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Thread: help! explaining God to a 7 y/o

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    Default help! explaining God to a 7 y/o

    So it finally happened, and I wasn't ready. Backstory: I was driving DD1 and her friend home from gymnastics the other day and I overhear this conversation...

    Friend: "Do you believe in God?"
    DD1: must have shook her head b/c this followed...
    Friend: "You don't believe in God?! But you'll go to hell if you don't!"
    DD1: "No I won't..."

    Convo fizzled out at this point. Me, I was just tongue-tied.

    So here I am, bad mom, not ever really having this conversation with my own kids. We are basically non-religious, so it hasn't come up. I have lurked in this room from time to time and I do read occasionally the blog "Relax, It's Just God" but really, I'm lazy and I haven't yet formulated how to address this subject with my girls. So...now I have no idea where to start.

    I feel like I need to at least bring this up with DD since she clearly had no idea what her friend was talking about. I don't want her to grow up ignorant. I want her to have a basic understanding (more than I even currently do...I wasn't involved in any church after age 7 or 8) of religions and when she's ready, she can make up her own mind about her beliefs. But how do I even start? RIght now we're totally at square 1. She really doesn't know diddly about God. Any and all help is appreciated! Tips? Resources?

    ~ Cassie, mama to Madison (8), Ali (4) & Wesley (new dude!)


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    I think what brings it all together for my kids is reading old religious tales from all over the world so they see how in different times and places there all sorts of different Gods and beliefs. I have explained that many of these stories were used to explain unknowns before all of the scientific discoveries that allow humans to know more about the Earth and ancient history. They have asked me before why we are the only ones who don't believe and I explain it's because we live in this very small piece of the world!

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    I think those kinds of stories would go over well...I'll have to look for some. I just feel so clueless. We've talked about scientific aspects, evolution, etc. but have never touched on religion. Thank you!

    ~ Cassie, mama to Madison (8), Ali (4) & Wesley (new dude!)


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    I like hhow Bridget has approached it. One of the interesting things is that you will find similar stories in different texts (like a great flood, in the Bible, the Koran, and Hindu mythology), and that can lead to some great discussions about what might be behind the stories.

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    That's kind of how we explained it--that the world (and beyond) can be a very mysterious and amazing place, and that people have a need to search for the explanation for why and how things are. We have also talked about how there are a lot of different creation myths and religions around the world, and religions that used to be more popular and now are not or that have evolved into other things.

    Interestingly, my children have gone from saying, "We don't believe in God," to my older son drawing pictures of God while we go for car rides. The pictures look somewhat like his pictures of trees.


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    The woman who - I think - wrote The Magic Treehouse series wrote this lovely book on the religions of the world geared for kids: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/067983...dir_mdp_mobile

    I bought it for my 4 year old. It's a little bit advanced for him right now, but at 7, I think your DD might find the information fascinating. The pictures are gorgeous in the book too.


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    I cringe when I think of those kinds of conversations. One little girl onces asked me what I was when she stated that she was muslim and most other people she knew were christian, and she couldn't understand when I told her I was a 'nothing.' LOL. I don't know what to call myself. Any way. I agree with the other ladies. Teach religion as an academic-like subject. It'll help her understand people a little better as well, I think.

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    I live in a very christian community and take care of other people's children. I have been very surprised at how often this subject comes up between kids singing bible songs, talking about praying, going to church, etc. It's caused me a lot of anxiety to have our children share our beliefs (or lack of) and I always worry that kids will go home and tell their parents and it will be upsetting to them. So far we've had no incident and I have been able to explain to the whole group of children that each family has their own set of beliefs. One child once told mine that if they lie or be naughty that they will go to the devil. Yowza.

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    Thank you all! I knew I came to the right place to voice my concerns. I have to wonder, too, if M's friend went home and told her parents that M doesn't believe in God and how *that* conversation went.

    ~ Cassie, mama to Madison (8), Ali (4) & Wesley (new dude!)


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    We have just explained how there are many different religions and we always talk about what holidays are associated with which religions. I admit we have been lazy too though. I want to get more into it but honestly we have tried with DD1 (age 6) and she doesn't seem interested.

    Sort of funny story....I tried explaining how Christmas is not just about Santa and getting gifts and how it's the celebration of the birth if Jesus Christ and some people, called Christians, celebrate that aspect of it. She snickered and said, "wait that is a person?" I had to explain that "Jesus Christ" was not just something we yell when we get angry and

    My mom asked if she could explain some of the Catholic background of Christmas to the girls when she came over to celebrate. I have no objections to them learning about it and knowing it's a religion Grammie follows. She brought some sticker book over and had a whole session with them. They were not really interested....
    Last edited by macksmom; 04-17-2013 at 02:14 PM.
    Thing 1 (7), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (20M)

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    Quote Originally Posted by macksmom View Post

    Sort of funny story....I tried explaining how Christmas is not just about Santa and getting gifts and how it's the celebration of the birth if Jesus Christ and some people, called Christians, celebrate that aspect of it. She snickered and said, "wait that is a person?" I had to explain that "Jesus Christ" was not just something we yell when we get angry and
    Ha ha ha!

    ~ Cassie, mama to Madison (8), Ali (4) & Wesley (new dude!)


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzmom View Post
    Thank you all! I knew I came to the right place to voice my concerns. I have to wonder, too, if M's friend went home and told her parents that M doesn't believe in God and how *that* conversation went.
    You know, I wonder about this as well. I wish we "nonerys" could feel more open about our lack of religion without feeling like people will all of a sudden think we are a corrupt lot.

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