What would you do if your kid told you so?
We know that talking about God is not easy. It’s a very sensitive topic where you want them to know all about God, yet at the same time, you’re afraid to tell them something that might hold them back especially that children nowadays are very smart and ask curious questions. We have to realize that talking about God with our kids should never be a taboo.
Our certified Positive Discipline Educator from the US Positive Discipline Association, Rana Hany, shared with us some of the most common questions and concerns that kids have about God that might shock their parents and a guide on how to handle them.
“Who is God? Why can’t we see Him?”
Hany explained that at the age of three parents can start introducing the idea to their children. You will start by explaining that God is the one who brought us to the world. He’s up in the sky somewhere we refer to as Heaven. We will meet Him when we go there after doing many good deeds like helping others.
Simplify the idea by explaining that God is like light according to religious texts. He sees us and is everywhere around us and feels what we feel. She warned of introducing the concept of hell to kids before the age of six as a means of discipline. You could make use of daily habits like mealtime as an opportunity to explain that God blessed us with food and that we must thank him.
“I prayed to God and he didn’t reply”
This is a very tricky point. Hany pointed out that it’s very common that when we tell kids that God is the one who answers our prayers, they expect to get what they prayed for immediately. Hany advises us to explain to kids that sometimes God answers our prayers and at other times he postpones them to give us something better. Every now parents could make a wish come true -like buying a toy- so kids don’t feel disappointed.
“I hate God. He’s the reason my grandmother died”
Hany stressed on showing your child that you understand his sorrow and anger. You could say “I know how much you love Nana and so does God. That’s why she went to Heaven for all the good deeds she did in life as God as a reward”.
“Look, mom, I drew God”
Hany assured that the least recommended approach when a child draws God is to panic or shout. On the contrary, we have to be calm and show interest in the drawing and explain that this is how he imagines God but we don’t know what He looks like. Hany advised to let it go and no to ask our kids to stop drawing God and it will pass.
Dr. Rana Hany stressed on the importance of listening to our kids’ questions about God and answering them all. It’s fine to say that we don’t know the answers and that we will search for them. It’s important to answer them back and never leave any unattended questions.