My Son wants to pray before dinner
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12-07-2012, 07:53 AM
RE: My Son wants to pray before dinner
That's a fucking lid, right there. Big Grin

And all you "hands off" peeps, there ain't no. Sitting there with a big grin, that's an indicator. Being pro-active cuts down on the subliminals, I'm thinking.

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12-07-2012, 09:06 AM
RE: My Son wants to pray before dinner
Honestly, let him pray if he wants to. He's a kid for crying out loud! My own brother came and asked me if there was a god. I had asked my own father the same question when I was his age and just like me he was looking for the "right" answer, aka what I believed. I said that's something he has to figure out on his own. I had said no when I was young, my brother said yes and I was very proud of him for that. He stood up for his beliefs, and trust me, saying you're religious when you're young isn't easy in norway. It's the opposite of what you have. He grew out of it though, but at least he had the right to choose himself.

My suggestion is to not deny him outright, it's a basic right in your country to be allowed to have what religion you want. Don't take that away from him. At least not in a cold and callous manner.

Do however explain what you believe and try to figure out who's actually teaching him this. I'd be more worried about something teaching my kids (when I get around to making them) things I don't want then them believing in a fairytale when they're children. I believed in santa too! Turned out it was my dad and uncles and whatnot, but it made for a great childhood Smile
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12-07-2012, 09:08 AM
RE: My Son wants to pray before dinner
(11-07-2012 02:21 PM)StatiK Wrote:  
(11-07-2012 02:17 PM)FaceOfBoe Wrote:  
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.
Well, I was raised catholic, and my wife sometimes goes to church. Many family members are religious and often pray when we dine at their houses, so I guess he picked it up there.

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12-07-2012, 09:12 AM
RE: My Son wants to pray before dinner
(11-07-2012 09:53 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(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.

That seems an excellent attitude to me. Dunno why it would show up in someone that young. I'd pray along with him but continually question who it is we are giving thanks to. Eventually he will realize (like by the age of 6 or 7 in your prodigy's timeline) we are just giving thanks to and soliciting ourselves. Once you realize prayer is just soliciting and patting yourself on your own back, it's not nearly as compelling or interesting. Wink
Another question would be, could you give thanks before dinner, but not thank a deity? Can you simply say, "let's give thanks. Thanks for mommy or daddy for preparing this, thanks for the ability to afford a meal, a nice home, and thanks for our health. "

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12-07-2012, 09:26 AM
RE: My Son wants to pray before dinner
I would think you could just explain who jesus is =p

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I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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12-07-2012, 11:14 AM
RE: My Son wants to pray before dinner
Yeah, "Son, Jesus is a real man and he is a Mexican. In fact, there are a lot of people called Jesus, why there is my friend at work called that."


Seriously.


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12-07-2012, 12:38 PM
RE: My Son wants to pray before dinner
(12-07-2012 09:12 AM)FaceOfBoe Wrote:  
(11-07-2012 09:53 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  That seems an excellent attitude to me. Dunno why it would show up in someone that young. I'd pray along with him but continually question who it is we are giving thanks to. Eventually he will realize (like by the age of 6 or 7 in your prodigy's timeline) we are just giving thanks to and soliciting ourselves. Once you realize prayer is just soliciting and patting yourself on your own back, it's not nearly as compelling or interesting. Wink
Another question would be, could you give thanks before dinner, but not thank a deity? Can you simply say, "let's give thanks. Thanks for mommy or daddy for preparing this, thanks for the ability to afford a meal, a nice home, and thanks for our health. "
It's OK for you to let him pray and it's OK for you to tell him you don't believe in gods. Really.

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12-07-2012, 01:00 PM
RE: My Son wants to pray before dinner
(12-07-2012 12:38 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(12-07-2012 09:12 AM)FaceOfBoe Wrote:  Another question would be, could you give thanks before dinner, but not thank a deity? Can you simply say, "let's give thanks. Thanks for mommy or daddy for preparing this, thanks for the ability to afford a meal, a nice home, and thanks for our health. "
It's OK for you to let him pray and it's OK for you to tell him you don't believe in gods. Really.

Sure it's ok. As a matter of fact, it's quite healthy for any child to know there are all kinds of people in the world, who do things very differently. That way when he goes to school, he won't be so shocked when other children aren't doing stuff "right". Thumbsup

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12-07-2012, 02:54 PM
RE: My Son wants to pray before dinner
A big thing to remember here is that he is four. There is plenty of time to ask questions and introduce critical thinking. It is a good idea for your son to understand that people have different beliefs, life styles, etc... But while you are doing this don't forget to let him know that you will love him no matter what he believes and that you will respect his choices even if they differ from yours. I guess I would also add that while he can believe what he wants, he should be careful and do his home work before he dives into any belief.
Respect and having an open door policy, I believe, is the best way to have a healthy and productive relationship with your child.

You could let him pray before dinner, while you participate or not. Maybe your son just likes the feeling of connecting with the friends and family at the dinner table. You could start implementing a fun activity where you take time to go around the table and have everyone share something about their day. It could be something funny that happened, something good, something bad, something they are thankful for, etc... I think this is a great use of family time. Everyone is in one spot at the same time reflecting on their day, connecting with each other, showing respect and value for one another. A great example of how we should all treat our fellow woman/man.

Parenting Beyond Belief is a good resource for dealing with this issue as well as others that may come up, since your extended family is religious. There are a couple books written by Dale McGowen, videos, etc. http://parentingbeyondbelief.com/
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12-07-2012, 03:05 PM
RE: My Son wants to pray before dinner
Boe

The kid believes in Santa too? My wife is a theist and she and I have been pondering the question of whether or not to tell our son Santa is real (we have a while since he is <6 months old). I think both of us are a little nostalgic about it, but we also don't want to lie to our son. I also think of the thrill I got when I figured out on my own that Santa wasn't real, and if my son believes in god then maybe that would be a good experience to have under his belt?

If my son wanted to pray before a meal because he believed, I would be a little sad because he believed, but he is just a kid. I would allow him to do so, just like I would allow him to have an imaginary friend. I think you start treading pretty risky territory with kids when you discourage activities they deem important. He is developing and figuring out who he is. Other people will influence him and he will take on some of those traits. Some will stick longer than others. This may be nothing more than a phase, like Santa. If it continues into adulthood, and he remains a believer, oh well. I would also be upset that my son did not follow my footsteps, but his identity and happiness are more important.

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