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5 year old's baptism - how to explain it to them after my first attempt brought on tears and an "I don't want to be baptised!"?

(119 Posts)
prettyinpunk Fri 04-Jun-10 19:28:57

My 5 year old DS is being belatedly baptised in a couple of weeks. My first attempt to bring it up had him in tears, exclaiming he didn't want to be baptised.

He's not used to attending church (Christmas, Easter and a few regular times when he was 3) & his reply to my asking why was that he didn't want to be 'at the front of the church'.

I think he remembers this from last Christmas when the children were encouraged to go forward to look at the crib (this he did with no problems as he was with a friend).

He can be very sensitive and lacks self-confidence/is unsure of new situations.

Does anyone have any tips on how I can prepare/explain/avoid tears on the day??

Thank you!

TotallyWipedout Fri 04-Jun-10 19:30:21

Why exactly does he have to be baptised?

HurleySatOnMe Fri 04-Jun-10 19:30:29

Why are you baptising him if you aren't actually churchgoers?
This has always puzzled me.

MrsBadger Fri 04-Jun-10 19:37:41

why not leave it till he wants to?
is quite common to be done at or just before first communion or confirmation

PixieOnaLeaf Fri 04-Jun-10 19:39:48

Message withdrawn

PixieOnaLeaf Fri 04-Jun-10 19:41:57

Message withdrawn

bigstripeytiger Fri 04-Jun-10 19:42:03

I agree, would there be any benefit, or reason for him to be baptised now? Could you leave it until he is older, and able to choose for himself? If he was making his own decision then they thought of being at the front of the church might not be so daunting.

Plumm Fri 04-Jun-10 19:42:09

Can you take him to the church and run him through what happens?

Theyremybiscuits Fri 04-Jun-10 19:42:47

Don't have him baptised until he decides it is what he wants.

Greensleeves Fri 04-Jun-10 19:44:41

If he doesn't want to be baptised then I think you would be wrong to make him.

Goblinchild Fri 04-Jun-10 19:44:57

Agree with why baptise if you're not really churchgoers, but moving on from that..
A doll, white cloth, water and a candle. whatever else you need (unsure of what your ritual will involve)
Role play it with him, then let him play too.
Bit of singing, say a prayer, eat cake. smile
Take him to the church when there's nothing on and have a wander around, explaining the bits to him. Take the cover off and let him look into the font. Demystify the whole experience so he knows what's coming. If he's still distressed, postpone the whole thing until he's happier or seen one done.

soupmaker Fri 04-Jun-10 19:45:04

Take him to church every Sunday so he gets used to it maybe. I don't wish to offend, but why exactly is he being baptised? Schools?

prettyinpunk Fri 04-Jun-10 19:49:52

Thank you Totally and Hurley for your encouraging and useful comments hmm - I didn't think I was asking people's opinions on getting my son baptised.

What exactly defines a 'churchgoer' in your opinions? Daily attendance? Every week? The main religious holidays? IMO a churchgoer goes to church - no matter how often.

Perhaps the fact that we have just returned to the UK after living abroad might have something to do with our wish to have our children baptised.

seeker Fri 04-Jun-10 19:50:44

He doesn't want to do it, you don't, I assume, go to church. So don't do it. Simple.

zapostrophe Fri 04-Jun-10 19:52:44

Message withdrawn

TheFallenMadonna Fri 04-Jun-10 19:52:51

Take him to church regularly before the Baptism. Even if you don;t intend to go afterwards. Really - no judgement - he's going to be bewildered if he is doing something unfamiliar and it is in unfamiliar surroundings.

seeker Fri 04-Jun-10 19:55:58

Don't they do baptisms abroad?

ArseHolio Fri 04-Jun-10 19:56:22

It'd be wrong to make him if he doesn't want to do it.

seeker Fri 04-Jun-10 19:57:47

I'm not suggesting this for a minute, but you do know that most church schools expect children to have been baptized before the age of 1 unless the circumstances are exceptional?

I apologize if I am misjudging you, but the lack of any other information does make me wonder.

prettyinpunk Fri 04-Jun-10 19:59:33

OK - I'm beginning to wonder why I bothered.

To all of you who have asked why we're "getting him baptised if you're not churchgoers" - read my post above.

Had we been in the UK we would have had him baptised when he was a baby. We now have the opportunity to do this.

Greensleeves we are not 'making him'. He is not objecting to the baptism itself, just the unknown and he is concerned that he will be on his own.

soupmaker - no, it is not for a school! We were lucky with his application.

Hassled Fri 04-Jun-10 19:59:49

I feel very strongly that you can't impose a faith on a child - if he wants to be baptised when he's old enough to understand what it means, and has had the opportunity to learn about both other religions as well as atheism, then support him at that point.

But if you're determined that this is the path you want to take, all you can do is go to Church at every opportunity between now and then.

QSnondomicile Fri 04-Jun-10 20:00:40

I did not think a place on this planet existed, where no Church, existed?

Where have you been, Mars?

TheFallenMadonna Fri 04-Jun-10 20:02:57

OK, but now you're back, you're still not churchgoers?

BosomsByTheSea Fri 04-Jun-10 20:03:40

I'm with Hassled. Let people decide which religion or none when they are old enough to understand.

HurleySatOnMe Fri 04-Jun-10 20:04:54

'the unknown'
Hence, you ar enot churchgoers. You seem very hostile you know. Do I assume this is for school admissions purposes?
The point of baptism is that you are making a commitment to bring up that child in the christian faith. Which to me, does mean attending church every week. Feel free to disagree. fwiw, I was baptised as a baby, and attended church every week til I was about 10. It was mainly to get me and my brothers out of the house so our mum could make sunday dinner shock. I do not however consider myself christian, and have not baptised my dc. There are members of my family who wanted me to do it so they could wear the family christening gown hmm

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