What do you all do?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-05-2007
What do you all do?
Sat, 06-20-2009 - 4:08am
My son is 8 and he has decided for himself that he doesn't believe in god. I am totally ok with that. I was raised in a family with a baptist preacher for a father and my mother was my Sunday school teacher. I spent most of my younger adult life searching for meaning and a place to belong as far as religion is concerned. I've very comfortably settled in being agnostic. I have not raised my son with any religious background given my forced schooling in the subject. I did not want to bring hate and fear into that with him. I would like for him to know more about religion in general so that he can be more understanding and tolerant. While I am
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2004
Sat, 06-20-2009 - 2:29pm

I was an agnostic before 8 and became a full atheist at 9.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-20-2003
Sat, 06-20-2009 - 7:40pm

I became an atheist around 5 or 6, although I still believed in Santa Claus (there was evidence).

He may know enough at 8 to make the decision.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-12-2006
Sun, 06-21-2009 - 10:00pm

My DD9 says she doesn't believe.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2004
Mon, 06-22-2009 - 2:09am
I agree with the other posters you should talk to him. Kids know more at 8 then we give them credit for.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-27-2006
Mon, 06-22-2009 - 4:35pm
My DH is Christian, too, which makes me think my kids will have some confusion. I've just been saying "daddy (or grandma) believes XYZ but mommy believes ABC". Sometimes she believes what Daddy/MIL believe, sometimes me. I try not to cringe when it's them, lol. I totally agree with you that religion is not what she needs to be decided right now. And, by the way, the answer is Edward. ;)

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2006
Tue, 06-23-2009 - 4:20pm

So he hasn't been exposed to anything else? That, alone, tells him something. Something good!
Okay, I would suggest starting out with "Maybe Yes, Maybe No", "Maybe Right, Maybe Wrong", "What About Gods?", and "Our Family Tree" or "The Tree of Life" about evolution.

THEN, introduce every single myth you can find in the library, including the Noahs, Adams, Eves, Moseses, Krishnas, Shivas, ETC. Maybe a book like "What I Believe".

The myth stories are quite fun to read and give a great foundation as to WHY stories like this are created: to answer the questions that plague our species.

Congrats on raising a freethinker and don't feel like you HAVE to discourage him. Encourage his skepticism and logical thinking all you can!

Also, I have an 8 year old son (and a 12 year old daughter) and he also does not believe in any of the gods or religions. I must say, though, that I have taken a pro active approach to this. I have always told them that they could explore any belief system that interests them. They reply, 'I am an atheist, Mom. I am not interested in living by some made up rules with some made up stories! Come ON, Mom!"


Edited 6/24/2009 12:13 am ET by imshooshy
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2005
Tue, 06-23-2009 - 8:54pm

I sent my daughter to church with friends, and I even took her to an anglican catholic church and a lutheran church.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-05-2007
Wed, 06-24-2009 - 2:50am

Thank you all for your input. I'm the only parent among my friends and I am the only non-believer in my family, so I never really know if I'm doing the right thing or not. It is just my son and myself and I want his world view to be more than just what he happens to see at home. :) Thanks for the book suggestions-I will have to look into that.

I did talk to him about what he thought and it's interesting. He said he does not believe in god, but he believes in reincarnation. He said he likes the idea of karma. He does not like the idea of church and has no interest in going. He has seen from the kids at school how judgemental the religious kids are and he wants nothing to do with that. We've been reading a series of books about the Greek gods and he finds that really interesting. I want him to know its ok to keep learning and changing what he thinks about it and be able to make the choice himself. I also want him to learn tolerance for people who believe things he may think are ridiculous. It is a skill I am still working on. :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2006
Wed, 06-24-2009 - 4:42pm
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