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← How to handle the God issue with my five-year-old son

How to handle the God issue with my five-year-old son - Comments

Revenant77x's Avatar Comment 1 by Revenant77x

With my children we are basicaly playing kick the can until they are old enough to make rational decisions about theology ( we are thinking around 12 they are 8 now, twins) the couple of times they have asked about church or religion we have just said we don't go to church and leave it at that. We are what Richard calls cultural christians aka we belive in santa clause but not jesus. I think that since we follow the american holidays without the voodoo hokus-pokus it doesnt come up as much. It does help that most of the family isnt very religious and we tend to use the holidays as more of family get togethers than anything else.

Thu, 22 Sep 2011 22:16:52 UTC | #874094

mmurray's Avatar Comment 2 by mmurray

Sounds like you are doing the right thing. I like the "mooslims" The first time my son came home and talked about religion he asked who "gwod" was.

What are they going to get at school ? Mine got quite a bit of comparative religion like "pick a religion and write a project on it" that kind of thing is good for driving home the point.

(I don't think last year's school nativity play has swayed his mind one way or the other.)

DId you ever watch Love Actually:

Karen: So what's this big news, then?
Daisy: [excited] We've been given our parts in the nativity play. And I'm the lobster.
Karen: The lobster?
Daisy: Yeah!
Karen: In the nativity play?
Daisy: [beaming] Yeah, first lobster.
Karen: There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus?
Daisy: Duh.

Michael

Thu, 22 Sep 2011 23:55:11 UTC | #874129

secondsoprano's Avatar Comment 3 by secondsoprano

I suggest making it a habit to talk about god, jesus, noah’s ark etc in the exactly the same way as fairies, santa claus, pirates, Ben10, Harry Potter or whatever other fictional characters your son is familiar with.

If you still (age appropriately) play along and pretend they’re real, do that with jesus too. If you’re starting to sow the seeds of doubt, do that with god too. If you’re at the stage where it’s like a really special “in joke” (“I know they’re pretend, and I know you know, but we’re going to pretend anyway because it’s fun and a big secret”), do that with bible stories too.

The trick is to talk about all these characters in EXACTLY the same way, without making any big deal about it. That way, when the belief in fairies etc naturally falls away, so will any belief in god.

I found at that age the best response to “But so-and-so says jesus is real” is to be a really non-committal: “Well, maybe he is! Let’s wait and see what we discover.”

Alternatively, make it a joke: "Johnny told me god made everything" - "Maybe he did. Maybe it was the rainbow serpent. Maybe it was teddy? Maybe it was mummy!" (cue fits of giggles). This sows the idea that the whole god thing is just Daddy being silly, and when your son is all big and grown up (ie, next year, in his imagination) he will be far too sensible to believe those childish stories.

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 00:28:13 UTC | #874142

masubi's Avatar Comment 4 by masubi

When my seven year old asked, "Dad, is there a god?" I was very excited. My first question to him was, "why are you asking me that question?" He explained how someone at school had mentioned something about it. I told him about why and what others believe; I told him what I believe; by the end of the discussion we came to the conclusion that God is a grown-up's version of Santa Clause. He is a wonderful guy and says Science is his favorite subject in school (Daddy beaming proud).

Live a good life,

Masubi

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 00:33:12 UTC | #874144

jel's Avatar Comment 5 by jel

Get Richards new book and start reading it with him, I know it's meant for older children but I'm certain that, if you're willing to take the time to slowly go through it with your child, they will start to see the difference between what's real and what's made up. The different myths that start each chapter also help to show this.

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 08:26:41 UTC | #874240

TheRationalizer's Avatar Comment 6 by TheRationalizer

Put on the cartoon Hercules!

Tell him "Those are all gods. You don't think Zeus is really throwing lightening do you?" Tell him that people used to think all those gods were real for no reason. Then tell him that different people still believe in lots of different gods for no reason.

Tell him that if you had a reason to believe in any gods you would, so if he hears anything good at school to make sure he tells you about it. Then when he tells you stuff don't tell him why he is wrong, but ask him leading questions which will make him think for himself and realise the claim is crap (teach him how to question everything and to think critically.)

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 08:29:14 UTC | #874241

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 7 by Stevehill

Is this an English school? Is it a state school? State of private?

We're in a very similar position with my daughter having started school this month (and her younger brother is in the same school's Foundation unit). We went out of our way (literally: to the extent of moving 15 miles away) to get out of a ring fence of state-funded faith schools and get the kids into a decent community school. In the process of deciding where to move to I visited a lot of schools, spoke to a lot of head teachers, and the differences can be very large.

Where we've ended up my daughter only attends one full assembly with the rest of the school per week (I think it ramps up in later years) and the degree of religious observance is as far as I can see negligible. Obviously this ethos, which I might describe as studied agnosticism, permeates the school. It's rated outstanding by Ofsted, so they must be doing something right.

So far I have seen to reason to think about exercising my rights to opt my kids out of compulsory worship, and I would not as a matter of principle want to opt them out of RE (forewarned is forearmed).

Anyway, even if you have got a preachy school, kids are not stupid. The more they lay on the woo with a trowel, the dafter it will seem to kids. And kids will generally take far more notice of their parents than their teachers in any event.

I'd say you're on the right track. Don't worry about it too much.

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 09:27:20 UTC | #874267

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 8 by irate_atheist

I went to a CoE school as a kid and went to Sunday School as well.

My views on religion were certainly influenced by this, but not in the way those sending me there or teaching me may have intended.

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 09:53:00 UTC | #874279

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 9 by Premiseless

Chat about myths. Pick out ones people still hold today. Mention how their parents have been hoodwinked just like humans down the ages and how he has got this amazing parent who can find him far more interesting information, whenever he wants, about what is real and what is not. Maybe go easy on how amazing you are? Wouldn't want to start preaching at him now!

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 12:15:49 UTC | #874348

Mr DArcy's Avatar Comment 10 by Mr DArcy

If you don't believe, just say so. My kids never had any problem with that approach.

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 13:24:06 UTC | #874380

Ryucu's Avatar Comment 11 by Ryucu

How about...

Some people believe that the stars, the world, us humans and all the animals were made by a man called God.

People wrote a story about him and his son Jesus, many years ago when there were no scientists, to help understand how everything on Earth works. Everybody believed the story to be true.

Many years later, when man got cleverer and cleverer, scientists found out how everything really worked, and some people realised that the old story was wrong.

Others however, decided that they would still believe the old story. Some stayed out of comfort, as the old story said that after death, if you were good, you would experience eternal happiness. Some stayed out of fear, as the old story said that after death, if you didn’t believe the old story, you would experience eternal pain. But many learned how the world really worked, saw that the story was impossible and therefore the story had nothing to be frightened about not any comfort to give.

Atheists are people who do not believe in God and his story, and follow what science discovers about the world through experiments and tests.

Christians, Muslims and Jews are people who still do believe in God, but they’ve all written different books about him and argue all the time about who is right.

Hindu’s and Budists are nuts, and nobody likes Mormon’s or Scientologists – so don’t worry about these guys.

One day when you have all the knowledge you need, you can decide for yourself what is the truth of the world. But make sure it is your decision based on your understanding and never let anybody tell you or scare you into what you should believe.

Just remember the world you live in, others lives and yours is precious; do your best to worry about the now and not the life you may or may not lead after it.

Seriously though, stay away from the Scientologists. Mental.

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 16:29:08 UTC | #874463

Marcus Small's Avatar Comment 12 by Marcus Small

As Mr D'Arcy says, if you don't believe, say so, honesty is nearly always the best policy, cliche though it may. I let my children's questions on this and others subjects lead. I won't give them answers they don't understand, but I do answer them. By the time I was about 8 I knew what an Atheist was I knew what an Agnostic, I knew that my parents were neither. We were church people. That said I had no sense from them that there was anything wrong with being either Atheist or Agnostic, indeed they pointed out the their friends who were.

So I would say, and its only my opinion, that its is best not to give value added answers, just the facts, be which I mean, i.e. this person does not believe there is a God, this person is not sure, and this person believes there is a God.

In the end they will learn to work out what they think for them selves.

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 19:18:39 UTC | #874524

tboulay's Avatar Comment 13 by tboulay

Here is how I dealt with it with my son (at a catholic school in canada)

I used the Noah's Ark story, it was one of the colouring pictures here brought home from school. I asked him if it was a true story, he said that he thought so (ie. the teacher simply told the story in the same way that she'd teach any other subject.)

The I asked how big the boat was, he didn't know, so I sat him on my knee in front of the computer and got down to some searching. I found the size of the boat, then I asked if it was 2 of every animal, he said yes so I then looked up some rough estimates on how many mammal species there were.

I calculated it for him using mammals alone and it was quite obvious that the whole thing was just a little shy of possible. :)

Next I asked him how long they were there for, 40 full days. I then found the height of the tallest mountain recorded, and figured out the volume of water that would have had to fall per minute in order to fill that volume in 57600 minutes. If I remember correctly it was many times the heaviest rainfall ever recorded, non stop for 40 days.

The other issue was the sheer amount of cloud cover that would be required in our atmosphere to even enable a 40 day rainfall like that.

Then I brought up questions about the animals themselves. Lions and tigers eat other animals, if there's only 2 of every animal then some species is going to go extinct every time the Lions or Tigers get hungry.

And what about certain kinds of animals that only eat very specific types of plants that only grow in certain places.

Pretty much all I did was ask questions, and look up facts to try and answer the questions. At the end of it all, I simply asked one more question, the one I started with; so, do you think the story about Noah's ark is true? He answered "I think it's almost impossible"

It was a bit of a time consuming exercise but it honestly was the starting point for him to begin questioning things and that's all I wanted. I didn't want to tell him what I thought, I didn't want to tell him what to think, but rather (in Richards words) I wanted to teach him how to think.

Sat, 24 Sep 2011 03:18:10 UTC | #874667

MotherLodeBeth's Avatar Comment 14 by MotherLodeBeth

How about simply explaining that his peers may change their minds later on as they become better schooled? Or simply tell him that you don't personally believe in a God, and why, so that when a peer talks about God he can share his views, even if he is a child?

Having read Joseph Campbell's book the power of myth, this helped me better explain stories in the Bible, much like the morals in stories like fables that teach a lesson about being good, honest, ethical etc.

Letting a child know that one need not be in a religion to be a good person is also important.

Sat, 24 Sep 2011 03:45:01 UTC | #874671

Marcus Small's Avatar Comment 15 by Marcus Small

The Noah's ark story is a good one. My 5 year old asked the other day, 'What happened to the people who didn't get on the boat. (Most of the kids story books, skirt around this.) read the Story, as is, and wait for the next question.

Sat, 24 Sep 2011 07:08:06 UTC | #874680

Isaksson's Avatar Comment 16 by Isaksson

This reminds me of something I heard on the radio a while back. The woman anchor told this story about her friends conversation with her kid.

Kid: Hey Mum, what happens when we die?

Mum: Well, some think we go to heaven, but actually no one knows for sure. I think It’s just like falling asleep.

Kid: But what about the body?

Mum: Do you remember when Grandpa died? He was buried. After a while there is nothing left but soil, and who knows? Perhaps some part of him is a potato now.

After the kid had soaked this for a bit he started to cry like, well, a crying kid actually.

Mum: Hey, what’s wrong?

Kid: I don’t want to be a potato!

This just goes to show that you never, ever know how kids will react.

Sat, 24 Sep 2011 16:01:22 UTC | #874754

tboulay's Avatar Comment 17 by tboulay

Comment 16 by Isaksson :

This reminds me of something I heard on the radio a while back. The woman anchor told this story about her friends conversation with her kid.

Kid: Hey Mum, what happens when we die?

Mum: Well, some think we go to heaven, but actually no one knows for sure. I think It’s just like falling asleep.

Kid: But what about the body?

Mum: Do you remember when Grandpa died? He was buried. After a while there is nothing left but soil, and who knows? Perhaps some part of him is a potato now.

After the kid had soaked this for a bit he started to cry like, well, a crying kid actually.

Mum: Hey, what’s wrong?

Kid: I don’t want to be a potato!

This just goes to show that you never, ever know how kids will react.

The mom could have told her kid that as far as DNA is concerned he shares about half of his with a potato right now. :)

Sat, 24 Sep 2011 18:46:38 UTC | #874786

mmsood99's Avatar Comment 18 by mmsood99

I have always favored the rational approach. Invite your child to critically evaluate what they are told. They are never too young to start, and when learned, the skill will really set them on a good path. I would explain that they are going to hear a lot of opinions from a lot of different people, and that the only way to know who to believe is to ask questions and look for proof.

Think that is too much for a 5 year old?

If you do, think how long you will have to spend deprograming if they get exposed to the religious fairy tales.

Sun, 25 Sep 2011 03:54:47 UTC | #874894

_vitor_'s Avatar Comment 19 by _vitor_

Your children are free to think and feel. If you tell them there's no God you are teaching a personnel idea as an absolute true. Science doesn't had never proved that God doesn't exist, neither the opposite. So, science is not a good criteria. If science has no answer, each one of us have only a personnel opinion.

I think you must present the facts and different opinions. Who must decide are each one of your children, along his life. More important is to learn tolerance with people who think different, otherwise you can transform your suns in fanatic men. Our suns have the right and duty to think by themselves.

Jesus gospel learns that a man must proceed with other men like he proceed with his loved ones. And we mustn't proceed like people we don´t approve. We can read yourself. I can´t understand why this principle is wrong or dangerous.

Religion isn't dangerous, but who says that´s a believer (or not believer) may use a doctrine to justify his bad proceedings. Atheism is a doctrine like others and can be used as justification to do bad things. Bad proceedings can´t be justified with doctrines. A Man is always responsible by his own acts.

Sun, 25 Sep 2011 16:07:51 UTC | #875019

Chris Roberts's Avatar Comment 20 by Chris Roberts

Comment 16 by Isaksson

This reminds me of something I heard on the radio a while back. The woman anchor told this story about her friends conversation with her kid.

Kid: Hey Mum, what happens when we die? ..........

Kid: I don’t want to be a potato!

This just goes to show that you never, ever know how kids will react.

My little one loves watching the Lion King, and she asked me what happens when we die so I told her what it says in the lion king. The dead lion becomes the grass, the zebra eat the grass, and the lions eat the zebra.

She actually loves the idea, for some reason.

Anyway, onto the original post: I agree with many of the above, that actually reading the bible (not the children's bible that is) is a real eye opener. When my little one started having bible readings in school she started asking me to read her bible stories. I told her that I don't think there is a god, but her gran does and that's ok. She doesn't want me to read the 'adult' bible anymore as there is too many people dying in it and she doesn't like it, and she thinks that the ark story is just rubbish. We have agreed that there are some nice stories in the children's bible, but there is also some nice stories on the Disney channel but no-one thinks that Micky Mouse or fairies are real.

The other big one was reading about Norse, Roman, Greek and Egyptian gods, we both like Thor because he's just awesome. Somehow just realising that virtually every civilasation has stories of their own gods (and those from adjacent countries are remarkably similar) and some of them are just plain stupid, has allowed her to see them as just stories that some people believe is true. We had a laugh last year when she worked out that the Easter Bunny isn't real, but her teacher told her he was real and it sounds like they had a bit of a discussion about it in class which I think is positive. Apparently the fact that rabbits don't walk on two legs or eat chocolate or carry baskets is a bit of a give-away. I think I killed it when we read about the hares and birds laying eggs being a pagan spring tradition and it has nothing to do with a stone and an empty tomb, the spring hare predates it by several millenia.

It takes time, but as with anything we want to understand we have to research a bit in order to come to an informed position. I think this is a good lesson for later in life as nothing comes easy, everything requires work as reward has to be earned.

Anyway good luck, I hope that you enjoy discussing it with your kids as much as I have - whatever the outcome.

Sun, 25 Sep 2011 21:17:55 UTC | #875098

Isaksson's Avatar Comment 21 by Isaksson

Hi Vitor!

” Science doesn't had never proved that God doesn't exist, neither the opposite.”

This is to my knowledge true. The criteria offered by different religions for their deities makes it very hard to scientifically test if their god exists or not. If, for example, Christianity would come up with a clear cut definition of what god is, then we probably could start exploring options on how to proceed to do some searching and testing.

“So, science is not a good criteria. If science has no answer, each one of us have only a personnel opinion.”

It is also true that each of us is free to believe whatever we fancy. There is however a big difference, in my opinion, about the validity of ones opinions. If someone argues a case where that said person can not produce a logical argument based on observation and fact, then I´m for one are less likely to take that opinion as my own.

Science is the best tool we have to understand the world around us as it gives us the best way to test, experience and validate our ideas. It’s a tool that has been developed a very long time, and only gets better as time goes on.

“I think you must present the facts and different opinions. Who must decide are each one of your children, along his life. More important is to learn tolerance with people who think different, otherwise you can transform your suns in fanatic men. Our suns have the right and duty to think by themselves.”

With this I whole heartedly agree with you! We have an obligation to give the very best of us to our kids, and teach them about all we can about the world. About the good and bad, fun and boring. About the nice times, and the hard times, and maby the most important, about our own mistakes.

“Jesus gospel learns that a man must proceed with other men like he proceed with his loved ones. And we mustn't proceed like people we don´t approve. We can read yourself. I can´t understand why this principle is wrong or dangerous.”

I think the idea of treating others like you yourself would like to be treated is a very good one, and well worth trying to live by as best you can. I don’t really care who came up with this idea in the first place, it’s a good one and I clearly see the logic and merit it contains. I think most of us do.

“Religion isn't dangerous,”

To this I strongly disagree. Religion is quite dangerous as it is a great tool to keep people ignorant of the world around us and to place our trust in people without having the option to demand proof.

Religion demands that you put your trust in something without any good reason at all. Why? Because your priest tells you to, or that your scripture tells you too, or your shaman, or some other authority.

Personally I think that ignorance about the world around us is far more dangerous than not believing in some god or another. Likewise is placing your trust in something or someone utterly without reason, as if you are taught to do this as a child, then you have one less strength to deal with a very hard existance on this little speck of dust.

“Atheism is a doctrine like others and can be used as justification to do bad things”

I haven’t seen any evidence for this as of yet, but yes. Someone could probably kill someone in the name of “atheism”. This person would be greatly misguided though, and probably criminally insane. Atheism isn’t a doctrine. It doesn’t have a set of rules to live by in itself. It isn’t a book, or a filosofy. It is simply just a word to define a persons lack of belief in a diety or the supernatural. Nothing more, nothing less.

It’s just as you say:

“A Man is always responsible by his own acts.”

But to this I would like to add, that we also have a measure of responsibility towards our fellow man and what he does to, and with, the rest of us.

Regards /Isaksson

Sun, 25 Sep 2011 22:03:42 UTC | #875116

Roedy's Avatar Comment 22 by Roedy

I would give a talk about the amusing things that various groups of people believe. I would present it as like a game of make believe that adults play and pretend to take extremely seriously. They sometimes take it so seriously they actually believe it, and there are even people who will be violent if you poke fun.

This is just one of the weird things people do, like putting wooden plugs in their lips, brass rings to stretch their necks, eat rats, spiders and birds nests, sit on poles, make themselves sick trying to eat more food than anyone else, run their cars at each other and veer only at the last second, sacrifice chickens...

My Dad presented it by pointing out there were people who believed in God, though he did not. There was no need for me to decide now. I could think about it and decide when I was grown up.

Mom warned me to stay away from Christians whom she considered hypocrites, evil, and crazy. Of course as a teen I rebelled by visiting churches to interview people to find out why they believed in god and what their religion meant to them. I concluded they had not the first clue. They were just blindly doing what their parents had directed them to.

Mon, 26 Sep 2011 01:57:57 UTC | #875170

Roedy's Avatar Comment 23 by Roedy

No matter what the school does, school friends are going to bring up the topic of religion.

When I was a kid, one Catholic boy, Chris, a very polite, dutiful boy, explained to us that, as Catholics, they would go to heaven. The Protestant kids would go to purgatory, but I as an atheist would have to go to hell, but God might make an exception and let me go to purgatory. I imagined purgatory as an institution where all the walls were painted grey.

In later years, I looked back on him an an insufferable little prig, but at the time, he was playing the role of schoolteacher, repeating what he had learned at Catholic school and undisputable fact. He had the advantage of being a couple of years older than us, with the presumed wisdom.

The key fact you want to inculcate is that people believe lots of crazy things without any evidence at all and even when people tell you things with a straight face, it is not necessarily true.

Mon, 26 Sep 2011 02:20:41 UTC | #875175

ZAKI AMINU's Avatar Comment 24 by ZAKI AMINU

But you don't actually know that there is no God for sure, do you?

A thousand years ago no one outside of people who lived there of course knew about the American or Australian continens. To have asserted then that because there was no empirical evidence available of their existence they didn't exist would have been absurd, would it not? And just as that was something wrong to do then it is similarly wrong to do now.

It's no good saying: "I'll be the first to change my mind once there's evidence." The false conviction that these continents didn't exist could easily lead to grave errors of judgement in the meantime. The logical thing to do would be to reserve judgement about things until you have conclusive evidence to back you up one way or the other. The evidence must be conclusive otherwise the danger of erroneous judgement remains live. Partial evidence for and against virtually anything can always be adduced and is never able to safely and logically end controversy on any issue - as we can see from the operation of our courts. Besides, why the rush to judgement? Why not leave unsettled questions open to inquiry and even speculation until they can be finally settled with incontrovertible evidence? Isn't that the logical and therefore proper way in which science is supposed to proceed?

Mon, 26 Sep 2011 08:41:20 UTC | #875210

Ryucu's Avatar Comment 25 by Ryucu

To ZAKI AMINU and to some extent, Vitor:

The problem is Zaki, Science could have and did dictate that The America’s and Australia were possible, we went forth and found them. It’s very different to hypothesise something that is possible to exist when we have yet to see it, than to hypothesise something that is impossible to exist when we haven’t seen it.

When looking at everything which exists, we can and have found testable evidence in science to explain it. Why would anyone wish to ignore the testable, plausible, proven, observed and compatible explanation in favour of something which is implausible, incompatible, unproven and never observed?

A mug of tea was sat waiting for me at my desk this morning. Is it right to presume it was made with water and leaves by my colleague who I have observed making me a cup on previous days, whom I have witnesses of being in the kitchen filling the kettle, and upon inspection I find a sticky-note saying “Enjoy! From Dave”? Or should I abandon rational, observed and conceivable explanation and believe somebody who tells me a magic badger hatched the mug from a chicken’s egg and conjured the tea from a wand of fudge?

It’s not up to science to prove God is categorically impossible. It’s up to our common sense in the face of rational, testable alternatives.

Mon, 26 Sep 2011 09:10:48 UTC | #875218

Spawny Rosary's Avatar Comment 26 by Spawny Rosary

I too have a 5 year old son and he brought similar questions home. I think the main thing, as mentioned several times above, is to encourage him to think for himself and to encourage him to discuss anything he is unsure about with you. What a responsibility we bear and how tempting to promote our views! However, I particularly like this approach..

Comment 22 by Roedy :

My Dad presented it by pointing out there were people who believed in God, though he did not. There was no need for me to decide now. I could think about it and decide when I was grown up.

and your's "I have asked him to talk to me about whatever he is taught, or hears from his friends (via their parents/carers), especially if he is concerned or confused, so that we can discuss it."

I think he is in safe hands. I wonder if we will ever get to a position where non-belief is the majority worldview?

Mon, 26 Sep 2011 22:23:42 UTC | #875520

tboulay's Avatar Comment 27 by tboulay

Comment 19 by vitor :

Your children are free to think and feel. If you tell them there's no God you are teaching a personnel idea as an absolute true. Science doesn't had never proved that God doesn't exist, neither the opposite. So, science is not a good criteria. If science has no answer, each one of us have only a personnel opinion.

I think you must present the facts and different opinions. Who must decide are each one of your children, along his life. More important is to learn tolerance with people who think different, otherwise you can transform your suns in fanatic men. Our suns have the right and duty to think by themselves.

Jesus gospel learns that a man must proceed with other men like he proceed with his loved ones. And we mustn't proceed like people we don´t approve. We can read yourself. I can´t understand why this principle is wrong or dangerous.

Religion isn't dangerous, but who says that´s a believer (or not believer) may use a doctrine to justify his bad proceedings. Atheism is a doctrine like others and can be used as justification to do bad things. Bad proceedings can´t be justified with doctrines. A Man is always responsible by his own acts.

Honestly, the "science has never proved that God doesn't exist" argument doesn't really cut it. Science has never proved that leprechauns don't exist either, but hey who am I to argue; I'm perfectly comfortable admitting that there is a chance that a god exists however, that chance is essentially the same chance that the easter bunny, fairies, goblins, vampires, or anything else that a vivid imagination could conjure up; actually exists.

Tue, 27 Sep 2011 00:46:23 UTC | #875547

cakabo28's Avatar Comment 28 by cakabo28

Hı KPG, In my opinion It is too early to explain that god not existent or religions are fictionals.For now let him play toys :)

Tue, 27 Sep 2011 11:16:51 UTC | #875619

Rotten's Avatar Comment 29 by Rotten

Maybe my kids were a bit older than 5 when we started talking about this stuff, but not much. I was just perfecetly honest "Daddy doesn't believe in God and religion, but a lot of people do and everyone has to make their own mind up". Then just discuss the details as & when things come up.

I think if you're not too judgemental and completely open, you'll be on very safe ground. Now my kids are older (13 & 11) we'll discuss newspaper articles, programmes like Horizon etc. and I trust that this open & informed approach will result in them being rational, thoughtful young people.

Tue, 27 Sep 2011 13:06:12 UTC | #875650

keyfeatures's Avatar Comment 30 by keyfeatures

Peer group + genetics will have far more influence than anything you say.

Forget being a formative moral influence just because you are a parent. The stats just don't back it up. Children of immigrants swiftly lose their mother (or father) tongue and start sounding like their mates so what chance do moral nuances / religious attitudes have?

Tue, 27 Sep 2011 13:47:50 UTC | #875664