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Children might be born with an innate understanding of God. Should we really be talking to children about God and indoctrinating them with our often man-made theories?
“Mummy, who is God?”, “If he is everywhere, why can’t we see him?”
I am sure I am not the first parent to be stumped by these kind of questions. Even if you do not believe in the traditional versions of God or religion, there will be questions about creation and existence that will leave you stumped. The truth is that many questions in life do not have definite answers and this is a hard fact for even us adults to accept, leave alone the kids.
The world around us in constantly changing and our kids’ curious minds are constantly bombarded with new and overwhelming concepts. To battle the gamut of information being thrown at them children ask questions!
No surprise there. Research finds that mothers or primary care givers are the most quizzed people on earth. In fact an average 4 year old asks one question almost every two minutes of a waking day, girls being more curious of two. Some questions we answer, some we avoid, and some leave us shell shocked.
These questions, as simple as they seem are complex to answer and kids are clear – they want straight forward answers. It is no wonder that Google has becomes a parent’s best friend.
Beyond the daily practical chores and choices, we parents are entrusted with a more important role. Education is not just about schooling and learning how to read and write. Real education begins at home. The real work revolves around growing and moulding these bite-sized individuals into fully grown personalities headed for a future and a world that is unknown. A world that will pose problems, some new and some old in a different setting. Since we can only do so much to manage the future all we can do is prepare them for it.
As an adult, when faced with difficult situations and problems, what I find myself falling back on the most is my core value or belief system. Likewise when I find myself worrying about the future and the world that our children will inherit from us, I convince myself that knowledge is man’s best friend and therefore imparting the correct knowledge is vital to making our children future ready.
Coming back to questions from kids about God and creation. The irony here is that children in all their innocence are closer to God or the source of life at this stage in their early development. Studies show that children have a predisposition to believe in a supreme being even though they don’t know what that is. Children naturally assume that everything in the world was created with a purpose. A child naturally trusts and believes in creationism as opposed to evolutionism.
So it seems like we are all born with this knowledge, and that we kind of lose it over time. The more you learn the less you know. Most of us are still seeking the answer to so many questions and it is nice to be reminded by the innocence in a child’s mind that everything has a reason and a purpose. I have heard old wives tales that say that till the age of 5 we are all carrying God in us and as we grow we keep going further away from our centre. So we find ourselves lost and seeking what we unlearnt somewhere along the way, thus the struggle for self realisation.
The growth of the multi million dollar spirituality and wellness industry is evidence of the existence of a giant hole in modern existence. Spiritual wellness has gained parallel significance with physical wellness; in fact the two have been found to work together. It is funny that we are all chasing after something that may just be inherent.
What if we let our kids retain their innocence and experiment with the idea that maybe they already have the spiritual knowledge they need instead of inundating them with man made theories and may be learn a thing or two along the way ourselves?
Image source: talking to children about God by Shutterstock.
I completely agree with you Jahnavi, our own perception of the reality of spirituality is often so coloured by our own experiences and interpretations that it often has a detrimental effect on a child. We would do far better by just letting them be and allowing them the freedom to explore and comprehend for themselves their own personal spirituality which might be far less disillusioning and far more fulfilling an experience!!
Thanks for your comment. Yes – spirituality is a very personal journey that all of us need to experience alone.
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