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

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?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (37 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
How do you handle it when you're kid's a believer, but you're not.

How do you get to this point in the first place? You say that you, "don't want to change her mind", but obviously you don't seem to care if the rest of her family does. Why are their views more valid than yours? Her "own beliefs" are only what they are because that's what her mother/grandmother/other family told her they should be. Why can't you throw yours into the mix? Why do you allow her grandmother a greater say in what she believes than her father?

I am an atheist. My daughter is only two at the moment, I expect she will grow up being told from the beginning that there is no god (or, more accurately, not being told that there is one).
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 10:26 AM on January 17 [8 favorites]


Eight is plenty old enough, even for a child with issues, to have a discussion about a family's religious beliefs. As long as you encourage your child to explore what they believe for themselves, I don't see what the problem is with her knowing you are an atheist.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:27 AM on January 17 [9 favorites]


I think honesty is a good way to go. "You know, not everyone believes in the same things. For a lot of people, finding faith, or living in the absense of faith is part of their journey. These are things each person has to decide for his or herself. Right now, I'm a questioning person."

I don't think it needs to be any more complex than that. She's already learning that there are Christians and Pagans, and other religions, why not agnosticism?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:30 AM on January 17 [29 favorites]


Around 7 or 8 is when I stopped praying during school prayer and saying god during the Pledge. It would have been tremendously, tremendously helpful and comforting to me for my dad (who is a nonbeliever) to at any point say, "hey, that's ok" or at least be honest about his beliefs with me. Not because we would have been the same so much as because I would have known that I wasn't the ONLY one in the world thinking about these things.

My mom dragged us to church because going to church was just what you did to be normal, my extended family is all super Christian, and I grew up in the South where everyone was religious. It made me feel very alone and weird for having questions no one else around me ever seemed to have.

I think you should share with her inasmuch as telling her at least that you don't really believe in god, but that's ok because it's good and ok for people to believe different things. You don't have to get into specifics, but I think it would be nice for her to know that it's ok to talk about this stuff with you.
posted by phunniemee at 10:31 AM on January 17 [7 favorites]


I told my kids that I don't believe in god, but that many other people do and that's fine. I also explained that people are touchy about the subject and to be careful not to insult anyone. This doesn't stop them from telling everyone they don't believe in god, unfortunately. They're not exactly subtle about it. They're 6 and 7 now.
posted by Dragonness at 10:33 AM on January 17 [11 favorites]


I want her to find her own way, and I worry that revealing my doubts could jeopardize that.

Are you really letting her find her own way by concealing the truth from her? Your silence is as much of an influence on her "finding her own way" as your disclosure. At least if you tell her the truth she can have some participation in her discovery; when you keep that fact concealed, she charts a course based on misconceptions and information that was withheld from her.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 10:33 AM on January 17 [13 favorites]


I just told my son when he was going on about god and angels and how they are for sure real that people all over the world believe in all different things and believe in all different gods and they all think they are right, and that part of growing up is deciding what YOU want to believe in, letting others believe in what they want, and knowing that you can always change you mind.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 10:37 AM on January 17 [5 favorites]


>[she] expects us to be straightforward

There's your answer.

She's already seeing the presence of different beliefs among the people she loves. If you state your beliefs as your own and emphasize the truth of your love and acceptance of any belief system that feels right to her, then you are being as straightforward as she expects of you.
posted by tchemgrrl at 10:39 AM on January 17 [3 favorites]


I honestly feel like the problem here is more in your lack of confidence in your agnosticism than revealing your agnosticism to your daughter. I'm agnostic, and I find a great deal of wonder and magic in the world around me, in science and in observing (as an outsider) religious practice and in ritual and in the sun coming through my window. You sound sad about your agnosticism, like you haven't quite come to terms with it. But there are as many different ways to be an awesome agnostic as there are to be an awesome pagan or awesome Christian. You can certainly be a very good spiritual and intellectual influence on your daughter without having "faith" as it's commonly defined.

So I would work on exploring your agnosticism first, and coming to terms with it, before you raise the subject with your daughter. But certainly, you should be honest with her about it if and when it comes up again. You have no reason to be ashamed. This isn't anything to be embarrassed by.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:41 AM on January 17 [13 favorites]


I am an atheist and my kids have always known it. Rather than make them less confident about what path they ought to be on, it's made them more confident that whatever path they're on is ok.

I dont think it has anything to do with what you believe, so much as what the possibilities are. I taught my kids judgment-free biblical stories, brought them to meditation and to Unitarian Universalist communities where people are assumed to be on their own path, went to hannukah-first-night celebrations with our family friends, and talked about my believer family members without judgment. Post-9/11 anti-muslim sentiment in their world offered another opportunity to reinforce that lesson. Now they are 18 (atheist) and 19 (seeker, will likely end up Christian).
posted by headnsouth at 10:41 AM on January 17 [2 favorites]


We had a few books for kids about religions of the world and we discussed all of them with our kids without ever really going into depth on what we did or did not believe. At least not at that age. I think that's the fairest way to present it - explain that people believe a lot of different things.
posted by GuyZero at 10:41 AM on January 17


I think you just need to be straightforward about it - next time something like this comes up, go ahead and say, "Actually, I don't believe in God [or 'I don't know if I believe in God' or whatever]. If you do, that's OK with me, and if you don't, that's OK with me too." Concealing your belief doesn't help her make her choice. I mean, if she's familiar with her mom's and her grandmother's religious beliefs, then she gets the idea that different people believe different things.

I'm an atheist who admires many people of faith and appreciates the positive influences religion can have on people's lives but I don't actually envy people their faith; I'm very happy with my own beliefs. I would not hesitate to correct anyone who assumed I believed in god(s).
posted by mskyle at 10:45 AM on January 17 [2 favorites]


You should always be honest with your kids about your beliefs.

I don't think you have to tell her explicitly, "I don't believe in god." But I do think it's wrong to lie to her about it, and it's not super great to imply something that isn't true just because, like, you're worried it will affect her in some way.

If it were me, in the conversation you describe, I'd probably have flipped her assumption around into a conversation of its own. "How do you know when someone believes in god?" "Is it important for parents to believe in god?" "Do you think most people believe in god?" Keep it abstract and not really about any one person's specific beliefs.

I had a lot of very fruitful conversations with my parents about belief, faith, and spirituality when I was a kid. Looking back, one of the best things my parents did when raising me was to encourage me to question and talk about things like this. Especially the idea that it's OK to talk openly about religion in general rather than sticking to accepted stock ideas that are based on dogma. While those conversations shaped my own beliefs, if anything, they shaped me in the opposite way from what my (devout mainline Protestant) parents were probably hoping.
posted by Sara C. at 10:47 AM on January 17 [2 favorites]


She said, "like you, I believe in god." Problem is, I kinda don't.

Be as honest with children as their capability allows. In this case, if she is specifically dealing with the concept that you do believe, she can handle the fact that you don't believe.
posted by spaltavian at 10:51 AM on January 17 [3 favorites]


One of the simple secrets in life is knowing when not to correct people, which is most of the time, because most of the time it doesn't matter.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:52 AM on January 17 [3 favorites]


I agree with most everyone above but want to add my own tiny perspective. I grew up in the former Soviet Union which was entirely atheist and it really didn't in and of itself affect much of anything. When the Iron Curtain fell, lots of people remained atheist and lots of other people had no trouble getting deep into the traditional Russian Orthodox Christianity, despite decades upon decades of social conditioning. You are not proposing to uproot your daughter's entire belief system... you are simply telling her that you don't personally believe, adding but one voice to a chorus she is already hearing (your parents, her mother, etc). Moreover, you have no idea how it would affect her - for all your know, she may be relieved vis-a-vis some other things she's heard that you don't presently know about (when my niece was little, she had a friend who was living in constant fear because she thought "god sees everything" literally meant there was a man inside her belly who was watching everything she did).
posted by rada at 11:03 AM on January 17


You kinda don't. But that's different than non-belief. Otherwise you would leave out the "kinda" and wouldn't admire people of faith. The atheists in this thread would have no trouble just telling her, but they see non-belief as a positive.

So lets get into the context: Why was your eight year old talking about God? What does it mean to her and why was this discussion happening in the first place? Without that information, I wouldn't "correct" her, because the conversation wasn't really about you and your beliefs, except tangentially.
posted by Obscure Reference at 11:03 AM on January 17 [3 favorites]


My dad died of old age without ever coming clean about his religious beliefs. He'd fought in WW2 and I'm pretty sure had his childhood Christianity blown to smithereens. Not that he ever confided as much. He just never went to Church (except Christmas) ... and otherwise stayed out of any such discussions. It just didn't seem to be an issue to him either way, or if it was, he had no interest in discussing it or influencing me (or anyone else).

No doubt, when I was very young, I brought the topic up in some form or other ("Why don't you go to Church, Daddy?"). I have no memory what he said, but it clearly wasn't anything intended to discourage my faith. So I ultimately came to my agnostic doubt all on my own (with a little help from my friends).

So in answer to the question, all I can really say is that my dad's refusal to be drawn into the discussion was not traumatic, though maybe a little confusing, and who says a little confusion isn't good for kids? It just sets them up for the ultimate agnostic position, which is nobody really knows anything for certain. So ultimately, I have to say I have nothing but respect for my dad's position on the issue.

The time to be honest is when she outright asks you, "Daddy, do you believe in God?" Though knowing my dad, he'd just turn it around say, "Do you? That's what's important."
posted by philip-random at 11:11 AM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Speaking as a religious person (who is also, tangentially, fairly agnostic, yay Judaism), the time to tell a child who is being raised within a religion what it is that you believe religiously, is when they ask you what you believe.

This example you gave is not that. She's making an assumption - and it's a pretty common one at a young age, that all good, normal people believe the same things that she does, because that is what she learned from her family. She may not be ready to be told that anything - important or trivial - that her family teaches her is wrong. At some point in development kids learn to separate their parents'/family/cultural specific teachings from what is Absolute Truth - and that there is no Absolute Truth. This has as much to do with learning how to respect parents and when to become autonomous as it does religion itself.

As kids get older, they realize on their own that lots of people believe lots of different things, and you can still be a normal, good person and believe something utterly different than what your parents taught you. Your turn will come.
posted by Mchelly at 11:17 AM on January 17 [3 favorites]


Sorry - I just reread the question and realized this is your own child you're talking about (I misread it and thought you were her uncle or aunt). When it's your own kid, you get to decide the timing of when to tell based on when you think she's ready to handle the higher issues. I would just let the religious family members know when it happens so that they can continue the conversation with her in a way that includes your views, so that it doesn't create a weird situation where she doesn't know who to trust or believe. Religion can mess with your head enough on its own.
posted by Mchelly at 11:23 AM on January 17


the time to tell a child who is being raised within a religion what it is that you believe religiously, is when they ask you what you believe

This might be true of an outsider, but not of a parent. Unless you are fully content to have her raised believing whatever religious stuff her other family members want to fill her head with, you have an absolute right to say something. All the religious people around her are going to talk about the existence of god (or gods). If you don't say anything, she's going to have a very one-sided view of existence. It's not a stranger's place to question that view, but it is a parent's place.
posted by Dasein at 11:25 AM on January 17 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty certain that she said "like you" because she's testing you to see what you think. Personally i'm an atheist in a largely godless country and at that age I was concerned about my daughter being suckered by the Iocal Christians. You seem to have an assumption that faith or "spirituality" are good things to have that you lack and which it would be wrong to take away. Many people wouldn't share that assumption at all.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 11:45 AM on January 17 [5 favorites]


8 years old is really influential right now, and her mind may change a million times before she's 16, or 20 or 25. It will take her some time to come into her own sense of morality and spirituality. So as long as your relationship with her is built on respect and trust, I wouldn't worry about overly influencing her, just so long as she understands and feels that no matter what she believes, you still love her.

Also like others have said, I don't really think a person can have true faith at 8 years old. They're just believing what was told to them.

So I would share it, and make this the time to open up a discussion about how people believe different things & still get along. Don't worry, she'll find her way.

Disclaimer: no experience with spectrum kids & their ability to see others' points of view.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 11:46 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


FWIW my father's an Anglican priest and he was always totally open with us about his beliefs. He told us he was agnostic as a kid, came to his faith as an adult, and had occasionally questioned it since. Whether we believed or not, he told us, was entirely a personal decision and he was comfortable with whatever he decided. That said, he also did his best to instil a sense of ethics in us, distinct from religion. That worked for me from a very young age: I didn't find it confusing or upsetting.
posted by Susan PG at 11:49 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


My husband is an ex-Catholic, but still strong believer in Christianity (for the most part), my mother in law (who lives with us) is Catholic, I am mostly agnostic, his god parents (one set at least) are Jewish. My son is not on the spectrum, but is only 4. I have been very upfront with him from the beginning that there are a lot of different religions and they have different beliefs, and that everyone in our family has a slightly different belief. And at times have had to correct him when he's said that I am Christian. We go to church occasionally (which is a UCC church, so Christian, but accepting if some members aren't quite so sold on the "Jesus bit" as I like to say), and I am very up front when my son asks about the stories and Jesus and what not that I don't believe them in the same way his dad and Grammy do. And I tell him that he gets to decide what he wants to believe, even if it is not what I, or the rest of the family believe. He is fairly content with that for now, but as he gets older he may want to explore the other options out there more, and when it gets to that point, we'll have to hunt down more information and ways for him to experience those things. But I would rather him be more confused now, or me have to answer more complicated questions (like why Santa doesn't visit Jewish kids (no, they aren't bad...)), than to lie to him about it and then have to back track my lie later.
posted by katers890 at 11:53 AM on January 17 [2 favorites]


She said, "like you, I believe in god."

I think you can just have a conversation around this statement. "What makes you say that?" And then have a discussion that all sorts of people have all sorts of different beliefs. You don't have to tell her what to believe, and you don't have to tell her that you don't believe. You know your kid best as to how deep you need to go into the subject, but I think it's important to be honest with her about who you are. And also, I agree, she might be testing you here.
posted by vignettist at 12:35 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


My own belief is that there is no one true way (Valdemar is awesome) and your opinion and belief or nonbelief or humanism or whatever here on this particular issue is as valid as anyone else's, and your daughter would benefit from hearing your ideas, so that she can form her own system that works for her, whether that is to adopt something already in place or go her own way.

I was younger than 8 when, after an bit of a skirmish with my mother, my dad said I did not have to go to Sunday school anymore. He said, she will figure out her own thing when she is older. And I did (pagan).

I think philip-random has it:

The time to be honest is when she outright asks you, "Daddy, do you believe in God?" Though knowing my dad, he'd just turn it around say, "Do you? That's what's important."
posted by AllieTessKipp at 12:38 PM on January 17


I'm not on the spectrum or anything, but my Dad explained his athiesm to me pretty from birth. He never talked down to me, which is something that differentiated him from how many adults treat kids.

I will say that it is kind of a scary thing to think about, that you go into a void when you die and you just cease to exist. You will get questions like that from your little one when you start talking about this. Whatever you do, just don't say death is like sleep. That really screws kids up. I think the best way to explain it is that death will be a lot like before she was born, she just won't exist.
posted by bananafish at 12:52 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


As an atheist child of an atheist and an agnostic, don't lie to your kid. I was raised in the South and my family went to church every Sunday because my parents wanted me to have a "normal" childhood. I found out that they didn't believe in high school when I confessed my atheism to them. I agonized about it! Their reaction was a shoulder shrug and "Neither do we". I felt more than a little betrayed. They said it was a bit like lying about Santa Claus.
My brother is a conventional Southern Baptist and thinks we're all going to hell.
posted by domo at 12:53 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


8 is kind of old to be having this conversation for the first time. I have been speaking with my child on this one since age 4 or 5.

Granted, the entry point was from a different place - "mommy, why don't you go to church like grandma?" Seizing the entry point, I explained my beliefs (very briefly) and explained we're all allowed to believe different things. When she's a grown up she can choose whatever religion she likes.

The amount of details provided is child driven. If she asks, I answer. If she assumes I believe things that I don't actually believe in, I correct her assumption (excluding Santa, the easter bunny, and the tooth fairy)

Your child has given you an entry point. Take the opportunity to educate him with the level of detail he can manage. Sure the conversations can be difficult but it's a good warm up for the drinking, drug, and sex talks in your near future.
posted by crazycanuck at 12:56 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


I don't believe in God. My ex-wife does. She takes them to a Unitarian Universalist church roughly every other week. They know we have different beliefs, and that our beliefs aren't the only ones out there. They've known it for as long as they've known what a church is (they're 8 now) and one of them believes in God and one alternates. We just normalized it as a simple thing where there's no right answer, except being honest to yourself about what you believe in and not judging others for what they believe in. It's a total non-issue.
posted by davejay at 1:01 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


I grew up with a non-religious mother and a Catholic father. My mom simultaneously sanctioned my dad doing his best to make me and my brother Catholic (in fact, I think she encouraged this), and refused to go to mass. Sometime in junior high or high school, it dawned on me that my mother was agnostic (quite a while after I learned the word 'agnostic'). It only dawned on me as an adult that my mother probably was never religious. When I was little, I kind of assumed she was a non-practising Anglican* on the grounds I didn't realise people didn't have to be members of some religion. That my mom never sat down an explained it to me wasn't a big betrayal or anything. If you or your wife are concerned that she's being fed Christianity somewhere (kids at school?), that's perhaps different and you might want to think about talking with her about how people have different religious beliefs (including none at all) and that's okay, even though sometimes people say bad things will happen to people of a different religion. So on the one hand, I think she'll sort herself out, but, on the other hand, if there's something prompting this interest in religion, it's perhaps worth a talk about religion where you can use you, your wife and grandma as examples.

*I think part of me assumed all English people were Anglican, despite my mother's one local English friend being Jewish and being read a history book as a child.
posted by hoyland at 1:29 PM on January 17


Her mother's concern was only that she used the singular "god" and didn't include goddesses.

It's unclear if the mother wants the mother to use the word that way, or if the mother's concern is that her daughter NOT learn other meanings of the word "god" besides the singular, or if the mother is concerned that her daughter has been using the singular god and not learning enough about goddesses.

If your ongoing relationship with your child depends on aligning what you say with the mother's concerns, you need to clarify exactly what those concerns are.

Ideally a parent would be able to discuss their personal beliefs with their child without it having negative repercussions from other family members, but this is a YMMV sort of issue.

I want her to find her own way, and I worry that revealing my doubts could jeopardize that.

If you aren't able to discuss other alternatives with her, there are many voices out in the world who will tell her their way is the one true way. Some of them have a lot of practice and are very good at doing this.

Keeping silent doesn't let her find her own way, it lets others with their own agenda show her what the way is.
posted by yohko at 4:14 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


My experience is that your kid is going to end up believing whatever they end up believing, regardless of what you do. The thing you have control over is whether she knows that there are lots of different ways to be, that people can believe very different things and still love each other just as much, and that she can't lose your love whether she agrees with you or not. I can't speak to the specific challenges that the autism spectrum presents, but it seems to me like you're cloaking a very common uncertainty and discomfort among parents with it.

So I just want to correct you on one thing. You are an incredibly powerful spiritual influence on her, joint first if not first, regardless of whether she or you will ultimately put it that way. Your example is a soulful example whether or not it is framed as a godly one. You're not just a guy she happens to be asking. She's learning just as much from your discomfort as she is from your answers, I promise you. Be present, be open, be excellent in your uncertainty, and you will be exactly the spiritual guide she needs, because the spiritual guide she needs is all of you.
posted by Errant at 8:43 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


I'm going to go really strongly against the current here. For an anxious child with so many issues to work through, it may well be that faith in god is a profoundly comforting concept. I'm not sure that truth in this instance is of the highest value and priority. And it's certainly not urgent. It may be worthwhile for you to talk to your daughter and learn about what god means to her. Complete intellectual honesty is not the only worthwhile virtue in the world - so is providing comfort to people in need.
posted by namesarehard at 8:55 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


She said, "like you, I believe in god."

I see this not so much as an affirmation of her belief in God (though it is that in part), as an attempt to reaffirm and strengthen her connection to you through identification (see, we have the same beliefs), by acknowledging your authority and leadership in this important matter, and by implying that you and God are pretty darned close together in her mind, regardless of how oppositional or defiant she may have been-- and as such, a plea for reassurance.

I think an appropriate response would be something along the lines of 'you are my beloved daughter no matter what you believe or don't believe about God or anything else, and no matter what you do or don't do.'
posted by jamjam at 9:43 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Admittedly, I feel a bit out of my depth tackling this, but as someone who things about faith and children a lot, I'll add this to the mix of responses:

My own kids are probably getting the wrong impression about what exactly I believe, since we are currently in a church much more conservative than I am. (I am a liberal, liberal Christian bordering on agnostic. My wife is more conservative than I am, and our families are basically your classic Southern fundapublicans.) I've thought a lot about how to approach the nuances of my position with my kids, and I'm basically leaning on two thoughts:

1) It's easier to go from a simple faith to skepticism than to learn to appreciate the good things about faith if you didn't grow up with them. My kids are being enculturated in a tradition that encourages mindfulness, kindness to others, and helping the disadvantaged. I don't really feel the need to complicate their moral development by pulling them aside and saying "by the way, that's a great story, but it didn't really happen that way." I can help them nuance their faith later, much more easily than I could help them appreciate if it they didn't have it. I don't think there's great urgency to introduce my own doubts and nuances.

2) I feel like usually it works to be guided by the child's questions. You'll know they are ready when they specifically ask. My seven-year-old, who is severely gifted--with all the good and bad that come with that--asked me after one sermon if the Bible passage I preached from was a non-fiction story or a folk tale. "That sounded a lot like a folk tale, Dad." At that point it was clearly she wanted to form a more adult, nuanced view of the Bible--about seven years before the age where it would have even occurred to me to even question the historicity of the gospels. So we had a nice talk about how the Bible has lots of genres in it, songs and poems and plays and parables and history, and figuring out which is which is sometimes easy and sometimes a challenge. I'm sure that will lead to other questions later, but I'm waiting on her to ask.

I feel out of my depth enough with my own kid to be at all confident advising you about yours, but I think the same principles could apply. There will be lots of time in the teen years when she is developing her critical thinking skills to gently challenge her assumptions or introduce more of your own perspective. By virtue of having a pagan mother and a Christian grandmother, she will already know that there's not one easy story that everyone believes. If she flat out asks you if you believe in God or why mom and grandma believe different things, I would start to tackle the issue. For now, it seems like it is important for her to see you as basically in the "we all believe in god" camp, and my tendency is to think that letting things stay that way for now is developmentally appropriate and comes with, at most, minor downsides. I'd be concerned about challenging the status quo, even of a neurotypical child, and that might be more of a concern for your kid. I know that my own anxiety-prone kid really needs stability to function well, and stability of world-view is part of that. Slow, steady changes are called for.

TL,DR: You have the rest of her life to talk about your doubts. No big upside to rocking the boat now, and I don't think choosing to wait until later to challenge her assumptions is in an serious way problematic. But by 15 she ought to have a better idea where you stand. 15 is a long way off.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 12:02 PM on January 22 [3 favorites]


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