"Is he going to come back to life? Jesus came back to life." when talking about my dead dad

(54 Posts)
StupidTrombone Sat 28-Jun-14 18:51:02

Since nursery did the easter story we have had a lot of questions about things coming back to life - my dad, a squashed spider etc.

I'm an aethist so have told him its just a story. How do other people handle this?

He's been told Jesus was a magic man so I wonder if I should be telling him my dad wasn't magic. But it sounds like a bit of an insult to me!

niminypiminy Sat 28-Jun-14 19:19:33

You could say 'Christians believe that Jesus came back to life so that when we die we will have everlasting life with him, but we don't believe this. We believe that when you die that is the end, and nobody will ever come back to life. We believe that Jesus didn't come back to life either.' If that's what you believe tell him the truth.

StupidTrombone Sat 28-Jun-14 19:43:28

I think that is part of the problem, I don't understand the significance of Jesus coming back to life. Is it symbolic of everyone's ability to come back to life in heaven then?

I've done the "some people believe..." but he is three so says "Why?" a lot and I get stuck.

You could say "But then the story says that Jesus went up to heaven, so he didn't stay here where we could see him and talk to him. When people die they go away and that makes us sad, but that's just the way things are."

Jesus resurrection was a promise that we could all have the chance of a new life after death, so yes it's symbolic.

nicename Sat 28-Jun-14 19:55:45

I don't think there's harm in a small child learning about god, christmas, easter and the baby jesus.

The resurrection is about Jesus overcoming physical death and the hope of the soul living on (or something like that - I'm a bit rusty, and how Lazarus fits in I'm really not sure).

I remember when my grandpa died when I was 3, going up to all the bawling adults 'grandpa's ok now, he is with Bill (our recently deceased dog) and isn't sore any more. He left his stick so he must be able to walk ok'.

It gives them comfort when they encounter death in tender years. You can explain the 'some people believe...but I don't' bit later. My SIL drunkenly told my young niece (about P1 or 2) that religion was a load of crap, and when you died you went nowhere but were just wormfood. Poor kid was really upset and would burst into tears during the day/had nightmares for ages.

Sorry about your dad. Try to keep his memory alive with the little ones. Sadly my dad never met DS and mum died when he was 2, so no real memories for him.

deepbluetr Sun 29-Jun-14 08:23:38

I had to take an active stance against the school indoctrinating my children like this. Is it a faith school?

I explained to my kids that Jesus coming back to life is not true. That people made up this story.
While I teach my children to respect others that doesn't include respecting silly made up stories.

headinhands Sun 29-Jun-14 09:24:41

Hi op. I really think I work in early years and we cover the beliefs of the main religions and try to do it to coincide with the right time of year. I think it's important that children are aware of other religions and what the followers believe. We also do age appropriate comparison and contrast. For example, when we covered Buddha's birthday recently we spoke about how Buddha was important and special to Buddhists like Jesus is to Christians. I think an understanding of religions and their similarities is important. When discussing the religions it is very much 'this is what they believe'. The benefit of covering multiple religions is that they see how varied beliefs are with the common threads of basic human wisdom.

headinhands Sun 29-Jun-14 09:27:12

Sorry! Hit post before I finished. Brb

nicename Sun 29-Jun-14 09:32:09

Deep - do you tell your kids that santa is made up too?

Telling you kids 'its made up rubbish' isn't like saying 'some people believe...'.

deepbluetr Sun 29-Jun-14 09:37:25

nicename- it is good that at least you are placing god in the same mythical camp as santa. At least we are on the same wavelength .

I would agree that the "some people believe" is the best approach, but if you are faced with a school that is indoctrinating then you have to take a more active stance to try to dismiss the rubbish they are being fed by teachers.

Decomposing corpses don't come back to life. Teachers shouldn't be telling children that zombies are real.

nicename Sun 29-Jun-14 09:43:44

A faith school will 'push' its own faith and you can't really argue with that.

DH and I were brough up in very different faiths. DS knows about these and the other major world religions. I bite my tongue about some practices, but try to teach him respect for faith and none. I hate the brats who trot out 'your food is dirrrrtyyyy' or 'you won't go to heaven' or 'you lot are canibals' (communion wine/wafers). This mostly comes from parents telling their kids that they are 100% right and everyone else going to hell.

deepbluetr Sun 29-Jun-14 09:48:01

Even non denominational schools have a legal obligation to "push faith" though.

headinhands Sun 29-Jun-14 09:52:36

At nursery age you should be able to just keep repeating that some believe the Jesus story and some don't. I think the important thing is to validate all his feelings as you have been. Whatever you say there are no easy, tidy answers and our death is something we all have to grapple with regardless of belief, some of us start that uncomfortable thinking journey earlier than others!

deepbluetr Sun 29-Jun-14 09:54:00

"uncomfortable thinking journey "

I don't view things as such. Doesn't that spoil life? Death enhances life.

StupidTrombone Sun 29-Jun-14 09:57:11

No it is not a faith school, council run nursery and yes they cover other religions too. In theory I'm fine with him learning a bit about other people's beliefs. I'm not ok with him insinuating that anyone/thing can come back to life anytime because Jesus did!

For info, I have also told him Father Christmas is a story. I know this is not a popular stance on MN but I don't believe in lying to him.

nicename Sun 29-Jun-14 11:01:32

I hope you've told him not to tell the other kids about Santa!

headinhands Sun 29-Jun-14 11:57:54

I think coming to terms with our ultimate fate is something that takes a life time, if we ever do come to terms with it that is. But yes I understand that thinking about death can enhance the urgency of living in the now. In some African cultures depressed villagers are sent on elephant hunts. The brush with death often invigorates and rejuvenates a lust for life. Am I right in thinking that the Victorians had a fascination with skulls, open coffins etc for similar reasons?

headinhands Sun 29-Jun-14 12:04:48

Yeah this Santa thing is tricky isn't it. I don't pretend to my kids that I believe in a god but I still go as far as making sooty foot prints from the hearth to the pile of presents late on Christmas Eve. It appears a bit messed up but maybe it's because it's a belief that we know they lose before adulthood that sees even the staunchest skeptic playing along with it. I don't know any adults who still believe it. Also Santa doesn't promise to heal or bring you back to life. He just brings presents and buggers off again for another year. I have never played on the 'you have to be good to get presents' line though. As far as they know/knew there was no obligation other than the mince pie and sherry.

deepbluetr Sun 29-Jun-14 12:11:27

I have never hads a problem with Santa. My kids know that Santa is an incredibly important mythical figure. He exists because we create him and he lives in a magical place called the imagination.
We still have all the Santa magic, and we have never had the awkward time of the kids "finding out" that it's all a lie.

My children are teenagers now, but the Santa magic is just as real as it was when they were small.

Santa is imaginary- just like god.

nicename Sun 29-Jun-14 12:13:27

Victorians lived with death. Infant/child/labour mortality was high, people died at home, wars and disease killed off loads.

They sought spiritualists for comfort and photographed their dead with the new fangled photography.

I find it uncomfortable when parents (of faith and none) say to their kids 'this the the only truth - everyone else is wrong/illogical/stupid/backward etc.

Some people like Coke, some Pepsi and some people don't like fizzy at all. Its their belief and it should be respected (apart from Dr Pepper, which is the work of the devil).

niminypiminy Sun 29-Jun-14 12:26:31

Of course Santa Claus is real -- in that he originates in the historical figure of St Nicholas. I've told my children that the Santa Claus who comes down the chimney is a story, but that in that story we remember the real St Nicholas who left secret gifts and who is the patron saint of, among other things, children. Those of you who are saying that Santa Claus is a mythical figure are wrong: strictly speaking he is legendary rather than mythical, since the figure of Santa Claus is the elaboration of a real historical person.

deepbluetr Sun 29-Jun-14 12:59:35

The legend of Santa Claus is much older than even that. His roots can be traced back to Odin (with his flying reindeer) and The Celtic God of the forest ( Cernunnos)

Both mythical creatures.

niminypiminy Sun 29-Jun-14 13:12:38

Oh, honestly, that's rubbish.

deepbluetr Sun 29-Jun-14 13:18:29

Not at all - and that's why many christian reject santa claus- his roots can be traced back to the same roots as the devil.

Shockers Sun 29-Jun-14 13:26:00

There was a child in my class (C of E primary) who, when she first arrived, would mutter loudly through every prayer that we were 'stupid' and 'Mum says God isn't real'. I explained to her that I respected her right not to pray, but she should also respect those who chose to. She learnt to stand quietly and think her own thoughts during our (very short) prayers.

She also announced during class discussion, that Father Christmas was actually their parents. For that one, I had to say that FC can only deliver your presents if your imagination will let him; if it won't, your parents can take over the responsibility.

Learning to respect the fact that others have different views isn't a bad thing.

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