When do I reveal my agnosticism to my eight-year old?
January 17, 2014 10:21 AM Subscribe
My eight-year old was talking about god the other day, and she said something that my first impulse was to correct, but instead I ignored it. She said, "like you, I believe in god." Problem is, I kinda don't. But I'm pretty much the only one in the family with doubts, and I'm not sure when it makes sense to reveal it, specifically to this child. The reason I have doubts about talking to her specifically about it is because she's on the spectrum, and I think that makes it harder for her, especially so young, to sustain her own beliefs. I envy people of faith, but I do not share their faith. Have you dealt with this issue? How do you handle it when you're kid's a believer, but you're not. Special snowflake details inside
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (37 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
She's 8 and has been diagnosed with ODD, PDD, OCD, Aspergers, ADHD, anxiety, and depression and is pretty successfully using Focalin and Buspar to help her cope. Like a lot of kids on the spectrum, she's very literal and very honest, but she also puts a lot of trust in her parents to guide her and expects us to be straightforward. I don't want to change her mind about this. I want her to find her own way, and I worry that revealing my doubts could jeopardize that. Do you have direct experience similar to this? Am I over-thinking this? Should I continue to avoid revealing it, and if so, how long might that make sense? Are there benefits to telling her about my doubts that I'm missing?
Her grandma is an excellent (Pope Francis-like) Christian, and her mother is a practicing pagan. Her mother's concern was only that she used the singular "god" and didn't include goddesses. There are good spiritual influences around her, but I'm not one of them. Should I stay out of her way with my silence, at least for now?