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What do you tell your children?


Forum: Atheist and Agnostic Parenting

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  #1  
February 11th, 2011, 10:40 PM
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What do you tell your children about religions, god, etc? My son is almost 2 so I probably won't have to have that conversation yet but I ask this because we are temporarily living with my finance's parents whom are devoted Christians. They have started to take Aiden to the church nursery on Sunday morning so I can get school work done. I allow this because there is nothing religious that goes on in the nursery - the kids just play. But, they tried to say "Aiden, lets go to church!" and I've corrected them saying "Aiden, lets go to school." I don't want him saying I'm going to church... I don't want him to even say church!! lol. Anywho, I am hoping we can move out of here soon enough so this won't continue to be a problem... but what do I say to him about Santa? Do you children know that Santa isn't real? What about their friends? We live in the "bible belt" and all the kids believe in Santa... I don't want to go along with it (even though my mother in law wants me to) because its lying to my child about a silly old man giving him present when in fact I paid for those presents?! Why would I want to discredit myself? Ok, anyway.... I just would like to know basically how you went about telling your children that 95% of the country believes in something that doesn't even exist.
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  #2  
February 12th, 2011, 08:21 AM
Carmela's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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My son is also 2. I personally love the idea and magic of Santa, so we get pictures with Santa and Santa brings presents. When he starts to ask questions we won't lie in our answers, but for now we tell him the fairy tale that goes along with the holiday. This year he didn't understand, although he recognized and pointed out "Sanna Claus" everywhere, as well as "red nose" and "snowman."
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  #3  
February 12th, 2011, 11:11 AM
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I've told my DD who is 7 that some people like her daddy, yes my DH choose to believe in a god and yes that's okay. It is up to each person individually to make up their own minds. I explained that the idea of god and the bible is a fairytale however some people believe it to be fact and that it is okay. I've gotten into in-depth discussions with her about while it might be fun to pretend in santa and all the magic that it is not real.

We've had talks about how people choose to believe in god because it makes them happy and in most cases gives them a reason to be. I told her that as humans we just are and you needn't have a reason to be if you are happy within yourself and your life. I've expressed many times over that if she would like to attend church she is free to do so but she doesn't see the hype. She tells me she believes in god but when asked what god is to her she says she believes in being a good person, happy and sharing hugs and love with your family. If that is her idea of god, then so be it. I won't get into the hypocrisy issues I have with religion with her at her age----not yet. I want my children to always feel free to believe in whatever they wish even if I do not. I do not wish to thrust my own issues on religion against them. I want to make certain that they go into life knowing that to be religious is a choice and to have all the information before making that choice.
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  #4  
February 13th, 2011, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommy2Aiden369 View Post
What do you tell your children about religions, god, etc? My son is almost 2 so I probably won't have to have that conversation yet but I ask this because we are temporarily living with my finance's parents whom are devoted Christians. They have started to take Aiden to the church nursery on Sunday morning so I can get school work done. I allow this because there is nothing religious that goes on in the nursery - the kids just play. But, they tried to say "Aiden, lets go to church!" and I've corrected them saying "Aiden, lets go to school." I don't want him saying I'm going to church... I don't want him to even say church!! lol. Anywho, I am hoping we can move out of here soon enough so this won't continue to be a problem... but what do I say to him about Santa? Do you children know that Santa isn't real? What about their friends? We live in the "bible belt" and all the kids believe in Santa... I don't want to go along with it (even though my mother in law wants me to) because its lying to my child about a silly old man giving him present when in fact I paid for those presents?! Why would I want to discredit myself? Ok, anyway.... I just would like to know basically how you went about telling your children that 95% of the country believes in something that doesn't even exist.
Nothing yet since she's only 3. I'm not sure if I were in your situation if I'd allow him to go to the church nursery. One reason why is he will get used to it and want to continue to go, as will your parents want to continue taking him. By then he will understand it's church and they WILL be doing religious activities. The longer you allow it the harder it will be to stop it, IMO. My in-laws have begged to take DD to church and I keep telling them no. She won't be going until she's old enough to ask and understand what church is and I will be reviewing everything she "learned." I really don't want her to attend their church at all as it's very fundamentalist and old fashioned Baptist. I'd be okay with a Unitarian or more liberal church though.
As for Santa, that was something DH and I disagreed over. But at the end of the day, it wasn't a HUGE deal to me so I compromised. We will do Santa activities, but when she gets old enough to ask & understand I will tell her we celebrate the SPIRIT of Santa and he's alive in all of our minds during the holiday season. We like the idea of Santa being a giving person and spreading holiday cheer and also using it as a tool to curb negative behavior if needed. We also live in the Bible belt and all of our friends do the whole Santa thing with their kids too.
We are fairly agnostic so we won't be telling her at any point there is a god(s) or there isn't. That will be up to her to decide. I feel like pushing either view point is just as bad, I want her to make up her own mind for herself. We will support whatever she decides given that she doesn't turn into a Bible thumping gay & lesbian hater or something. That will NEVER fly in our home.
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  #5  
February 14th, 2011, 02:39 PM
Zanahoria's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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We haven't had any talks about it yet, as far as my son knows, "god" is always followed by "d@mmit" and "Jesus Christ" is something mommy venomously spits out when she's REALLY mad.

But when the time comes, I will tell my kids that some people believe that there is a being in the sky that created everything, and that's fine, but they should make up their own minds based on the evidence before them.
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