Are children better off believing in some form of faith?

by FreedomFrog 40 Replies latest jw friends

  • FreedomFrog
    "Belief" allows them that, even if it's only Santa Claus. When they grow into adults and gain the ability to reason things out properly then inconsequential beliefs will just drop away, if your current tolerance persists.

    Be aware of the propensity for your own shattered past to affect your child's normal development, including all the fantasy/belief that they need/want.

    I agree...and it's the balance that's hard to get.

  • LittleToe

    From what I've seen on the board the pair of you seem reasonable people. I have no doubt that you are great parents, and the kids face a good shot at a normal life

    As for "balance", it's a much overrated [JW] experience. Go with your gut, and hope for the best

  • itsallgoodnow

    Don't have kids, but I'm sure your kid will be fine. If anything, like someone else said, he'll have the best of both worlds, to see his parents with 2 different perspectives and be allowed to figure it out for himself what he wants to believe instead of being ordered what to believe.

    Kids can see through the crap, and I did, too when I was little. But here's the catch. The Jehovah's Witnesses convinced didn't me of anything, it was that I trusted my parents knew what they were doing that convinced me. Because I can see that now, I realize that when I have kids one day, this is going to be something I need to handle carefully, because I don't want to force my kids to think anything one way or another, just give them the tools they need to be able to think and figure things out for themselves.


  • daystar

    Beautifully stated, LittleToe!

  • Terry

    Would you want a calendar that had a month in its pages that didn't exist or a holiday that wasn't really there?

    Would you want your clock to chime 13 or to try and cash a check with insufficient funds?

    No. You wouldn't.

    And do you know why?

    Living on earth, in the final analysis is a PRACTICAL matter for it to work at all.

    There is enough in the way of bad luck, hard times and ignorant people standing in the roadway of life waiting to take our children down and

    keep them there. Why, oh why, would we want them to have a little time bomb of stupidity ticking away inside their soul?

    Faith tells you there is money in the bank when there isn't.

    Faith tells you there is somebody on your team with influence pulling for you and there isn't.

    Faith tells you that you can walk on water and you can't.

    Faith says, "Fact? Facts aren't important." But, they are, dammit---they really are!

    Give children a chance. Give children a chance by giving them honesty. Give them a fair chance by not putting a chain around their leg that has a huge iron ball attached named "God".

    They'll be dragging God around everywhere like an escapee from a chain gang.

    They'll learn to divide people into sheep and goats and they'll learn to sneer at whoever becomes "them".

    They'll absorb the absurd fairy tale of a half-eaten fruit, a wiley snake and an invisible voice from above who puts women down and drowns little kids who don't believe it will rain.

    Why do that? Why? So they'll fit in with the other knuckle-draggers who think the Earth is 6,000 years old and that dinosaurs drowned in Noah's day?

    Why cripple your own child with medieval certainty that god is a gonna come down and smite everybody like bugs if they don't shout "Jesus" real loud and mean it?

    Why make them waste their life hurling prayers at an empty sky that will come back down and crash into their world with a blow?

    Why not--instead---tell them the truth?

    Nobody really knows a damn thing about "God". We are all thirsty in a desert with no oasis and we want a drink so bad we see "God" shimmering just up ahead...just....out....of....reach and we can't ever get any closer than our own mind.

    Don't make your own flesh and blood pant after a mirage. Let them drink of reality and use their natural talent to become rational and their resourcefulness to build a wonderful life with the work of their own two hands. Keep it real.

    Don't make your kid beg the night sky for miracles with only the sound of the lonely wind as a reply.

    Fill your child with knowledge and confidence and a yearning to slake his curiousity with the wonders man can achieve by dint of hard work and genuine purpose. There are enough dreamers, mystics and ne'r-do-wells fleecing the flocks of all the gods already.

    Give your child the greatest gift a parent can give: an untampered mind. Keep it real; life is real.


  • still angry
    still angry

    Ahhh, I love this topic! I have a 3 year old that will certainly ask questions in the next few years. Obviously, I'm "Still Angry", but I want her to find a path that fills that spiritual need within her in the most healthy way possible.

    LisaOBeesa, I liked your keeps it simple for children, and allows them to know it's okay to explore their own world.

    I hope she finds a way other then Christianity or any other "mainstream" religion. They seem to either be meaningless or toxic.

  • AlmostAtheist
    I have a 3 year old that will certainly ask questions in the next few years.

    Zach had just turned 3 when he asked me, "Jehovah does stuff. Does he have arms?"

    "No, not exactly. He doesn't have a body like yours."

    "Does he have legs?" I could sense he would run out of appendages soon, so I let this go on.

    "No, he doesn't have legs."

    Zach was quiet for a minute, then asked, "Does he walk on his butt?"

    I think your 3-year-old will likely be pounding you with imponderables sooner than you imagine! (He's 7 now and the imponderables haven't stopped yet. [Thank God!])


  • still angry
    still angry

    Ha, ha, Dave, that is HILARIOUS! I love the things they say....

  • Narkissos

    Most of all, I think, children need stories -- whether those fall in the "religious" category, or not, hardly matters. And the wider the variety of stories, the better imo.

    How they relate to them is their business. Usually they can very easily step into and out of "belief" according to their whim, i.e. their true emotional needs. They don't have to "make their minds" once and for all about it, as we think we have to.

    Let them play with your (even conflicting) ideas, opinions, rituals. Don't expect them to believe (or disbelieve) the way you do.

    The Gospel sayings about "receiving / becoming like children" actually suggest that we have to learn from them about what "believing" is. This is the opposite of imposing an adult worldview -- whether a believer's or an atheist's one -- on them.

    When my daughter was about to be born, I realised that I didn't want her to receive anything like a "religious education". She has heard quite a few religious stories, she enjoyed many of them but to her they are no more and no less than stories. The other day they discussed religion in school and, to my surprise, she came back saying she was an atheist -- she had not heard the word anywhere except in the school discussion, and she just thought it suited her better. She never had the kind of "who made the world?" questions which many adult believers expect from (and perhaps suggest to) children. Once when I tried to explain her what "God" usually stands for, i.e. "creator of the world," the idea of someone creating the world seemed ludicrous to her. On the other hand she's much into Egyptian mythology these days. Not long ago she wrote an astonishing poem where she spoke of death as the "kingdom of Osiris".

    They know better. Trust them.

  • DanTheMan
    Try to remember that kids are not mini-adults

    Good advice LT. I don't think there is anything wrong with saying "tell ya what, why don't we discuss this more when you're a little older". I think that an adult religious debate is too much for a young kid to handle emotionally, especially when mom and dad clearly have different ideas. Though I know that it would be tough to avoid getting really deep into topics like this with Zach, because he's such a smart and curious kid.

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