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  1. Heretic29

    Heretic29 Member

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    So, I have a situation. My 7 year old child believes in God, whereas I do not. Thats perfectly fine with me. Everyone has a right to believe what they want to. But people are now telling her that people that dont believe are bad people and are going to hell. How do I approach this wirh a 7 year old?:
     
  2. Draka

    Draka Wonder Woman

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    What people have the absolute gall to tell your child anything like that? Completely out-of-line. Those people need a talking-to far more than your child.
     
  3. BSM1

    BSM1 What? Me worry?

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    I would smile at her and with no panic in my voice I would say,"No they don't." There's hardly any way to argue with people who would tell a child something like that.
     
  4. apophenia

    apophenia Well-Known Member

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    BSM1 makes a good point. Your little girl loves you and knows you love her, so you really don't need to get stressed about this. If you stay calm and unaffected, it won't become an emotionally charged issue for either of you.

    She probably doesn't actually believe in god anyway , she is being affected by her peer-group probably, and they are just repeating what their parents said. Dismiss it in a good-natured way, and don't cast aspersions on the people who do believe, that just ups the ante on conflict and may make her feel stressed about how you feel about her friends.

    You could also use what is called 'upaya' by hindus and buddhists - it means a helpful trick, usually translated as 'skillful means' - something like "some people don't understand that god really means love. And you know we love each other very much, and we love (...name the ones you love, including the dog and cat). But that's OK, one day they will understand."

    But don't buy into any stress about it. If she expresses fear that you will go to hell, your calmness and simple rejection of the notion is all you need to communicate, exactly as BSM1 said. And give her a big squishy hug. That trumps any BS. Your unqualified love and acceptance matters more to her than anything else.

    Mostly, just be honest. Kids can tell when adults are being honest, and they do respect it.
     
  5. lamplighter

    lamplighter Almighty Tallest

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    If she really believes in god, ask her if she thinks god would send anyone who tries to be a good person to hell over a misunderstanding.
     
  6. Heretic29

    Heretic29 Member

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    Thanks everyone for the helpful replies. Apophenia, yours especially. While reading your reply, I was taken back to reading The God Delusion, where Dawkins says that there us no such thing as a christian child, just the child of christian parents. I live in the "bible belt" of the south and am used to the judgement of people. Just dont want my daughter going thru it for my choices. All very useful responses, thank you very much!
     
  7. apophenia

    apophenia Well-Known Member

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    You are welcome. At some point your daughter may feel out of the loop or ostracised, and decide she believes in god (or wants to) for social reasons. I wouldn't worry about that either. Maintain your position in an amiable and accepting way, maybe even gently acknowledge that it can be hard to get along when people believe different things, so you understand - let her off the hook in other words, without making it an issue with you and her, and maintain your views without any stress or pressure. That way she will be able to process the fact (even unconsciously) that she is 'believing' for social reasons, and this may be quite enlightening as she grows older, tending towards tolerance and broadmindedness. If you are too vehement about an idea that screws up her social life, you could both lose.

    I can appreciate your motivation here, my grandson (8) is now a Sea Scout, and I have to watch him saluting the Australian flag and pledging loyalty to the Queen of England ! And we are Australian ! Still, the Queen is not such a bad lady. In fact I like her more than I like Julia Gillard, our Prime Minister. But I resist the urge to tell him about the evils of colonialism and imperialism. Maybe in 4 or 5 years. :rolleyes:

    Cheers
     
  8. waitasec

    waitasec Veteran Member

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    i am going through this myself.
    i told my son people believe in different things and it is up to him to decide
    she will figure it out in her own way...but just last night he asked me...how are babies made? :eek: ;)
     
  9. Heretic29

    Heretic29 Member

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    Lol! Ahhh, the joys of parenthood! And I believe the same way. People (even kids) should havr the right to decide for themselves what they want to believe. But others do not feel the same way. They think it has to be christianity or no way at all around here. I dont mind if she decides to believe in god, but I dont want her to feel forced into it by someone telling her non believers are bad people and going to.hell. thats the kind of people that led me away from religion to begin with
     
  10. waitasec

    waitasec Veteran Member

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    the thing to remember is you are giving her the awareness that there are options to choose from
     
  11. Heretic29

    Heretic29 Member

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    ...and thats all I want to do. Just let her know that its hr choice. Im not going to try and control what she believes.
     
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  12. apophenia

    apophenia Well-Known Member

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    bingo
     
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