DS Told me tonight that a friend at preschool had told him there was a man who built the whole world and his name is God. He then went on to tell me that God made all the houses and the animals and the people and even all the Lego.
It really bothered me because we (DH and i) are both atheists. I've talked to my son about things like dinosaurs and extinction and touched on elements of evolution (at his level of comprehension), which is already hard enough, but now this girl is telling him stories about a man who built Lego and our House etc, it's kind of overwhelming how to respond.
It was difficult to express to him that what she told him is her "belief" but doesn't necessarily make it true. I don't want to say she's a liar or whatever because then that will come back to her and that would be incredibly mean and unfair to her and her family.
I tried to say something along the lines of "she believes that God made those things but actually Lego was made in a plastic factory by machines, and our house was built by lots of people with bricks and wood and paint... Not God". I didn't say "there's no such thing as God" although DH was a lot more incredulous and harsh about it..
What would you say to a 5yr old in this situation? (He's 5 next month).
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10-09-2016 07:19 #1
5yr old talking about God
10-09-2016 07:37 #2
I know even at 3, my daughter believes pretty much anyone else over me. Just keep explaining that people have different beliefs and it's important to respect what they believe but also important to form our own beliefs.
10-09-2016 07:54 #3
I'd have a little discussion about people having different beliefs, and connect it with religions. It's something that will come up, and can be used in discussions about respecting others' beliefs even if they are different. Keep it as simple as possible, maybe connect it to some celebrations if you're comfortable with that. I'm sure there are some simple picture books on different people's religions (they probably include a mention of "if you don't believe in any of this, that's ok, too."
I'm pretty sure that's what my mum did. She never actually told us what to believe, but let us figure out for ourselves. I really liked that she gave us that freedom to decide (having said that, I'm actually a bit of a fence sitter, not sure what to believe!).
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10-09-2016 08:16 #4
My kids go to catholic primary school but I'm probably agnostic.
At this age I humour all the stories and songs they come home with, I know that by the time they get to high school they'll make up their own minds anyway.
10-09-2016 08:20 #5
I would just say different people believe different things. I would tell him that this girl believes God made the lego,the world, etc, but you believe xyz. That it's ok to believe differently,everyone is different. We are christian but have friends of many different religions and of no religion, so we have these conversations regularly. I think it is SO SO important to teach our kids to respect the beliefs of others,and to use respectful language.
It's a little different, but my kids know that santa is make-believe. We tell them that other parents tell their kids santa is real, because they are playing a game of pretend with their kids. That it's ok that these kids believe in santa, and we can pretend for those kids that he is real, but we know he is pretend. We respect that all families do things differently.
10-09-2016 08:37 #6
We do the 'some people believe...' with all our kids. My eldest knows I'm atheist but also knows about all the different religions of the world. We've actually raised our kids to be very respectful towards religious beliefs and I've told them I don't have all the answers; that others may well be right, that there is something out there that created us all.
Having said that, it bothers me when religious people (kids included) tell my children that in effect, god is fact. You believe that? No problems. But please don't tell my kids he created the earth etc. There is zero proof of that. Obviously this little girl isn't intending to indoctrinate, she's just parroting what she's been told.
10-09-2016 10:33 #7
I'm an atheist but DD goes to an Anglican school. We have told her that DH and I do not a believe in God but she can if she wants to. She finds it ridiculous that I don't believe in God 😂😂. We just say different people believe different things.
10-09-2016 11:46 #8
My kids go to a catholic school and believe in God, as do I. However, they know that many people don't and that many other people have different religions to us. They know that a lot of things are made by man, such as Lego and houses. It's all about respect, and it sounds like your little one has oodles of that :-)
10-09-2016 17:02 #9Senior Member
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My son's 4 and I'm dreading this day. It's a minefield. I'm an atheist who was raised by atheists. DH is an atheist who was raised by Catholics.
I'm pretty anti organised religion, just because the heinous things most of them have done are unjustifiable if there's no God to back them up.
I did go through a phase in early high school of exploring Christianity. I joined crusaders, went on camps etc. Mum dealt with it fine up until the day I came home in tears because it had become clear that my parents weren't going to heaven and were possibly going to hell.
My mum sat me down and asked me if I really, truly believed that. If I really believed in a God that didn't care about the life someone lived, the good things they did, or the choices they made. If I really believed in a god who would send my loving parents to hell.
I am now a confirmed atheist as a result of that discussion.
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11-09-2016 10:53 #10
Anyway, I digress, I think too this is why you've done the right thing OP, tell him if she and her family believe that, it's perfectly fine, but that's not what you believe. Then tell him what you believe and tell him it's up to him what he believes. Then if you continue this stance XYZ believes in ABC, your dad and I believe in EFG, and you can decide what you believe. This way he can form his own set of beliefs and it's okay for him to take a little bit of this and a little bit of that - what ever it is that gives him comfort and makes sense to him.
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