished by saying that what matters is that she tries her best to be good, kind to others and not to do nasty things to other people."

The world would be a better place if these were the rules of all the religions!

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Wed 10-Jul-13 19:34:14

DD (aged 6) came home confused about religion a couple of months ago as one classmate is Jewish, one is Muslim and a couple are Christians. We are Atheists.
So I explained to her that different people believe in different religions and that is their right. I said there may be a God, but no one can know for sure, and it is OK for people to believe in God, but we choose not to and that is OK too. I finished by saying that what matters is that she tries her best to be good, kind to others and not to do nasty things to other people.

GetWhatYouNeed Wed 10-Jul-13 19:24:24

I would tell her that different people believe different things. I think its absolutely fine to say that you yourself do not believe in god if that's the case. I'm an atheist and when my husband died when my children were very young it was easier for me to explain to them, and for them to understand, that when a person dies they are completely gone rather than floating in heaven.

When my son was about 5 he came home upset and told me that his friend had told him that he would burn in hell as he didn't believe in god or go to church ( friend was from a very religious family). At that point I did tell him that it was completely untrue as there was no such thing as heaven, hell or god. Son and friend are now in their twenties and friend has not surprisingly abandoned his religion.

JakeBullet Wed 10-Jul-13 19:23:16

You dont need to overthink it at this stage. I am "religious" but my idea of "God" is a spiritual energy/force for good in tbe world which we can tap into in times of need.
Prayer for me is a simple time of silence and usually if I am struggling then its at those times of silence when I might get a brainwave! (if I am lucky)

I think in ybe situation you described that you handled it well. She has heard from you that tbis is what "some people believe" and as she grows up so this will make more sense to her.

picnicbasketcase Wed 10-Jul-13 19:12:54

The other day DD (5) came home from school singing 'Who put the colours in the rainbow'. I found it quite hard to not just say 'God didn't do any of the things in that song, there are proper explanations for all of those things'. I suppose all you can do is say 'Yes, some people believe that, I don't, but what you believe is up to you' or whatever.

intheshed Wed 10-Jul-13 19:10:34

I just stick to saying that some people believe different things, but that's ok we are all different. I try not to get into what I believe unless she specifically asks.

It's not just religion though, kids will tell each other all sorts of things... for example, 5yo DD's friend told her there is no such thing as father christmas, but that fairies are definitely real because she had seen one!

exoticfruits Wed 10-Jul-13 19:04:37

I would just say that people believe in different things - when they are older they will decide for themselves.

GiveItYourBestShot Wed 10-Jul-13 18:55:57

I think not killing bugs is part of the Jain religion. But probably better to google it than take my word!

Squitten Wed 10-Jul-13 18:40:20

I would be inclined to stick to emphasising that people believe different things and leave it at that. Just keep telling yourself that she also believes that Santa is as real as you are. She'll grow up and be able to understand it better when she's older. Don't worry about it or make it into a big deal.

Justfornowitwilldo Wed 10-Jul-13 18:36:27

How about it's not nice to kill things/hurt things just because you can. I assume they've been killing ants.

4athomeand1cooking Wed 10-Jul-13 18:19:28

You could be opening a can of worms that at this young age kids don't need to think about. Especially if they are naturally inquisitive.

My son believes there is a heaven in the sky. No god = no heaven = questions about what happens when we die.

ImNotBloody14 Wed 10-Jul-13 18:18:49

I think 5 year olds will tell each other lots of stuff that is inaccurate but at that moment they believe to be true. and that's fine. it only becomes an issue if you make it one.

i'm atheist. my dcs know this. 8 year old tells me stuff about god all the time and I just smile and nod and say 'that's nice dear'. if he asks if I agree i'll tell him I don't but it's perfectly fine for him not to think the same way as me.

Sirzy Wed 10-Jul-13 18:16:15

I would just explain to her that is what her friend believes, but different people believe different things so that's not what you believe. Make it clear that she can decide what she believes (which at this age will change daily probably anyway!) and that she can always ask you any questions she may have.

sameoldIggi Wed 10-Jul-13 18:15:28

I think the idea that killing bugs = God will kill us, is not part of any mainstream religious view, surely?
There are separate questions of whether you want her to have any religious belief (or rather, whether you don't mind her having it) and the nature of the religious belief she might have.
I don't think a lot of Christians would say God will make someone better because you pray for them, though they might still say God answers prayer (through strength, comfort etc).

Sleep404 Wed 10-Jul-13 18:09:42

Dd came home today and informed me that God is all around us, he makes sick people well and if we kill lots and lots of bugs, God will kill us.

After having a bit of a laugh over the later I told her that that is what some people believe because it makes them feel better, but Mummy doesn't think it's right. If there is a God, it would be pretty mean to only help some people and not others. TBH she just looked confused and then informed me I was wrong, her friend told her so and she goes to church. Since when did a 5yr olds word become more believable than mine shock. I fear it is a slippery slope with no return.

I digress, was I wrong to be so matter of fact. I grew up with and respect religion, despite not believing it now. Part of me feels that she should make her own choice, and I do think you can have religion when young and then make up your mind when older if you still believe but finding it when older having been brought up without it is much less likely.

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