How should I handle this?(10 Posts)
Would really appreciate your advice.
My ds(5)- always strong-minded - has decided that God is "not real". He is telling everyone who will listen. When I gently pressed him about this he told me he has done an experiment which showed him that God does not exist. He would not explain to me what that experiment was!
I know he doesn't really understand what he is saying. But it upsets me anyway to hear him say this. We are Christians and all our 3 dcs go to Sunday school and say they enjoy it.
What should I say to him?
If you think he doesn't really understand what he's saying, just say "Yes, Dear". His experiment probably involved asking 'God' for a Formula 1 Racing Car.
I don't think you can impose your own spiritual beliefs on him. Let him make his own way.
Also kids are very literal at this age. Mine don't believe in heaven and God as some paternal figure up there. God's a tough concept to grasp when you're five and still learning about the tangible real world.
If I were you I'd concentrate on Jesus for now. A real man who had a great message.
I understand it must smart to hear your child say this, but remember lots of very good, very sensible people don't believe in God.
I was trying to explain the idea of God and Jesus performing miracles to DS (5) after bumping into some pleasant Mormons (who were trying to convert me but weren't horrid or pushy) and them talking about God.(I am not religious,but respect views of others)He asked "So is he like a Superhero then??".Didn't know how to respond to that one!!It made me laugh though.Kids are fantastic aren't they??I would love to know what your ds experiment was.I wouldn't worry he is just trying to understand the world and I think a religious entity is quite a difficult concept to grasp.I struggle and I am 36,never mind 5.He sounds lovely and obviously has an enquiring mind.
I decided God was not real when I was seven. I wanted to be like my friends. For a while I was an atheist. It lasted until I was about nine, I think. Thirty years later, I am in the process of applying for a part time post as a Family and Children's Worker for my church.
Just to demonstrate that things can change and you should not despair!
In terms of what you should say to him - I'd let him talk to you about what he thinks, without judging him or getting upset. But also make sure you talk to him about what you believe, just in an everyday sort of way. Keep taking him to Sunday School, because it's fun and he should learn about our Christian heritage even if he ultimately decides he doesn't accept it. And it will give him the opportunity to argue with the teachers - which is an essential part of thinking through what you believe
I would say he is probably saying it to get a reaction. If he doesn't get a reaction, then he'll find something else to try...
you could try suggesting that if he doesn't believe in God, then he doesn't believe in getting presents on Jesus' birthday , but only you can say whether he'd find that too upsetting as he's only 5...
Thanks everyone, great suggestions.
I like the idea of concentrating on Jesus.
I don't think I've reacted to what he said. Have had some practice at that - he also went through a phase of telling me he hated me.
He IS very enquiring, which is lovely. dd(7) is the opposite and just accepts everything so we never had this with her.
MaryBS, I think he could be quite easily bought with the idea of no Christmas presents, although last year all he asked for was a comic!
I really, really wouldn't go down the "no Christmas presents" route, even in jest. For one thing, it's not true (he'll soon establish that non-believers still celebrate Christmas). And for another, you would undermine the whole message that God's love is unconditional.
FWIW, my daughter is a similar age. She believes fervently in Jesus and happily chats/sings to him as appropriate. But she tells me she's "not so sure about his dad". God is a pretty hard concept for a literal, five year old mind to get its head around.
Concentrate on the stories Jesus told. They'll stand him in good stead, whatever he eventually decides he believe.
Good on him, i say!
He has more sense than all the adults!!
It just proves he's intellectually healthy, and will do well at school.
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