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5 yo asking huge questions at school. I think we need to calm him down!

(164 Posts)
MyTeapot Fri 20-Apr-18 19:08:39

My 5 yo DS attends a school that has a different religious character than our family. It's a nice school; both DC are happy and thriving there.

Recently he's been constantly asking very demanding Big Questions. I'm partially responsible; I can often be heard saying "never stop asking questions" grin but he literally won't let it drop.

I do all the "some people believe..." lines, but I'm ill-equipped to answer all the questions. As a result he spends all day at school grilling people. I don't want to curb his enthusiasm but it's tricky trying to encourage a bit of balance.

Any similar stories out there?

Dozer Fri 20-Apr-18 19:11:02

Let the school deal with it.

Is it a church school?

I am an atheist and get very pissed off when religion is presented as fact at DCs’ - non church! - schools. I encourage them to be sceptical.

Dozer Fri 20-Apr-18 19:11:54

I answer the Qs with things like “it is a story”.

speakout Fri 20-Apr-18 21:22:42

What are the questions? How does the school differ from your own beliefs?

MyTeapot Fri 20-Apr-18 21:44:24

We're atheists, but only by default. I mean I've seen a lot of the militant atheism that comes from America where it appears to be much more divided than here. We just don't really think about it that much I suppose. The most accurate label, if one were needed, is humanist.

The school is Anglican. I don't mind. I think it gives them a cultural reference, for example a lot of our phrases come from bible stories etc. They don't push it explicitly, but it's new to the DC so they're inevitably asking questions that I can't answer respectfully.

DS says "this is completely mad" and I think that too but I also don't want him to to isolate himself or come across as rude or intolerant. I'm all for gentle acceptance and rubbing along together.

speakout Fri 20-Apr-18 21:47:05

My kids went to a non dom school.

I am atheist.

They would come home with their heads filled with so much shit that I dealt with it disrespectfully.

speakout Fri 20-Apr-18 21:47:57

Your son sounds very bright.

MyTeapot Fri 20-Apr-18 21:51:36

Thanks for the replies. DS came home today and told me, with massive surprise, that his teacher doesn't believe in any gods. He was surprised as they do a lot of Christian stuff in assemblies and he thought all his teachers shared the belief if the school.

I don't want to quash the questions; I think scepticism is healthy and should be encouraged but I'm also conscious that my confident 5 yo will rock the boat a bit...

I also have an 8 yo DD at the school who tells me she is a scientist and will believe in things she has proof for. However she is much more laid back about it and has never been quite so insistent.

Dozer Fri 20-Apr-18 21:55:17

He won’t isolate himself amongst his peers: lots of DC don’t believe what they’re told about religion.

MyTeapot Fri 20-Apr-18 21:59:11

Dozer, that sounds lovely; I hope you're right. smile

I suppose it feels a bit weird because school is the only place any of us are exposed to religion regularly. As a family it simply doesn't crop up so I've no experience in handling it.

MyTeapot Fri 20-Apr-18 22:15:16

Questions like:

If god says not to kill people why does god kill people?

Why do earthquakes kill people?

If god created everything then who created god?

If you can't work on Sundays what happens if you work in a hospital and you don't work Sunday? (I'm a healthcare professional who often works Sundays and nights etc)

Why doesn't god talk to everybody?

Stuff like that...I can't blame him. I don't know the answers to these questions- I'm atheist so I don't do the mental gymnastics of theology. They're hard questions to answer with anything other than "its not real - stop worrying or my go-to line "ask at school! " grin

Dozer Fri 20-Apr-18 22:18:49

What’s wrong with “it’s not real”?

thegreenheartofmanyroundabouts Fri 20-Apr-18 22:28:31

These are all good questions and if he can take them back into school and ask his teachers that might help you.

Part of what he is learning is that the world is bigger than him and his family and that is huge.

speakout Fri 20-Apr-18 22:29:39

What’s wrong with “it’s not real”?


I told my kids it was all made up, like a fairy story.

ALittleAubergine Fri 20-Apr-18 22:38:34

I don't think he'll get many answers to his questions. Ime, most staff and students will be indifferent at best about religion.

BertrandRussell Fri 20-Apr-18 22:48:13

"Those are very good question-and they are questions a lot of grown ups ask too. I think that God does not exist- because if he did he would not let people die in earthquakes, and he would talk to everyone. The rule about working on Sundays was made up so that people could have a rest-but you are right, some people have to work on Sundays so they have their rest on other days. Now, we don't believe in God, but some people do. So you need to be a bit careful about what you say about God to them, because it's not polite to upset other people. And while it's really good to ask lots of questions, you have to make sure you're letting other people have a turn to ask theirs, and not ask them when you should be doing something else. Now, who wants an ice cream?"

wanderings Fri 20-Apr-18 23:27:54

Just wait until he hears about doubting Thomas. "To have faith, you must have doubt." Also as a child I remember insisting "but I still don't understand why Joseph was sent to prison". How do you explain the mighty rumpus above Potiphar's den to an impressionable child?

Not helpful, I know. But I suppose it could be possible to say that people shared these stories before they really understood how the world worked, and they've lasted a long time.

BertrandRussell Fri 20-Apr-18 23:31:00

He sounds like a clever child touch of the stealth boast, i suspect and if he has they usual 5year old's sense of justice the story of poor old Thomas will outrage him!

literallydumbfounded Sat 21-Apr-18 07:05:39

Most of those questions are based on stories from the Old Testament I.e before Jesus so for example god is preparing his people -the Jews- for their rightful land.
So the answer to why did god kill or have people killed (as there are a lot of battles and killing in the Bible) was because God was preparing his people and separating his people from the people who were idolising false gods.
Secondly and let's not forget that god never wanted to cause harm to any of us, but we as humans allow Satan in and turn to sin (Genesis Satan temps Adam with the apple from the tree of knowledge) and we were banished from the garden of Eden, and quickly turned from what god wanted for us.
But our god is a forgiving, loving god and throughout the bible keeps trying to save his people, but he knows as humans we are just always going to fall short.... this is where Jesus comes in!!
Basically we believe that Jesus died for us and took away all our earthly sins so that by believing in him, when we die we will be saved and live eternally.
This is where people get misconstrued that because there is a god no bad things can ever happen?? Not true. But we have to trust that through pain and hard times God has a plan and we have faith in that, and through that pain good may come... whether that good is just finding comfort in knowing you have support around you or good being you have the strength to use that loss to help others. For example.
The earthquake thing again that is down to humans I think we are causing destruction to the earth and we aren't looking after the world as it was intended and so the earth is struggling. And it's extremely shocking and sad when huge environmental attacks hit.
The working on Sunday thing, again more Old Testament (Jewish rules) Jesus actually healed people on a Sunday. So!
And god does talk to everyone, but even as Christians we don't always listen. And he doesn't talk in a huge booming voice like people expect.
Sometimes he will speak to you through something significant in your life, showing you signs, maybe he will talk to you through a bible passage, through something someone says, does! For example before I came to faith I was an atheist but went through a huge life struggle and god kept coming to me, pushing his way in.... I guess I was more open to listening than I thought.

Sorry for droning on... I know and understand that faith and "religion" are not for everyone but I believe we should all try and be accepting and polite at least to other people's views. But I hope OP that some of those answers may help your LB if you wanted to know blush
I am still relatively new to faith and I say that from someone who has been attending church 8years it's a huge huge learning experience and only really in the last 4years have I really been open to wanting to learn, understand and know more. So for your 5yo to ask such huge questions regardless of if he turns to faith or not is amazing. What a questioning mind?? Don't discourage it, because if he continues questioning life like that, he will be amazing. And those questions are hard to answer for anyone and I may not be right, of course, but that is just my take and my belief on it.

Caulk Sat 21-Apr-18 07:10:15

Do you want him to choose his own faith?

I do some work with a church school and some parents will say they like their child being there so they can choose what they believe.

thethoughtfox Sat 21-Apr-18 07:14:38

There is a great little book called The Belief Book that explains the big concepts of gods and religion and where it all came from in simple language. It was written by atheists which is quite unusual to find one that doesn't have a religious slant. I think there is a follow up called The Gods Book (or similar) that explains the different stories.

speakout Sat 21-Apr-18 07:34:20

He sounds like a clever child touch of the stealth boast, i suspect

Who is boasting?

feathermucker Sat 21-Apr-18 07:38:45

I'm an atheist and my son went to a CofE school. He was exactly the sane as yours.

He sounds great!

GnotherGnu Sat 21-Apr-18 07:47:12

literally, how are earthquakes down to humans? What are we doing or not doing that is affecting how tectonic plates shift?

Eolian Sat 21-Apr-18 07:48:49

Just teach him to be polite about it. I have 2 vehemently atheist dc, both went to CofE primary (one still there). They are openly baffled by religious belief at home but know not to be rude to people about it.

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