My 5 year old has become very inquisitive lately and has begun asking a lot of questions that I didn’t think I would have to have an answer for, well many years to come.
There has been one stand out question though that required an answer I couldn’t give with 100% certainty. He asks – If there used to be no people in our world where did we come from? How did we get here?
Yes that’s right – from a 5 year old! Where did he even come up with this question – it was 7am for crying out loud.
Now I don’t generally broadcast my belief system as I don’t want to sway my kids in any which one direction. I am an Atheist or at least I think I am. It’s not that I don’t believe in God, it’s just that I don’t think I do either. I am a fence sitter. I’d like to believe there is something whatever it may be!
I was always given the choice growing up to join a religion or to not and I never felt the need. I have also felt that it is not my place to say my kids can’t believe in God just because I’m not religious. Mr 5 asked if I could show him a church so I did and explained all about God to him (to the best of my knowledge that a 5 year old would understand). So when the question of how did people get here arose I faced it front on with an honest answer and sleep filled eyes.
My response – No one really knows for sure. It is a great mystery but some people think that God made people when he was making everything else like the trees, butterflies, beaches and everything else we have. The other people think that over a really really long time monkeys started to change into people. I then showed him a picture of the evolution chart to explain it a bit more clearly.
He did have a question that made me laugh. “So when Nanny was a baby was she a monkey?” ‘Nanny’ is only 45 she is nearly old enough. I tried to explain how long ago it was and the best description I could come up with was just after the dinosaurs died.
I felt I handled this question without any persuasion of beliefs. It is ultimately his decision and when he is old enough he will make it. Until then I will continue to answer and encourage any belief or curiosity he may have.
Now I understand religion and beliefs are a tough topic to talk about so I understand if people don’t agree with my method (or have even read up to this point) and I want to say that that is OK. I encourage everyone to believe in what they want regardless what that may be and to not feel judged or pressured.
How do you think I handled the big Q?
What questions have you been surprised by?
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