My Son wants to pray before dinner
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11-07-2012, 02:17 PM
My Son wants to pray before dinner
My 4 and a half year old son insists on praying to god and Jesus before we dine. He asks us to stop, put our hands together and he says a prayer.

I am quiet and allow him to do so. I asked him once why he does that and he says it is right to thank someone for all we have.

I don't want to discourage or encourage him; I want him to find his own path, and I want to give him the tools to be a free thinker.

How should I handle this? He believes in Santa Claus, and I see no problem with beliefs like that as they are tradition, but when it comes time to put away all childish things (to paraphrase Corinthians) should religion go away with the Easter Bunny and Santa?

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11-07-2012, 02:21 PM
RE: My Son wants to pray before dinner
(11-07-2012 02:17 PM)FaceOfBoe Wrote:  My 4 and a half year old son insists on praying to god and Jesus before we dine. He asks us to stop, put our hands together and he says a prayer.

I am quiet and allow him to do so. I asked him once why he does that and he says it is right to thank someone for all we have.

I don't want to discourage or encourage him; I want him to find his own path, and I want to give him the tools to be a free thinker.

How should I handle this? He believes in Santa Claus, and I see no problem with beliefs like that as they are tradition, but when it comes time to put away all childish things (to paraphrase Corinthians) should religion go away with the Easter Bunny and Santa?



I don't know your background and everything, so this would be my obligatory first question: How did your son come to the conclusion that he should be praying to Jesus before a meal? Children don't come up with these things on their own, after all.
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11-07-2012, 02:21 PM
RE: My Son wants to pray before dinner
Where did he get this info to clasp his hands and pray?

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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11-07-2012, 02:24 PM
RE: My Son wants to pray before dinner
Tell him it's okay to pray as long as he addresses his prayers to Baby Jesus.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuAUI_0knfk

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11-07-2012, 02:29 PM
RE: My Son wants to pray before dinner
Well it doesn't solve to the full scale of what you have... but shouldn't you let him know he also should be thanking you and his mother for what he has?

Or tell him to pray to the stars and sun for all they gave you, much more than the baby. I assume you don't want to shatter the young dreams quite yet though.

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11-07-2012, 02:36 PM
RE: My Son wants to pray before dinner
Here's my take on this.....it's a teaching opportunity. Tell him (obviously in simple, kid friendly terms) that you will respect his decision to pray, and remain silent while he does so. Bot also, it,s a chance to teach him that people should always respect that kind of decision, so he should in turn respect your decision to not pray. That would mean not expecting you to participate by folding your hands etc.

It will show him that praying is fine for those that wish to do it, but that it's not something people should have to do. And as he grows, and his ability to understand things develops, you can approach Jesus just like you would Santa. Let him figure it out on his own, by asking him questions about Jesus and Santa, instead of telling him what,s what. When we come to our own conclusions about truth, those conclusions tend to be more honest and steadfast.

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11-07-2012, 02:37 PM
RE: My Son wants to pray before dinner
I think their was a grand parent in the wood shed so to speak. I don't know how you would handle this.

History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a
free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their
political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their
own purpose. ~ Thomas Jefferson
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11-07-2012, 02:42 PM
RE: My Son wants to pray before dinner
(11-07-2012 02:37 PM)N.E.OhioAtheist Wrote:  I think their was a grand parent in the wood shed so to speak. I don't know how you would handle this.


A closed fist works. Wink

I would be infinitely pissed if I found out that someone were trying to indoctrinate a child of mine.
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11-07-2012, 02:49 PM
RE: My Son wants to pray before dinner
I also would say that is NOT free thinking, It's bondage to religion. A open mind would never give in to mythology and superstition like praying to a non existent God . But That's my thoughts not yours. He's your son and no one can tell you the right way to raise him. Go with your heart and you will be fine.

History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a
free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their
political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their
own purpose. ~ Thomas Jefferson
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11-07-2012, 02:53 PM
RE: My Son wants to pray before dinner
If he tells you that it is right to thank someone before dinner, then you make him think about who should be thanked for.
Who grew the things we need to cook?
Who made it available?
Who prepared it?
Who put the dishes on the table?
Just make him think about this. Was it god or jesus? Who are these guys anyway?

Just a hint Smile

"Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4" - George Orwell (in 1984)
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