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May 29 2013

We Can’t Talk About God, We’re too Busy with Autism

By at 10:03 am

knife and forkThis post is part of our month-long series featuring different ways that parents of various religions have talked to their kids about God.

A week or so ago I was contacted by one of Kveller’s editors telling me about their month-long series on talking to your children about God and was asked if I wanted to perhaps write a piece for it. Being the mom of a child on the autistic spectrum might add an interesting voice to the series. “Sure, I’d love to.”

Hold on a second.

I’ve never talked to my daughter about God.

Why haven’t I done that?  Read the rest of this entry →

May 28 2013

Since Leaving the Mormon Faith, How Will I Talk to My Daughter About God?

By at 3:22 pm

heath wilcock god seriesThis post is part of our month-long series featuring different ways that parents of various religions have talked to their kids about God.

Fold your arms.

We say this to our 3-year-old daughter whenever food is about to be blessed at my parents’ house. She never folds her arms nor closes her eyes, but instead maintains her energy while everyone else stops conversations and becomes reverent. By this age, she should be well-trained in the Folding Arms & Bowing Head procedure, and maybe even saying the prayer, with some parenting assistance. Everyone finds this adorable. You see, we’re Mormon and Mormons typically teach children early on about how to communicate with their father in Heaven.

After a couple of attempts to get our daughter to fold her arms, we would look at my family, act frustrated, and say something like, “Ah well, she does her own thing. Can’t make her.”

But the truth is: we never taught her. Read the rest of this entry →

May 23 2013

My Son Wants to Know About God… and Bacon Too

By at 9:32 am

baconThis post is part of our month-long series featuring different ways that parents of various religions have talked to their kids about God.

“I want to try bacon,” my 7-year-old son Zack declared the other night.

“Well, bacon, like, really isn’t kosher,” I said tentatively, always careful of giving him the kind of “because Hashem said so” answer my Yeshiva-educated husband learned to resent early on.

“I don’t care,” he reassured me. “So can I try it?” Read the rest of this entry →

May 22 2013

My Catholic Daughter & Her Female God

By at 9:29 am

kids-bibleThis post is part of our month-long series featuring different ways that parents of various religions have talked to their kids about God.

I live with a little theologian. My eldest daughter has had a lot to say about God for as long as I can remember. The expected questions have come along about creation and death, and they become more complex and challenging as she gets older. What has not changed is that she has consistently referred to God using female pronouns. Until recently, she never asked directly about whether God is male or female. It has been consistent that God is She. “Why did God make dogs and cats Momma? Does She like them both the best?” Read the rest of this entry →

May 21 2013

Mayim Bialik: How I Teach My Kids About Both Science & Faith

By at 1:59 pm

the sun

This post is part of our month-long series featuring different ways that parents of various religions have talked to their kids about God.

As a scientist and a person of faith, I get asked the following question a lot: “How do you reconcile your scientific beliefs with your faith in God?” The question seems to concern others a lot more than it concerns me, largely because I see no conflict at all. They exist together, happily, and each supports the other. Read the rest of this entry →

May 20 2013

How an Ex-Catholic and Jewish Atheist Talk to Their Kids About God

By at 11:48 am

julia fierro kids

This post is part of our month-long series featuring different ways that parents of various religions have talked to their kids about God.

When people ask what religion we areme, my husband Justin, and our two small children–I answer, “nothing.”

Then I realize how empty this sounds. I revise, explaining our parents’ religion. As if, to tell the whole truth, one has to start from the beginning.

My Catholic parents believe even dogs go to heaven, I say.

Justin’s parents, I add, are atheists who belong to a temple of socially conscious activists, presided over by a gay rabbi. Read the rest of this entry →

May 17 2013

We Don’t Talk About God, We Debate God

By at 12:35 pm
bread falling form sky

Bread falling from the sky. Really?

This post is part of our month-long series featuring different ways that parents of various religions have talked to their kids about God.

We don’t talk about God in my house. We debate God.

This is something I could never have anticipated–that two brothers, 18 months apart in age, given the same religious education, books, and influences, could disagree so completely about matters of faith. But this is how it goes:

Mose is 7. He thinks God is probably not real. But he believes in “nature and patterns.” He came up with this himself. Read the rest of this entry →

May 14 2013

My Daughter is Learning About God in School

By at 11:51 am

god blocksThis post is part of our month-long series featuring different ways that parents of various religions have talked to their kids about God.

When our daughter, Hot Shot, was 4, we followed the advice of the Gospel according to Anne Lamott and sent her to a Jewish day school for kindergarten. See, Anne Lamott says, if you’re going to be an atheist, then fine, so be it, but don’t take it out on your kids. Give them spiritual mentors, she tells us. Allow them the opportunity of faith!

We figured we better listen, because, you know, what did we have to offer our little girl but an ambivalent pragmatist and an atheist Jew? Anne Lamott was raised by pragmatic atheists and she became a Born Again. We couldn’t have that!  Read the rest of this entry →

May 13 2013

I Never Talked to My Kids About God Because I Wouldn’t Know What to Say

By at 9:44 am

graveyardThis post is part of our month-long series featuring different ways that parents of various religions have talked to their kids about God.

It wasn’t until I was asked to contribute to this series that I realized I had never spoken with my children about God. Or so I thought. Sex, yes, doubtless too soon and too often. Death, yes, memorably. But God? I couldn’t remember. So I asked my kids.

Miriam, our 13-going-on-28-year old, simply said, “Probably not,” then returned to reading her book (David Copperfield? The latest installment in The Clique series? You can never tell.) Ben, our 16-year-old guy’s-guy-and-proud-of it, had a vague recollection that some conversation had taken place, somewhere, some time. Maybe. “I think you told us we could believe whatever we wanted about God, and you would support us,” he said. “But then again, that’s the kind of thing you would say,” he added. I was still patting myself on the back for my parenting skills when he asked me for a ride to the mall, and it wasn’t till I got there that I paused to admire his highly effective flattery. Read the rest of this entry →

May 10 2013

How an Atheist Talks to Her Kids About God

By at 9:28 am
cake with strawberries

The good dessert.

This post, part of our month-long series about God, is by Elizabeth Hunter, one of the winners of our writing contest.

What does an atheist say to her kids about God?

Nothing, if she can avoid it.

At least that was my plan. Before our first baby was born, I gave my husband the job of discussing religion. He’s an atheist too, but he came out of Catholicism with a much more detailed view of the Bible than my liberal protestant upbringing gave me. In spite of my Sunday school teachers’ best efforts, I never absorbed much beyond God wants your dad to slit your throat (Abraham and Isaac anyone?) and be nice. Read the rest of this entry →

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