LIFE RELIGION FAMILY

a place to come and discuss in peace, things of religion, life, and families

QUESTIONS KIDS ASK

Posted by tawodi on May 16, 2007


Remember the old Art Linkletter show,  kids say the darndest things??  I don’t know why that just popped into my head but I guess it is related. Kids ask some very difficult questions in relation to faith issues and we can sometimes be at a loss, when it comes time to answer them.

A childs first experience with death usually is with a pet such as a canary or a gold fish, parrakeet or whatever.  If they and you are lucky that is,  but we’ll start there.

Many parents are afraid of being honest with their kids in relation to death especially in modern society. well that is a mistake. We in western societies do every thing we can to remove our “lower functions” from our consciencness  and of course this would include death.

In too many ways to explain here,  this is a huge mistake and we’ll just mention the most obvious one.  We need to prepare our selves for life and by shying away from the “icky” stuff,  we are woefully unprepared for the reality of it when it happens.  Bathroom functions,  infected wounds, illness serious and illness terminal, and of course death.  It is an unfortunate fact friends. None of us are getting out of here alive………

Usually a kid can understand something is no longer alive but they don’t understand it will never be alive again. To them it’s asleep and will wake up when it’s not tired any more,  right mom?  It wont never wake up again …..I dont get to play with him/it /her any more??? Why,  was I bad??   Was it bad??   Will it go to hell like the Preacher says??   Is it gonna get all burned up now??   Will it hurt when it does??   If I fall asleep and can’t wake up,  will I get all burned up??   Why does God want to burn me up mommy??   I’ll be real good so He doesn’t burn me up ….will you tell him I’m good, so He doesn’t burn me up???   Gee!!  I wonder why we can’t get the kid to Sunday school any more???

All these and more as a father of four I have had to answer and so will you,  or you have already tried to.  Or perhaps you have thought of these things and prayed that your kid will be thirty five before the question comes up…..don’t count on it!!

We all can understand how to counsel a kid when they encounter death,   that it will not happen to them for a long, long time. That usually holds the fear at bay till they can understand. but some times it doesn’t  work that way,  death like life can sometimes whack us right between the running lights when we don’t expect it and then we’re really in trouble.

Some thing every parent should consider is to use the death of a pet as a teaching tool right now. Don’t shy away from it, but use it as a gift,  to give your child the concept that death,  is simply the other end of life.  If the pet has died from illness you can explain that God has made us so that when we,  or a pet gets “broken” sometimes it’s too broken to be fixed and it really hurts,  to be that broken,  and it dies and doesn’t hurt any more.  To the child mind,  this is a bare beginning to understanding,  in a way they can comprehend.  Toys get too broken to play with,  and so do living creatures and people too.

Interrment can be described as laying to rest, the pet,  or the loved one,  so they can rest and wait for God.  Yes I know, that the concept of a soul for a pet is a theological no  no,  but we are talking about the least damage possible here,  to a child in fear.  Seen that way,  when they go to chatechism, then,  they can learn the theological concepts , at the age of twelve or thirteen they can handle it.

I will tell you a true story that I heard from a mentor of mine in the clergy it may be apocriphal or sort of an urban legend but I can see it happening in my minds eye,  as I have heard parts of it my self and perhaps you have also.

As the story goes a little girl’s father was killed in an accident and when she asked the mom why her daddy had to die she was told that God needed another star in heaven…… we all have heard a variation of this with our own ears,  so that’s why I believe this story…Anyway,  when she was told this,  the little girl exploded in rage and screamed, ” Why didn’t he turn on a light,   He didn’t need to kill my daddy,   He’s God,   He could have lit the lights!!!!!

O.K. you have the basic idea,  you’re not stupid.  If you were,  you would not have read this far,  you are genuinely concerned about this aspect,  of things and are searching .  This is just one look at a very difficult subject,  but is at present long enough.   To stop here, is best,  as we might get lost in the words and lose the meaning. I promise there  will be more in a day or so as this one subject is kind of hard to get our minds wrapped around all at one sitting.

Be well friends, and at peace,  Tawodi…out

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