Looking for parental help
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21-05-2015, 10:57 AM
RE: Looking for parental help
I answered my son's questions in a straightforward manner. I also demonstrated critical-thinking to him by going through evidence and reasoning step-by-step, and stressed the importance of weighing evidence in any claim about reality.

Sagan was right, children are natural scientists.
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21-05-2015, 11:10 AM
RE: Looking for parental help
I don't think it's too early at all.

Ask her how she knows that anything might be real. Discuss similar secular stories which parallel her Bible stories- Aesop's Fables, perhaps. Help her to understand that fictional stories can often help us understand things that happen in real life and that's why people tell them.

For instance, we know a frog doesn't speak but there are stories where frogs "talk" about swimmimg across a pond. We might learn something from the frog's point of view, so we use our imagination to help us hear what a frog might say. It's not a story about a real talking frog, it just helps us think more about decisions and choices of what might be good or bad for us.

Thinking for one's self is a process and the earlier she gets the hang of it, the less stressful a future she will have.

By the way ... welcome to the forum. Smile

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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21-05-2015, 11:37 AM
RE: Looking for parental help
(21-05-2015 10:44 AM)Anon Wrote:  
(21-05-2015 10:28 AM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  when my oldest was in a christian preschool they would have 'chapel chat' with the pastor of the church. I think it was Methodist. At 4 my daughter had all sorts of questions. Just innocent stuff, but hard hitting in the same. so they would mention some kids story about an angel or heaven and she would want to know if angels wear shoes, or is there a Chick Fil A resturant in heaven. Can she get a frosty in heaven? I would always tell her, I don't know, maybe you should ask in chapel chat.

after 3-4 months they finally approached me and asked that she refrain from asking so many questions. So we would save them up and pick one good one. That lasted one month and then the pastor stopped doing chapel chat. His schedule was apparently too busy for the little kids.

Great stuff. My daughter came to me recently and said "Daddy Gods real right." That question caught me off guard and I struggled to answer it. I wanted to say no sweetie hes not but then I was telling her what to believe instead of how to think about things. I told her well to some people he or she is and to some no he isn't. people believe in different things. That answer was not satisfactory for her and she wanted more answers. Do you think I'm looking to much into it right now since she is only 5 and really doesn't comprehend yet?

I am pretty good at stalling the tough questions to buy time to think of the way I want to approach by asking the child what they think the answer is first. Then I ask how they reached that answer. Then I give my answer and why, and some other peoples ideas. Next go thru the questions you learn in school How? Why? Where? When? What? By this point the conversation has taken some sort direction to guide me into a thoughtful answer to end with.

And when you can try to point out how one thing is connected to another. For example: pretty flowers provide food for bees, bees pollinate crops, crops taste yummy.

enjoy these conversations, you are laying the groundwork for the bigger ones later in life, just this week on the way to soccer we discussed how gay couples have children, sperm banks, egg donation, infertility, and laws about birth certificates. Blink the craziest part was that it was only a 20 minute car ride. lol.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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21-05-2015, 01:57 PM
RE: Looking for parental help
Adam, welcome!

You are in a better place than I am. At least your wife is on the same page. My wife isn't as she is still a believer. She hasn't come to full grips yet that I have 'slipped away' from belief to non-belief and she continues to pray with our children, talk about god (although that is done very little) and go to church with them.

My oldest is 6 and since he is starting to understand logic / reason, I just appeal to that whenever we talk about bible stories etc. I have an app on my phone that is a kids bible app; he loves it mainly because it's interactive and allows him to follow along the stories. I don't shield him from it because I try to keep peace within our home. However, when we are done reading each story we'll review and I will show him the areas that were conveniently "left out". We'll discuss how the world works and try to reason through if that story seems realistic or not.

Recently we went over the Samson story. I would ask him questions like, do you think a man could kill 1000 people with donkey bone? Or do you really think 3,000 people could fit on the roof of a temple? After he thinks about it he understands the principle fights logic.

I pepper this with this with cool kids shows dealing with science, we take him to science museums, planetariums etc. My goal here is that logic will begin to fill out as he ages and when he is older we can deal with the heavier questions. I hope to do the same with our youngest son who is 3 now. I definitely won't shield them from religion but encourage logic through conversation and questioning. Communication is key here.

P.S. Lived in Cbus for 5 years. Utilize KOSI as much as you can. That place rocks!
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21-05-2015, 02:36 PM
RE: Looking for parental help
Thank you all very much for the insight. I feel that I am gaining the tools to help my daughter rationalize the difference between stories and reality. I have enjoyed reading all your insights into this matter. Thank you all for your info. Great stuff guys!
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21-05-2015, 07:12 PM
RE: Looking for parental help
My kids are grown now but they always went to public school. They've never been to church. We went camping and hiking a lot and explained the stars and nature in fun, enthusiastic but scientific terms.

We talked about religions of the world from time to time but in a noncommittal way. We made sure they understood and learned about different cultures from all over the world.

When my daughter was little she was very interested in Pokemon characters and we took that opportunity to teach her about myths of Ancient Greece and Rome and even the Norse and Hindu gods. It seemed to fit in well with the little Pokemon stories.

As parents we kept ourselves open and curious and that has transferred to our children.

Questioning, curiosity and learning are the killers of religious beliefs, it's like oil and water, they just don't mix.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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21-05-2015, 07:54 PM
RE: Looking for parental help
I was also raised with the Bible stories that are usually Disneyed up for kids. But my mother also read me fairy tales and fables. They were all presented in the same fashion. Make believe. I knew that the Noah's Ark story was no more real than The Three Bears.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

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21-05-2015, 08:15 PM
RE: Looking for parental help
(21-05-2015 07:54 PM)Anjele Wrote:  I was also raised with the Bible stories that are usually Disneyed up for kids. But my mother also read me fairy tales and fables. They were all presented in the same fashion. Make believe. I knew that the Noah's Ark story was no more real than The Three Bears.

I have to think that as long as there is always "something" in the back of one's mind that says, "... but then there is this ... " a kid is at least going to grow up with a niggling sense of doubt. A variety of materials can provide a great foundation for a parent to work with their child.

Every kid deserves a wide horizon. Shy

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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22-05-2015, 10:12 AM
RE: Looking for parental help
(21-05-2015 10:25 AM)Anon Wrote:  
(21-05-2015 09:57 AM)ohio_drg Wrote:  Columbus is a good area. There are several secular groups in and around the city. That and with all the large Universities in the area there is quite a large amount of free thinkers in the area. However, we still have our fair share of fundies.

What brings you to Columbus?

I am a veteran and am going back to college to finish my master's degree. I currently live in small town USA and let me tell you, small towns bread small minds. Im originally from Cincinnati and really miss the city life. Im looking forward to the move and really think it will help my daughter with diversity and how to critically think in the future.
Veteran here as well. Columbus is a good city. Big enough to have almost anything you want, but not so big that you have to deal with all the trappings of some of the major metropolitan areas.
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22-05-2015, 11:51 AM
RE: Looking for parental help
My wife and I had a long conversation on this topic last night after reading your comments. I believe we have come up with a solid way to approach this. It would appear that education in all religions and belief systems is whats needed. To answer any questions she may have with walking her through the thought process. Noah's ark comes to mind of a story that we could use to show her logic. More over, we need to teach her how to think not what to think. Teach her to ask questions and never stop learning. Thank you all for your openness and support about this. It has been great and seeing as this was my first post to this forum I'm sure this kind of open dialog will continue. The saying is true you know, It takes a community to raise a child. Fantastic stuff guys, really. Thumbsup
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