November 09, 2020

A talk I wasn't prepared to have.

There are no pictures with today's post. 

The other day I had a talk with my 5 year old that I definitely was not prepared to have.
No, not THAT talk, although I almost think that talk might have been easier to explain.

He asked me what happens when he dies.
He told me he didn't want to die and never come back and leave all of his friends.
At first I told him he could just stay young forever and that he didn't have to worry about it.
To which he replied, "Mom, I'll still have birthdays! I still get old."... No matter how many times I insisted he could just stay 5. He knew better.
Darn that smart child of mine.

So he pressed on and I said, "well, baby.... when you die, if you were good in life you go to Heaven."
He told me he hasn't always been good. He started panicking.
I reassured him that he's still a good kid/person and that you had to be REALLY bad, like a bad guy to not go to Heaven.
He was completely clueless.
So in the best way I could, I explained God to a 5 year old.
I told him that God made Earth and all of space and that when you die, you go to Heaven to be with God.
He said he didn't want to die and never ever see his friends or us again.
I told him we'd all go to Heaven and be waiting for him or he'd be waiting for us.
He wasn't finished with the conversation but we'd gotten to Maddie's preschool, so it just ended.
I blame Halloween and all of the R.I.P. signs he'd seen everywhere. He asked what RIP meant one day and I told him and he was just confused too.
So again, I had to explain that when people die, you put RIP up and hope that they rest in peace--poor 5 year old full of questions stuck with a momma that is just stumped when it comes to answering half of them.

We don't attend church.
David doesn't believe.
I do, I think. I believe in something. Or at least, I want to. I'm just not sure what that something is. 

This isn't meant to be a religious post, just me rambling about mom life.
But I do want to ask y'all:
How do you explain death and life to your children?
God? Heaven? Hell? What?


Sarah E. said...

That's so rough! What about getting a little kid Bible for him? When I was little I had one and I don't think I remember getting too freaked out about what would happen to me when I died.

Maybe explain prayer to him? Like that when he prays to God and he has done something "bad", he can talk to God and tell him what happened and say he was sorry. You could tell him that really bad people don't care if they go to Heaven or not - and obviously little man was really concerned because he hadn't been perfect. Tell him God understands that you make mistakes and he will always love you. Kind of like how you and David will always love him even when he makes mistakes because he shows that he is sorry for making them and he tries really hard not to do it again. I hope that makes sense. That is how I think I would explain it to the kids if I weren't an atheist. LOL

Tyler said...

Jeez that is such a hard question!! I think you handled it really really well. There has to be like kids books on the subject doesn't there? Maybe look into that? I think you handled it as well as you could have though :)

Melissa said...

First things first, if YOU believe & want your children to believe that Jesus Christ is their lord & savior then you need to get them a children's bible! My kids have had one since Ayden was maybe 1? It has great pictures & it's very easy to read. I was amazed at how quickly they both picked up & remembered things. It's crazy how my little 4 year old can ask questions about Jesus, his dying on the cross, his resurrection, etc & she's like a sponge! Once you start the dialogue with your children & give them some tools (esp if you don't attend church) you will be amazed at how much they will understand! I'd start there & see how they respond. If you have any questions, ask me. This is coming from a former non-believer turned Christian! Trust me, I KNOW that line you're walking with one spouse believing in God & one not. It can be tricky.

Lauren said...

I think you explained it very well! Of course, he will still be confused, being so little. Heck, I'M still confused about some of the stuff LOL! That must be very hard being SO different in the religious aspect. But I agree with everyone else...if YOU want him to believe like you do, get him a children's Bible. Like a little devotional Bible.

And isn't it funny how we think we know everything, but our young children can stump us with their questions?!

Mrs. K said...

I think we'll just be very open about what we believe (we already are, although I don't think he has a clue what we're saying :) ) and at the same time try to foster an environment in which he can think for himself and eventually make his own decisions about spirituality. It's important to me that my children question things! That's a tricky situation, though- especially since you and your husband don't necessarily have the same beliefs on the matter.

Emily said...

watch all dogs go to heaven. It explains everything.

Nicole Buckingham said...

I think my oldest son since he was old enough to sort of grasp the concept, has found comfort in knowing that while mommy and daddy love him huge, there is a God, or an energy in this universe that is so filled with complete love for him and that we all one day fall back into those loving arms. It's not a simple concept for a little guy, or maybe it is-- littles seem to so easily understand love, but I prefer it to arguing religious doctrine or leaving them fearful without some sort of answer.


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Tabi Deneweth said...

It must be a 5 year old milestone. I'll never forget the day my daughter realized that she would one day die and immediately went into panic mode. As far as faith goes, we are pretty much in the same boat as you on that. We don't go to church. Up until 4 1/2 years ago, I was pretty sure atheism was the only sane thing to 'believe' in (but now, I'm like you and believe in *something*, yet have no 'religion'). My husband was brought up Catholic, so he has some belief system, but doesn't talk about it, read the bible, go to church or anything.

Not trying to blatant promote here, I swear, but I wrote about my conversation with my then 5 year old on my blog back in May. Instead of writing a whole post in your comments, you can see how our convo went if you want:

I've talked to other Moms who had the same experience with their 5 year olds, too. ( Spooky? )

Pamela said...

Aww! Bless his heart! I don't have any kids yet but sounds like you did good to me! Maybe he is a witness in disguise to your husband ;) I'm like everyone else, maybe getting a children's Bible or something!

Shary said...

My daughter will be 5 in December. She thinks that dying is something you can reverse and it's my fault because I watched too much Buffy and Xena on Netflix when she was a toddler. If the subject comes up I have to constantly remind her that when you die this life is over and you move onto the next life. I believe in reincarnation, so I tell her that good people move onto better lives. I believe that if she were to become a Christain one day, to which I'm not opposed, then this can still apply and she won't think I was lying. After all, Heaven is supposed to be awesome, am I right?

Kristen @ KV Confessions said...

I think you did a great job! I just explained my beliefs on my last post, and sometimes I wonder what I would explain to my kids. I think it's important that we don't define any specific way to explain, as long as it's from the heart. Your kids will grow up and figure out what they believe without any religion tied to it, and I think that's a great thing!

Katie said...

what a tough question to ask! especially if you're not quite sure what you believe. I can imagine the having kids challenges you to really think about somethings you might not have before. I think that without having faith in what happens after makes it unsettling to think about life after death. I believe that God created us, loves us and wants us to believe in Him and spend eternity with him. I saw someone wrote about reading a children's bible with him. I like that idea!

Amy @ Not Your Average Baby Blog said...

It is definitely a hard thing to talk to young children about! The questions come out of the blue and it's sometimes hard to explain things in a way they will understand (and not get more confused!) I hope when the times comes (C is only 1) that I'll how to explain things. We are Christian so he will be brought up with our beliefs, but I want him to question things and not just believe them blindly. I am also a believer in evolution so I hope I don't totally confuse him when we discuss that fact that Creation AND evolution can be correct! So many huge things for such a tiny person! ; ) Good job Momma!


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