Atheism and children
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
05-08-2013, 09:35 AM
Atheism and children
Hi there

About 3 years ago, my grandmother passed away due to cancer.
My 8 year-old sister (5, at the time) had bit of a hard time understanding the whole concept of death, but was quite sad at the time because she could feel it on the rest of the family. At the time, we told her that our grandmother would sit in heaven and look down on us, smiling, and that she was in a better place etc.

Yesterday I was at a birthday party and I was playing some football (soccer, for you american folks) with this 6 year-old kid, and then suddenly he talked about how his grandmother recently died because of "cancer in the heart" and that he was sad about it, and then I just instinctively told him that I was sure she was sitting in heaven, looking down at us and smiling.

What would you have done in those situations?
Is there a child-friendly way of telling a 5 year-old that when you die you just cease to exist for all eternity?

And as far as my sister goes, I don't mind if she ends up being Christian and truly believing in God, but how/when do I break it to her that I am a non-believer and than possibly after life you're just gone?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-08-2013, 05:02 PM
RE: Atheism and children
(05-08-2013 09:35 AM)Niko Wrote:  Hi there

About 3 years ago, my grandmother passed away due to cancer.
My 8 year-old sister (5, at the time) had bit of a hard time understanding the whole concept of death, but was quite sad at the time because she could feel it on the rest of the family. At the time, we told her that our grandmother would sit in heaven and look down on us, smiling, and that she was in a better place etc.

Yesterday I was at a birthday party and I was playing some football (soccer, for you american folks) with this 6 year-old kid, and then suddenly he talked about how his grandmother recently died because of "cancer in the heart" and that he was sad about it, and then I just instinctively told him that I was sure she was sitting in heaven, looking down at us and smiling.

What would you have done in those situations?
Is there a child-friendly way of telling a 5 year-old that when you die you just cease to exist for all eternity?

And as far as my sister goes, I don't mind if she ends up being Christian and truly believing in God, but how/when do I break it to her that I am a non-believer and than possibly after life you're just gone?

For me personally, I would have not said she in heaven or a better place. However, I would explain to the child that that death is a part of life. Express my empathy and sympathy without involving religion by sharing our feelings.

[Image: BMCz_10CEAAAG5S.jpg]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes ashleypersuasion's post
05-08-2013, 06:36 PM
RE: Atheism and children
How would you tell her that you don't believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-08-2013, 06:44 PM
RE: Atheism and children
(05-08-2013 09:35 AM)Niko Wrote:  What would you have done in those situations?
Is there a child-friendly way of telling a 5 year-old that when you die you just cease to exist for all eternity?

Yep... Cut to the chase. We're here for 80 +/- years. We do good things. People remember us fondly. THAT is heaven, THAT is eternity (or the best we can make of it). It is okay to acknowledge death. It is not okay to lie to children about the sky man taking care of our eternal soul.

Eater Bunny and Santa Claus? Why bother? In my home, there's no Easter celebration. Even if there was, I don't think children believe in that rabbit any more than the Keebler elves. Santa? I told my oldest something like this, "Don't want to believe in Santa anymore?" That's cool, tomorrow when you wake up, there will be exactly the same amount of stuff under that tree as there is right now. OR you can continue to "believe" and wake up to Santa's gifts" Yes, we acknowledge Christmas in my house as a social convention. But if praying for a new PS3 makes my kids religious, I'll consider stopping.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Regular_Joe's post
05-08-2013, 07:43 PM
RE: Atheism and children
Well,i would tell her that she keeps on living in our memories,that death is part of the cycle,that you remember her for what she did,ect.

I don't really like going outside.
It's too damn "peopley" out there....
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Lightvader's post
05-08-2013, 09:30 PM
RE: Atheism and children
(05-08-2013 07:43 PM)Lightvader Wrote:  Well,i would tell her that she keeps on living in our memories,that death is part of the cycle,that you remember her for what she did,ect.

Basically this. If it helps, you could even help the child make something to remember their lost loved one by. A scrap book, collage, some other craft with pictures, a memory journal, etc.

"Good news, everyone!"
-Cody
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Anudist's post
05-08-2013, 09:41 PM
RE: Atheism and children
When my fil passed away that's what I told my youngest -- as long as we remember him he lives on in our hearts. Yes we'd rather have him here with us, but he (father in law) was very sick and it's better for us, even if it makes us sad.


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Momsurroundedbyboys's post
05-08-2013, 09:49 PM
RE: Atheism and children
(05-08-2013 07:43 PM)Lightvader Wrote:  Well,i would tell her that she keeps on living in our memories,that death is part of the cycle,that you remember her for what she did,ect.

Maybe add, "grandma knew love & happiness in her time with us. Knew you loved her. Besides; all the parts that made grandma so awesome live on *gently tap her on the bridge of her nose* in you Shy " (you can explain the ins & outs of DNA when she's old enough to understand) Smile

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: