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Saturday, June 25, 2005

telling children about God

I have decided to try to learn about how to properly tell children about God. I was put in a very awkward situation yesterday

A little girl of eight years ( a neighbour of ours), came over to sit with us for a while. Wanting to entertain her, I played cards a bit and then thought of telling her some of the stories of the prophets briefly. Kids usually like stories. So I started telling her about Noah and Jonah and of course as kids do, she started innocently asking questions.

At first answering them was easy, then bit by bit, the questions led to other questions to other questions!!! Then came the questions of : what is God like? Does he have eyes like us? How does he see us? Where is he? And stuff like that.

You know, the awkward questions that you have to be prepared to answer eloquently the first time as these things stick to kids’ minds. I personally don’t remember how I was first told about God. I just grew up knowing of him the same as I knew of my name and family without remembering anyone introducing them.

I have experience talking to kids about God through my nephews, and I thought it was easy. The older is 11 years old, and he is already at the point that he inherently knows and understands. The other is only 4 and here is a interesting phenomenon that a friend of mine also noticed in her own kids. Kids so young are so understanding of this as if they know. They don’t ask these questions. It is enough for me to say something like, God likes us to do this, or wouldn’t like us to do that, to have an effect. When something good happens I say we have to thank God because he gave us all the good things in life. He incredibly responds very well to this, more than if I say your dad will be angry or so. He actually recognizes God as the absolute authority above all. Amazing!!

I explained about heaven before and he is very excited about it, and he keeps asking what is there? Are there sweets and chocolates and stuff? It is so refreshing the innocence. Well enough about my nephew or I will go on forever.

Well it was explained to me that this is normal actually. Each human being is given the instinct of knowing God inside them. They have it when born but sometimes as they grow older it gets overshadowed by other things. Instinct is sharpest in the very young. I think this instinct is what led a lot of people along the ages to look for a God,, whether they find Allah, or are misled to others, people always need to know there is God. Even atheists sometimes at the times of extreme incidents (ex. Drowning, earthquakes etc) tend to turn to God.

Anyway, I guess these two examples (my nephews) made me think that it is not difficult talking to kids. But with an 8 year old, it is quite tricky. I felt very embarrassed trying to tell her as briefly as possibly and then trying to change the subject because I was scared to mess up!!

I sure have to learn before I have kids of my own.

5 Comments:

  • At 6/27/2005 9:55 AM, Anonymous rora said…

    yes , i like that , i guess it is our responsibility when we become parents to teach kids and talk to them about God. if we want to put the right basics for them so teach them the morals and the ethics and how important to stick for God's orders and rules. being afraid from God and loving God doesnt come from a day , we practice or that is from my point if view, so i guess to make kids like that when they grow up you have to start from now

     
  • At 6/27/2005 11:40 AM, Blogger Alina said…

    Well, kids can amaze you every second! Their questions seem so innocent and yet are so hard to answer! And at an even younger age (around 3 or 4), their favorite question is "Why?". It doesn't matter if they're satisfied with the answer, they'll keep asking it until you get tired, because they don't! It's quite challanging telling them stuff about anything, especially God.

    BTW, thanx a lot for the story, Doshar, I'm sure it took a lot of your time!

     
  • At 6/27/2005 5:00 PM, Blogger Lasto-adri *Blue* said…

    how so true what u said..
    i don't even remember when i knew about ALLAH, but i belive it was always there, knowing HIM something so natural.
    yet as we grow we tend to lose most of our insticts, not just this special one.

     
  • At 6/27/2005 5:02 PM, Blogger Lasto-adri *Blue* said…

    how so true what u said..
    i don't even remember when i knew about ALLAH, but i belive it was always there, knowing HIM something so natural.
    yet as we grow we tend to lose most of our insticts, not just this special one.

     
  • At 7/03/2005 12:04 AM, Blogger Dalulla said…

    Hi ya doshar.. Very good post.. very important too. I have a kid of my own. He is only two and a half years of age and the issue of applying religion occupies my mind quite often.. I did however start at a very early stage...since i was in the attempt of getting pregnant i was saying lots of dua'as and in my prayers always asking Allah to give me blessings.. I hope u belive me when i tell u that i was so sincere in my question and every thing i asked for during my pregnancy was granted with generosity by Allah.. I had a healthy baby, my delivery was a c-section but was very facilitated.. my son was smiling from day one, calm, so many things i asked for were granted.
    Ansewering to children's questions about Allah are not so simple, not because the answers are not there, but it is true we need to better educate ourselves and learn more and more about these issues, even for ourselves.
    The idea is to also learn how to embed the "Love of Allah" rather than telling them about the concept of fear is important at early ages..
    We need to educate ourselves well.. May Allah grant us enough knowledge to be our boat of safety for our eternities... Allahoma ameen.
    By the way, i love your blog.. it is really wonderful!

     

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