Kids, death and opposing parents.

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Kids, death and opposing parents.

#1  Postby Plastic Flamingo » Mar 26, 2010 10:44 am

Hi, I have been enjoying reading this forum, this is my first post.

I share a four year old daughter with a man who was raised in an Irish catholic home. He claims he is no longer catholic (but still takes communion when in church for weddings etc...) and believes in all manner of woo. I was raised in an agnostic/atheist environment. We have not been together since our daughter was a baby, but we are good friends and agree on most important parenting affairs.

When she was a few months old, my daughter was baptised in the local catholic church. Having had a neutral/non-existent experience with religion, I agreed with the proviso that she would never be confirmed, nor attend any formal or informal religious education (school, sunday school etc...). I know it seems counterintuitive for an atheist to have her daughter christened, but as I am utterly convinced that there is no god/s it actually mattered little to me. I care for my ex-partner, if he had asked to smear our daughter in beef stoganoff and howl at the moon to save her "soul" I would have allowed it too.

I think I have been a bit naive though.Today I heard my daughter and her younger cousin discussing the demise of a goldfish and was shocked to hear my daughter say "don't worry, it has gone to heaven". I asked her who told her about that; she said her father.

Our dog died last year and I spent a great deal of time explaining death and she was OK with it. She understood with her four-year-old mind that death meant "sleeping" forever and never thinking or breathing again. She did what most kids do when they first understand mortality and got scared and had a few nightmares, but we overcame it with lots of talks. She understood death to be like a rest after a really long and happy day (I think I have Dumbledore to thank for that analogy!). So, for her to mention heaven today felt like a punch in the guts.

How can parents compromise on something like this without confusing the poor kid.
Any suggesions on how best to tackle this?
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Re: Kids, death and opposing parents.

#2  Postby starr » Mar 26, 2010 11:54 am

I would go with the 'some people believe that after you die you go to heaven and some people don't believe that....' then you could explain that you don't believe there is any such place as heaven. It's best to just be matter of fact and non judgemental about it. "Different people believe different things... this is what I think happens when you die and this is why I think that." :ask:
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Re: Kids, death and opposing parents.

#3  Postby cherries » Mar 26, 2010 1:17 pm

you could get her interested in nature and show her how things work in harmony with each other.tell her that we are made from stardust and about the planets etc.that way the interest in these things just might override the wish for a heaven and angels etc.she'll be more hurt ones the devil gets into the picture.doing simple experiments and expeditions is a good way and fun for her.children can just accept these things if they see that we are relaxed about it.
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