General chatter - 4 year old sons "obsession" with death.....




babygrant
02-25-2010, 06:34 PM
My oldest son went through this phase....but not nearly as indepth or long as my four year old has. Nobody in the family has died recently. The only close death that has happened was back this son was only 8 months old.

Just to get it out there, DH and I do not believe in a higher power of any sorts.

So for the past few weeks DS has been asking all sorts of questions about death. When do people die, why do they die, how do they die, what happens to them when they die, etc, etc, etc. Thankfully we have a few books about the topic from when my oldest son was asking. We have "Lifetimes" and "When Dinosours Die". First it started out as him asking why o people die and we pretty much told him that when people get really old their bodies get tired and they stop working and unfortunately we won't see that person again. But the questions keep getting more and more intense. Today he was so upset and crying because he says he'll miss us when we die and wondered if we'll ever see each other again. He said he can't ever not see us again. I couldn't help but cry right along with him. He told me that when I'm dying he'll tell me he loves me. :(

I really really really really want to just pretend that I believe in God and tell him that when he dies, or we die or his brother dies that we are going to be in a place filled with rainbows, flowers, and chocolate....but DH totally disagrees with me. He thinks we should be completely honest with DS in terms of our beliefs. We have explained religion to him and have told him that some people believe and we have also explained to him about evolution...the big bang theory..... But he's only four years old, so I'm not sure how much of it he actually understands but I want him to be able to make his own choices .

I'm really not sure where to go with this. My oldest son was curious about death, we explained it to him and he stopped asking within a couple of days...


CanadianCutie
02-25-2010, 06:59 PM
It's a tough call, and while I don't have any kids of my own. I remember when my cousin's son when through this phase at about 4 or 5, my mom and I both babysat him while his mom worked so he was around our place a lot. He used to ask to go to the "Berry Gardens" which we assumed when he first asked was the place that we went to get to Strawberries, since it was that time of year. But after we took him there he asked again, then we realized he meant the "Bury Gardens" of course the Cemetary. Just remember, some kids are a lot more sensitive than others, just support him the best you can. It's all anyone can do.

mandalinn82
02-25-2010, 07:08 PM
It's possible he's misunderstanding "really old" and thinks that you or your husband dying is a more immediate concern, instead of something WAAAAY off in the future. A simple "It will almost certainly be a VERY long time, not until you're even older than mommy, when you have to worry about mommy dying. It isn't going to happen any time soon". It's not a lie, but it may be reassuring to him. Kids have a different concept of "old" than adults...you're all grown up, so you're already "old".


RMatS
02-25-2010, 07:16 PM
I'm not sure I can be much help on this one, but almost all four year olds have an almost impossible time grasping what death is. No matter how much you explain, they still wonder why you would put someone in the earth to wake up trapped there later, and if there's a lock on the coffin to keep people in, and is heaven inside the coffin? It goes on and on. They don't understand the concepts, really.

So, really, I'd try to keep it as simple as possible. It sounds like you've tried, and your son needs more info, some kind of reassurance. Try to completely skip the part (for your son who is already apprehensive) about how any of us could die any day, and just go for the old and long, happy life, aspect. I suspect if he thought he could die tomorrow, he'd be afraid of everything.

Would your husband agree to telling him that you just don't know what happens when you die, if he won't let you talk about the possibility of an afterlife? Of course, saying you don't know may get him thinking about even worse possibilities, so maybe in your case that's a poor choice.

I don't want to tell you to compromise your beliefs, but if he's already upset, maybe he needs to hear you tell him that there's either a place where all of the Grandmas are and everyone's happy, or that your spirit lives on and you can watch your loved ones here on earth, or some combo of those. Then, he can form his own beliefs once he's a little older.

RMatS
02-25-2010, 07:17 PM
I agree with Amanda. He probably thinks you're old now, because he classifies all adults that way.

lychee
02-25-2010, 07:19 PM
I don't have any kids, so I don't have any parental experience to go on. All I can say is I remember when I was his age going through the same thing.

I would get up in the middle of the night and run downstairs sobbing because I didn't want my parents to die. It was like having a panic attack and it was all I could think about. I know it happened more than once. I remember being really scared and really sad. I couldn't tell you now anything that my parents told me about death at the time. I DO remember them holding me tight, making me feel loved and reassuring me though.

I think that's what's most important. I don't think a child is looking for hard facts or beliefs or anything like that, so an overview about death is probably enough. I think a lot of what's really worrying them is the feeling of insecurity they get from thinking about losing you. After you're gone, will they just always be sad and alone? What they really need to hear is that it will probably be a very long time before you die and that no matter what happens, they'll always be taken care of. You'll always be in each others' hearts and they'll always be loved.

At least I think that was how it was for me, from what I remember. Hope that helps :)

babygrant
02-25-2010, 07:49 PM
Try to completely skip the part (for your son who is already apprehensive) about how any of us could die any day, and just go for the old and long, happy life, aspect.

Oh, we emphasize the REALLY old part. Today I had to lie to him when he asked "do some kids die?" because he is sick....he has a problem with his bowels and has been hospitalized with recurring bowel impactions so I don't want to tell him some kids get or are sick and die...because that would make him upset for sure!

babygrant
02-25-2010, 07:52 PM
You'll always be in each others' hearts and they'll always be loved.

About a week ago I had said to him "Even when mommy is really really old and has died and you can't see me any longer do you know where I'll be?" he says "where?" and I said "In your heart". He sits there looking at me for a few seconds and says "But how will you fit in there?". Haaaahahahahaha. Guess that didn't work very well!

EZMONEY
02-25-2010, 09:05 PM
:hug: I can't imagine how hard this is for you. I really can't offer any advice other than to comfort your son and I agree with your husband that you should tell the truth about your beliefs. It cannot be easy for you because anyway that you can answer to him truthfully, based on your beliefs, there isn't much hope :( When you die it's over, other than "in your heart and memories" for the ones left here on earth....

My kids are all grown up now but these questions did enter their minds from time to time....and I am sure even at 28-26-22-19 they still do....but they know that no matter what happens to them or me or their moms....we will all see each other in paradise with Jesus....

I wish you the best :hug:

Wannabeskinny
02-26-2010, 08:33 AM
While I'm not necessarily a religious person I do think that a basic spirituality is of great comfort to the ignorant. By ignorant I mean someone who doesn't have life experience or a basis of understanding for something so unfathomable. In other words, a child, or a person who has only learned one way of living.

There are more people than you can imagine who grew up in christian homes believing in heaven and after life that were forced to go to church and sunday school who have grown up and don't adhere to those beliefs and practices. So in your situation I think it would be a great comfort to your child to give him what he needs right now, and that's peace of mind. You don't have to use the words heaven or anything, but you could explain to me that once you die you've gone somewhere else and will be watching over him and will always be there for him. In essence your son is not asking you about your religion, he's asking you if you are going to leave him forever. Just telling him you're going to die and be buried and that's it, although it may be your spiritual belief, is not something he's ready to hear or understand. Leave it for when he's a little older.

Think of it this way. If you were a vegetarian would you deprive your child of meat if you knew he needed iron and protein? No... you would give him what he needs and as he grows up he will understand vegeterianism through observing you and then most likely adopt it for himself.

Someone once told me that being fair doesn't mean that everybody gets the same thing. It means that everyone gets what they need.

Passionista
03-02-2010, 02:36 AM
Babygrant, it sounds to me like your son is an "Old Soul", sensitive and introspective. Children who suffer with illness often are!

I'd keep telling him the truth. Truth is good (age appropriate truth).

Does he have a memory of a favorite activity or outing or vacation or amusement park or party that he cried and was sad over not still having the ability to be at or do? If he does and he remembers it, perhaps talking to him about how much he loved this thing and missed it, but now he gets to remember it and talk about it and look at pictures will help him understand the joy of memories and love even in the absence of physical presence in the moment. Death is a challenging concept for anyone to grasp, but this idea may help.

Think of it this way. If you were a vegetarian would you deprive your child of meat if you knew he needed iron and protein? No... you would give him what he needs and as he grows up he will understand vegeterianism through observing you and then most likely adopt it for himself.

Vegetarians have ample sources of iron and protein and don't have to abandon a plant-based diet to provide adequate nutrition to a growing child, even the American Dietetic Association says so.

In kind, children of Atheists or non-traditional belief systems don't "need" religion or ideologies that conflict with the parent's own beliefs to make them whole or healthy or well either.

rosekeet
03-02-2010, 02:52 AM
I think as long as you are their to comfort your son and answer his questions in a way he can understand, he'll be okay.

I too had a weird death preoccupation when I was around that age. Of course, my little sister had just died (twins. one is still alive). My mom remembers me calling her into my bedroom and asking "Mommy, does everybody die?" Of course, she had to say yes, but I didn't really buy the whole "not for a long, long time" thing because my baby sister had just died! I think my parents had me see a counselor a few times, and I worked through it and had a perfectly normal, happy childhood. Of course, whenever people asked me about my sister, I would say "her twin died." People probably thought I was a morbid little kid.

Maybe, if your son is still very upset about death and dying you should talk to a child psychologist for advice, or maybe even take your son to speak to a child counselor. It might just take him to work through it. Poor kid, though. :( It must be rough pondering mortality when you're only four! I hope he stays well, too.

Wannabeskinny
03-02-2010, 07:51 AM
Vegetarians have ample sources of iron and protein and don't have to abandon a plant-based diet to provide adequate nutrition to a growing child, even the American Dietetic Association says so.

In kind, children of Atheists or non-traditional belief systems don't "need" religion or ideologies that conflict with the parent's own beliefs to make them whole or healthy or well either.

I wasn't trying to make a point about vegeterianism. My point is that you have to give a child what he/she needs, not what YOU as a parent need. Lots of people who grow up in christian homes grow up to be atheists. Lots of people who grow up in meat-eating cultures grow up to be vegetarians. Lots of people who grow up in republican homes grow up to be democrats. Parents shouldn't feel that they have to close their kids off from other types of thinking so that they can grow up to be just like them - a kid will grow up to be his own person.

There are lots of religions out there, spiritual journeys, this is not the first time this question has ever been asked, and it's not the last time the OP's son will ever think about this issue. Even if doesn't learn about these things at home, he eventually encounter people from all walks of life as he grows up including atheists, christians, muslims, jews, buddhists, etc.

And suppose the child's doctor advises you that your child needs to eat lean protein twice a week due to a medical illness? Vegeterianism is not a religion, you give your kid what they need.

Passionista
03-02-2010, 10:06 AM
I wasn't trying to make a point about vegeterianism. My point is that you have to give a child what he/she needs, not what YOU as a parent need. Lots of people who grow up in christian homes grow up to be atheists. Lots of people who grow up in meat-eating cultures grow up to be vegetarians. Lots of people who grow up in republican homes grow up to be democrats. Parents shouldn't feel that they have to close their kids off from other types of thinking so that they can grow up to be just like them - a kid will grow up to be his own person.

There are lots of religions out there, spiritual journeys, this is not the first time this question has ever been asked, and it's not the last time the OP's son will ever think about this issue. Even if doesn't learn about these things at home, he eventually encounter people from all walks of life as he grows up including atheists, christians, muslims, jews, buddhists, etc.

I agree 100% and that's why my child has attended a Sweat Lodge, Buddhist, Sikh and Hare Krishna Temples as well as Mass, Christian Churches and more. There's a difference between "closing a child off" and pushing something that conflicts with your own beliefs, or presenting something you don't agree with as FACT.

And suppose the child's doctor advises you that your child needs to eat lean protein twice a week due to a medical illness? Vegeterianism is not a religion, you give your kid what they need. Yeah...My point was that this isn't really something that happens very often in real life. Vegetarian proteins *are* "lean protein", especially plant-based proteins. ;)

SnowWolf
03-02-2010, 11:51 AM
I think you should ask him what he believes happens after death, maybe he wants an answer that he wants to hear from you.

Maybe tell him no one really knows, that some people think it's the end and some think it's a new beginning. Tell him he was to find the answer, and that it might take awile to find out. :)

Just show him your love.

It's a good idea to show him different religions.

Personally I think your son is an old soul, I think be does believe in life after death. I think he is frustrated that he isn't hearing it? Children always see things for what they are, they can see into thier own hearts better then anyone.

:hug: I believe you can get threw this. <3

Maybe take him to a church and see if he likes it? I respect your believes, and if not that's totally understanding. I, myself don't really lay my spirituality from the bible or from church, but from...my life experiences. Hard to explain this warmth in my heart, hard to explain all the things that have happend to me that shows me there is life after death. But anyway, aside from that I just want to let you know that I believe in a higher power and have a big connect becuase it comes naturally to me, even when I was little. No one forced me to feel this, I'm free. I believe you can be able to find your own path. Doesn't make much sense. Sorry. I tried. :)

Shannon in ATL
03-02-2010, 12:14 PM
My stepson is about to turn 5 and he has the same questions about death right now. We are also not religious, nor is his mother, so we haven't had any discussions about afterlife and such.

In our case, DSS just lost his great grandfather, which triggered a heightened interest in the concept of death. He had been asking questions before, but not as frequently. We have realized that his issue age, like Amanda suggested. He couldn't vision the difference between us and his Pappy, and now Pappy was dead. That made him wonder when we would be dead. We are reinforcing the difference in ages between us and Pappy now, though that led to him asking questions about his grandparents, too.

It is a hard concept for kids, heck, it is a hard concept for adults, too.

:hug:

babygrant
03-02-2010, 12:17 PM
He couldn't vision the difference between us and his Pappy, and now Pappy was dead. That made him wonder when we would be dead.

I totally think that was what it was.

I work in a nursing home and had to run in there the other day so I brought DS with me. Of course all of the ladies are oogling over him and most of them use a walker, cane, wheelchair, have grey hair, some yell, some scream. He got out to the car and says "Ohhhhh so THAT'S old!!". hehe. The questions have been coming less these past couple of days, so hopefully he sort of understands the concept.

sunflowergirl68
03-02-2010, 09:34 PM
I think it would be a bad idea to tell your four-year-old that when you die, you go into a box in the ground and decompose.

Kids take everything literally, and when I was younger and had a friend die (at 7) my parents told me she was in heaven and was an angel up in the sky. For the longest time, I thought heaven was *literally* in the sky. Until I was like 12. And then I started going to church and learned that it's more like another dimension.

I would say something like when we die, there's a part of us that goes on and that you'll all be together when you die.

If he starts to get upset, I would comfort him and say that you'll miss him too, and that it's a natural part of life and that we have to die for the earth to go on. You might want to watch a nature documentary with him (something for kids) or even The Lion King. I think that movie has a great message about death.

You have to be honest though, and say that some people die when they're old and some people die when they're young. It could be disastrous if someone close to him who is young dies.

choirgirlhotel
03-03-2010, 04:06 PM
About a week ago I had said to him "Even when mommy is really really old and has died and you can't see me any longer do you know where I'll be?" he says "where?" and I said "In your heart". He sits there looking at me for a few seconds and says "But how will you fit in there?". Haaaahahahahaha. Guess that didn't work very well!

Ok, that ALMOST made me want to have kids lol. That was really adorable.

Yeah, I agree it's a tough one. Our family practiced a certain religion until I was about 7 or 8 years old. I was told there was a "paradise" where we would see everyone who died again and just live as usual in a beautiful land. That pretty much did it for me! I loved that idea and had no fear of death or what would happen because I knew that I would see everyone again in a different "world".

So yeah, that was when I was young. Not so much now lol, but that's not the point!

~CGH~

Windchime
03-03-2010, 09:00 PM
I really think that kids this age are mostly asking for reassurance. My younger son wanted to marry me when he was this age, and he also wanted a lot of reassurance that he could always live with me, forever and ever. (He also wanted to buy me a gold gown and do pairs ice dancing with me, hahahaha). What he was really saying was that he was really attached to me and didn't want to be separated from me. So I assured him that, although the rules wouldn't allow us to be married because I was already married to Daddy, he could live with me for as long as he wanted.

I don't remember lots of questions about death, but because I'm more of an agnostic than anything else, I am sure that I would have told him a story about heaven (while emphasizing that usually it's just super old people who die, like Great Grandma) and that dying isn't anything most of us have to worry about any time soon.

My youngest was an old soul, too.

brijjy76
03-04-2010, 06:52 AM
All my kids have gone through this phase, I have four, some more intensely than others. We are not particularly religious but we talked through what other people believe and even about spirits and ghosts. My oldest like the idea of reincarnation and said that he wants to come back as a rhino or a red kite! I have talked with all of them about the natural order of life and death i.e things are born and old things have to die to make room for the new. The changing seasons is a great way to do this. We have also looked at dead things by the side of the road because they wanted to look and I don't want them to be squeamish about stuff like that. They have asked about me and their dad dying and that they want us to live forever but we just talked about the stuff I mentioned above.
I think as kids you are very anxious about your parents dying, I know I was. But as you get older you understand more and different worries take there place. Just keep talking to your son and be honest cos kids always know when you do not truly believe what you are saying.

EZMONEY
03-06-2010, 09:01 PM
I know this won't be of help, probably, to the original poster but it may help some ~ It was sent to my e-mail today :)


~DEATH~
WHAT A WONDERFUL WAY TO EXPLAIN IT.

A sick man turned to his doctor as he was preparing to leave the examination room and said,

'Doctor, I am afraid to die..
Tell me what lies on the other side.'

Very quietly, the doctor said, 'I don't know.'

'You don't know? You're, a Christian man,
And don't know what's on the other side?'

The doctor was holding the handle of the door;
On the other side came a sound of scratching and whining,
And as he opened the door, a dog sprang into the room
And leaped on him with an eager show of gladness.

Turning to the patient, the doctor said,
'Did you notice my dog?
He's never been in this room before..
He didn't know what was inside.
He knew nothing except that his master was here,
And when the door opened, he sprang in without fear.

I know little of what is on the other side of death,
But I do know one thing...
I know my Master is there and that is enough.

SnowWolf
03-06-2010, 10:05 PM
EZMONEY- Your beautiful

weebleswobble
03-06-2010, 11:07 PM
Babygrant,

You may have noticed from our blue team chats that I'm a (Christian) minister...so I want you to brace yourself when I say,

I agree with your husband. :)

I don't think you should fib to your son. You have a faith that you practice in your family, and I don't think that in order to make things "easier" for anybody in the short term, that you should betray that faith--it will only confuse him in the long run.

I have two children. One is an Athiest, one is a Christian. Each has their reasons, each is respected by my husband and me, and each respects the other's decisions. Both of them asked the kinds of questions that your son is asking (and at the same age), and I answered them as best I could with what I believed.

I think that two things you could do (if he still has concerns) is point out people in your family who are "way old," if he has grandparents or great-grandparents or great-aunts/uncles....also, "I'll be in your heart--" that was cute, and you were on the right track, I think you could go a little further into memory-building with him, "making special memories," if you are genetically related, point out that your kid pics look like his, that there is a bond between the generations, etc. One day when I was about your son's age, my grandmother showed me an old black and white picture of me sitting on the steps of a house I'd never seen, in an old fashioned dress. Of course, it wasn't "me," it was my grandmother, but it tickled me greatly to know that I looked "just like her."

Primm
03-06-2010, 11:30 PM
I think it would be a bad idea to tell your four-year-old that when you die, you go into a box in the ground and decompose.

I absolutely disagree. I think I had a tremendous advantage growing up on a farm. The cycle of life and death were a part of our daily life, things were born, things died, that's just the way it was. I actually feel sorry for people, yes, including my own children, who don't have these experiences. It makes it so much more real.

Babygrant,

You may have noticed from our blue team chats that I'm a (Christian) minister...so I want you to brace yourself when I say,

I agree with your husband. :)

I don't think you should fib to your son. You have a faith that you practice in your family, and I don't think that in order to make things "easier" for anybody in the short term, that you should betray that faith--it will only confuse him in the long run.

I have two children. One is an Athiest, one is a Christian. Each has their reasons, each is respected by my husband and me, and each respects the other's decisions. Both of them asked the kinds of questions that your son is asking (and at the same age), and I answered them as best I could with what I believed.

I think that two things you could do (if he still has concerns) is point out people in your family who are "way old," if he has grandparents or great-grandparents or great-aunts/uncles....also, "I'll be in your heart--" that was cute, and you were on the right track, I think you could go a little further into memory-building with him, "making special memories," if you are genetically related, point out that your kid pics look like his, that there is a bond between the generations, etc. One day when I was about your son's age, my grandmother showed me an old black and white picture of me sitting on the steps of a house I'd never seen, in an old fashioned dress. Of course, it wasn't "me," it was my grandmother, but it tickled me greatly to know that I looked "just like her."

Thank you so much for your generous spirit!

Just one question to those who've suggested the OP lie to her son and tell him that she believes in some kind of afterlife, in order to "comfort" him.

If the boot were on the other foot, and she were a deeply religious person whose son was terrified of the concept of God and Heaven, would you suggest she give up those beliefs or lie to her son about what she believed in, because it would make her son happier? Why then are you suggesting that she do the reverse? In my opinion (and that's all it is, my opinion) this is highly disrespectful and rude.

sunflowergirl68
03-07-2010, 02:02 AM
Animals are not people. For a child, the thought of being in a coffin and decomposing in the ground can be terrifying. People have phobias of coffins and enclosed spaces. *I* have a phobia of that, and I'm 24.

If the boot were on the other foot, and she were a deeply religious person whose son was terrified of the concept of God and Heaven, would you suggest she give up those beliefs or lie to her son about what she believed in, because it would make her son happier?

It's more comforting to a 4-year-old. When you're that young, you can't speak in absolutes to kids. You certainly can't terrify them, and the thought of being totally alone and not having any sort of consciousness is much too a mature subject for kids. Would you talk about existentialism to kids? You have to be careful explaining these things to kids or else it could severely affect them. You have to be so careful in the way that you talk to kids about things. Why freak your kid out just because you don't believe in an afterlife?

And I personally think it's very selfish of parents to only explain their beliefs (or only one point of view), and not multiple ones. I really don't think it's fair to anyone's child if they're only raised with one spiritual point of view. I still have wounds from my religious upbringing and i would have really appreciated some variety.

I think the best thing to say is that you really don't know what happens when you die, but you hope that you'll be together.

EZMONEY
03-07-2010, 09:29 AM
EZMONEY- Your beautiful

:hug: Thank you KIDDO :)

.....

Just one question to those who've suggested the OP lie to her son and tell him that she believes in some kind of afterlife, in order to "comfort" him.

Maybe I missed something...I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree...but I have not got the impression from anybody here that the OP poster lie about her beliefs...in fact I find it to be quite the opposite in support for her to follow her DH's advice.

zoritsa
03-07-2010, 10:44 AM
I don't have any suggestions or ideas from when my kids were smaller.My oldest asked like the OP's son and at the time,I considered myself a Christian,so it was an easier answer.

My youngest however,told me what he thinks happens to a person when they die.When he was around 4 he started telling us "stories".He believes in reincarnation,and has since he was 4(we didn't).He's 8 now,and while he no longer tells us stories,still believes that we will go on to have other lives after we die.When I told my mother what he thought,she started looking up information on reincarnation,and would ask me every now and then if he had anymore stories,lol.

Whatever everyone's beliefs are,it's never an easy discussion to have with a small child.

babygrant
03-07-2010, 01:09 PM
Ok so DS has been asking less and less, but I thought I'd give a bit more info.

My dad was raised a mormon. His entire family is mormon. His mom made him get a job at 15 to help pay their mortgage so he didn't have time for church and was excommunicated (???). Seriously, he still has the letter. So like I said, his family was all mormon. We weren't included in any family gatherings because we weren't part of the church. My siblings and I were constantly badgered about joining the church, about drinking pepsi, about wearing bikinis, about dating, etc, etc, etc. It was just a really bad experience. In my original post I should've stated my husband is an athiest...I am personally not sure, I am more on the side of not believing but I've had a few life experiences that make me really really question it, hense the reason there's a part of me that does believe (I can go more into details about that if anyone is interested, lol). I really think I would've had a good relationship with my grandparents had they not constantly pestered me with religion. My other grandma, whom I love and adore, is a Luthern and has never once pushed her beliefs on me and I have gone to church with her before, and used to go to Sunday school with her. DH and I were even married by a Luthern pastor and we sang hymns at our wedding (7 1/2 years ago), and took three or four pre-matiral courses at the church. DH wasn't always adament there was no God or higher power, it's only changed the past couple of years.

So anyways, when my oldest son (6 years old) was questioning death, we did explain to him that people go to heaven and that one day we will all be together again, etc, etc, etc. Him and youngest DS must've chatted one day because DS has been mentioning heaven quite a bit and I'm not stopping him. The posters who said that there is comfort thinking we'll all be together again someday were right. He broke a sea shell in half the other day and he says "well I guess they'll both go to heaven". So I'm just letting him believe what he believes and I think it may be time to do some soul searching for myself.

Whew that was long, lol.

choirgirlhotel
03-07-2010, 04:56 PM
He broke a sea shell in half the other day and he says "well I guess they'll both go to heaven". So I'm just letting him believe what he believes and I think it may be time to do some soul searching for myself.



Your son sounds so sweet. I could read those cute things kids say all day!

~CGH~

Primm
03-08-2010, 04:27 AM
Maybe I missed something...I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree...but I have not got the impression from anybody here that the OP poster lie about her beliefs...in fact I find it to be quite the opposite in support for her to follow her DH's advice.

Maybe I misinterpreted then, because that's certainly how I read this:

"So in your situation I think it would be a great comfort to your child to give him what he needs right now, and that's peace of mind. You don't have to use the words heaven or anything, but you could explain to me that once you die you've gone somewhere else and will be watching over him and will always be there for him."

This certainly sounds like suggesting that the OP tell her son the opposite to what she believes to me, or am I reading more into it than is there?

Passionista
03-08-2010, 12:44 PM
Would you talk about existentialism to kids? You have to be careful explaining these things to kids or else it could severely affect them. You have to be so careful in the way that you talk to kids about things. Why freak your kid out just because you don't believe in an afterlife? Talk about existentialism? Yes, would, have and will continue to.
Personally, I think telling kids that a strange fat man in a red suit sneaks into everyone's houses around the world (oh wait, not everyone, just the Christians, those who believe in Jesus!) is a horribly frightening and inappropriate thing to do. Don't get me started on the EASTER :bunny2: BUNNY!!! :yikes:

What about loving puppies and eating chickens? How about that disconnect? A value system that is inconsistent is a challenging thing to balance and can confuse and frighten children. :(
And I personally think it's very selfish of parents to only explain their beliefs (or only one point of view), and not multiple ones. I really don't think it's fair to anyone's child if they're only raised with one spiritual point of view. I still have wounds from my religious upbringing and i would have really appreciated some variety. Variety is the 'Spice of (the after) life!'

I think the best thing to say is that you really don't know what happens when you die, but you hope that you'll be together.Yep!

sunflowergirl68
03-08-2010, 01:08 PM
i've never met one kid who was scared of the idea of Santa. Maybe those creepy mall Santas, but you're an adult. Of course you'd think the idea of that is frightening once you break it down logically. Kids don't really do that.

Passionista
03-08-2010, 01:31 PM
Of course you'd think the idea of that is frightening once you break it down logically. Kids don't really do that.

I did, as a child I understood it wasn't feasible and it was a scary thought to begin with. I was a preschool teacher and heard many stories of others who did too. :shrug:

EZMONEY
03-08-2010, 11:24 PM
I saw the quote PRIMM...I see what you meant....I didn't read every word of the posts but I stick with my "feeling" that most were not advising the OP to lie.

Truce?



......
Personally, I think telling kids that a strange fat man in a red suit sneaks into everyone's houses around the world (oh wait, not everyone, just the Christians, those who believe in Jesus!) is a horribly frightening and inappropriate thing to do. Don't get me started on the EASTER :bunny2: BUNNY!!! :yikes:

What about loving puppies and eating chickens?

Hummm....well I am a christian and I never told my kids that Santa would come into their house if they believed in JESUS.

I have never heard that from any of my christian friends or family either.

I do know many non-christians though that share the magic of Santa with their families at Christmas times and never speak of Jesus.

I do love puppies :carrot: and I do eat chickens.

sunflowergirl68
03-09-2010, 12:55 AM
My parents are Episcopalian and they told me about Santa. They've always been Christian and my dad's parents started an Episcopalian church in their house.

Why exactly would non-Christians talk about Jesus at all? They're not Christian... I guess I don't understand why you would say that.

pixiefalls
03-09-2010, 02:26 AM
Same here. My parents are Christians and me and my sister were told about Santa. It's not something we believed in though. We just knew about it.. I never found anything wrong with it. I also like puppies and eat chicken. :p

Passionista
03-09-2010, 02:34 AM
Apparently my sense of humor/irony is not common :lol:

EZMONEY
03-09-2010, 10:01 AM
Apparently my sense of humor/irony is not common :lol:

No problem here....a lot of folks here don't get my attempt at humor from time to time either :D

I think some of us were just trying to explain that Christians don't worship Santa....he does not enter the birth of Christ story in our churches or our homes...

but Santa is part of the "magic" of Christmas for many folks...Christians or not.

Christians don't mind being accused of what we really believe but it does irritate us to be accused of things we don't.

In a few weeks we will have an easter egg hunt at church...little kids will be waiting with baskets to hunt for those Easter bunny eggs...

but we won't be celebrating the bunny in our worship services :)

Off to work....

be good :)

Passionista
03-09-2010, 11:37 AM
Lest we derail this thread further, I'll just briefly say this:

Many people believe different things and it's their belief, it don't have to make sense or have to be logical or be consistent with the beliefs of anyone else (even people who profess to be of the same religion etc.).

I don't think that Christians "worship Santa". :lol: That would be a funny altar or church service! :dizzy:

I don't believe that *all* Christians tell their children about Santa or teach their children that only good Christians get presents on "Christ's Birthday". Have I heard people tell their children this before? Yes.

There are no absolutes.

No problem here....a lot of folks here don't get my attempt at humor from time to time either :D

I think some of us were just trying to explain that Christians don't worship Santa....he does not enter the birth of Christ story in our churches or our homes...

but Santa is part of the "magic" of Christmas for many folks...Christians or not.

Christians don't mind being accused of what we really believe but it does irritate us to be accused of things we don't.

In a few weeks we will have an easter egg hunt at church...little kids will be waiting with baskets to hunt for those Easter bunny eggs...

but we won't be celebrating the bunny in our worship services :)

Off to work....

be good :)

sunflowergirl68
03-09-2010, 01:56 PM
The only bad thing I can think of in not telling your kid(s) about Santa is that they'll obviously hear about it at school from their friends, come home and as you about it, and then what do you say? That Santa isn't real and that he's just a commercial figure made up by some company?

I'd worry that they'd go back to school and tell all of their friends and ruin it for them.

JulieJ08
03-09-2010, 02:54 PM
I have no idea what to think about Santa. But it's pretty outrageous if parents feel they have to teach their kids to believe in Santa because other parents do! There's some kind of serious problem there.

sunflowergirl68
03-09-2010, 04:53 PM
I hardly think something like that is a serious problem....

mandalinn82
03-09-2010, 04:59 PM
This thread has moved well beyond the original topic, and into an argument about Santa (which has nothing to do with a child's worry about death). I think the OP has gotten a lot of good advice and opinions, and I'm going to go ahead and close.