Ask Scary Mommy: My Child Desires To Know Why We Don’t Go To Church

Ask Scary Mommy is Scary Mommy’s new recommendation column, the place our crew of “specialists” solutions all of the questions you may have about life, love, physique picture, mates, parenting, and anything that’s complicated you.

This week: If you’re complete household is agnostic and/or atheist and doesn’t attend church, how do you deal with your baby’s curiosity in faith? E-mail [email protected]

Pricey Scary Mommy,

My husband and I don’t attend church. I wouldn’t say we’re atheist, essentially, although we’ve got a number of in our household. Agnostic can be the time period, I assume. He was raised Catholic and I used to be raised Presbyterian, however I hardly ever attended church rising up. Our son is 7 and although he hasn’t been round his mates a lot this yr, he is aware of a few of them go to church each Sunday. Lately, he’s requested us why we don’t go. I’m undecided how you can deal with this — I feel it’s nice he’s curious, however I don’t wish to quelch that or make him really feel like we’re “dangerous” for not going, as a result of we’re not. He’s vaguely requested about Jesus and God and we’ve normally given him fairly easy solutions, however I do wish to interact with him on this as a lot as he wants/needs.

No, you’re positively not. With regards to Large Matters™, I feel the reality is at all times greatest — be sincere, however hold it brief, age-appropriate, and go away room for their very own questions.

If you happen to do consider in some model of God and/or spirituality, I feel it’s good to inform him that and clarify why. You may say one thing like, “Nicely, I consider in God however I select to consider in God and rejoice God in my very own approach, and for me, that’s not in church.” You may clarify the way you do that exterior of church, and what methods you honor your spirituality and the way it’s distinctive to you. Your husband ought to do the identical.

You don’t point out that both you or your husband had a damaging or traumatic expertise with non secular practices or organizations, so I’m going to reply this as if you’re merely not eager about organized faith (and I really hope that’s the case for each of you).

If he’s searching for extra of a historical past lesson, then be at liberty to go down that highway, too. My very own daughter is a non-baptized 5-year-old and we’ve talked about Jesus the particular person and that “God” means many various issues to completely different individuals. When youngsters’ questions change into extra particular, so can your solutions.

This might develop right into a cool historic lesson on the world’s religions and the historical past behind them. Usually, youngsters aren’t given a selection of their household’s non secular practices. For some households, faith and tradition go hand-in-hand. For your loved ones, it doesn’t. However that doesn’t imply you possibly can’t discuss it and be taught collectively and let him develop his personal concepts and ideas about it.

For now, he would possibly simply be questioning why his mates dress and go someplace each Sunday with their household. Both approach, he’s studying!

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