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The Big Question – G or E?

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.

Image Credit

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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  1. Meagan
    08/07/2012 / 11:37 pm

    I think u answered it well, I’m not sure what I will say to my kids, but I know that I will give them to choice to believe in any religion they see fit, I was brought up as a Christian we would attend church until high school and then mum and dad just stopped, I continued through high school, but only recently have dropped those beliefs in favour for learning beliefs in Buddhism , I had a few things going on in my life that persuaded me that way, but I have complete respect for all other religions out there, my brother changed to catholic when he got married as his wife at the time was, they are now divorced but he still follows, each to their own, but as I will be sending my kids to an Adventist school they may be persuaded that way, but if I get that question before then , then I hope to answer it to a similar fashion as yourself…

    • Kell (Mad Mummas Sweet Randoms)
      09/07/2012 / 6:59 am

      Thank you for commenting Meagan. I’m sure when the time comes you will know how to explain it. I hope it doesn’t get sprung on you like mine was (or as early in the morning).

  2. 09/07/2012 / 10:11 am

    I think you did a sterling job! I haven’t even broached the “G” topic with the kids as I am waiting for them to ask (my eldest is 5) but I have been giving a lot of thought about how to handle it. We will be running with the “this is what some people believe”. Line as well. Thanks for linking xx

    • Kell (Mad Mummas Sweet Randoms)
      09/07/2012 / 12:01 pm

      It worked so much better than I could have ever imagined.Good luck when you get asked. Thank you for your comment – and letting me link ;p

  3. Cassandra
    10/07/2012 / 12:36 am

    You answered it very well Kell. When my eldest asks the tough questions, my usual reply is.. “Let’s google it!” 😀

    • Kell (Mad Mummas Sweet Randoms)
      10/07/2012 / 8:21 am

      hahaha awesome answer Cass!!

  4. 10/07/2012 / 12:49 am

    hehe we haven’t got to questions stages yet – except whats that whats that whats that whats that whats that….

    but I love your answer 🙂

    visiting from #teamIBOT 🙂 have a fabbbby day!

    • Kell (Mad Mummas Sweet Randoms)
      10/07/2012 / 8:22 am

      Those questions are bad enough!! Thanks Yvette for commenting 🙂

  5. Penny
    10/07/2012 / 3:21 am

    That’s exactly what I would have said. I use to be very religious but having quite a big science background I’m not so much anymore. What you said was perfect.

    • Kell (Mad Mummas Sweet Randoms)
      10/07/2012 / 8:23 am

      Wow what a change, its amazing how 2 things can conflict so much. Makes it hard to decide. Thanks for stopping by Penny

  6. The Kids Are All Right
    10/07/2012 / 4:11 am

    I think you did really well. Better than my attempt to explain God: “He is a bit like a ghost”.

    • Kell (Mad Mummas Sweet Randoms)
      10/07/2012 / 8:24 am

      hahaha thats is gold. I didn’t even think of that!!

  7. Lisa H
    10/07/2012 / 4:27 am

    I think you did good. Presenting basic info from both perspectives is a great way to encourage him to think and explore the ideas for himself, when he is ready.

    • Kell (Mad Mummas Sweet Randoms)
      10/07/2012 / 8:24 am

      Thank you Lisa. That was the outcome I was hoping for so time will tell how I really did.

  8. Catherine Rodie Blagg (Cup of Tea and a Blog)
    10/07/2012 / 4:55 am

    “was nanny a monkey’ – priceless. I haven’t got to the question stage yet – but I’ve got a feeling its just around the corner!
    new follower via IBOT! 🙂

    • Kell (Mad Mummas Sweet Randoms)
      10/07/2012 / 8:25 am

      hahaha yeah it was so funny! Good luck when the questions start – it makes for interesting chatter 🙂

  9. 10/07/2012 / 7:19 am

    I think you did the right thing considering your stance on the whole situation. Obviously, I would answer it completely different but that’s to be expected! 😉

    • Kell (Mad Mummas Sweet Randoms)
      10/07/2012 / 8:27 am

      Thanks Jess. I know you would answer it completely different and I wouldn’t expect anything else. Everyone has the right to their belief and I want to thank you for your support even though we see this subject differently. Kell xx

  10. 10/07/2012 / 7:55 am

    I think your answer was perfect for a tough question. I am dreading questions like these, as I have a tendency to be flippant if I get flustered 🙂 will need to practice!

    • Kell (Mad Mummas Sweet Randoms)
      10/07/2012 / 8:28 am

      hahaha when the questions start you get better at answering them. You know what the kids will and won’t accept as an answer and how in depth the answer needs to be. You will know when it happens. Good luck 🙂

  11. 10/07/2012 / 10:41 am

    Being asked a question like that before you’ve had morning coffee is so typical of a 5 year old! (my twins are about to turn 5). I think that you did a wonderful job. You were honest and spoke in a way that they understood and that was consistent with what you believed in. You can’t ask for more than that … except for maybe a coffee first 😉

  12. Tubbah @ Organising: My Crazy Life
    10/07/2012 / 1:46 pm

    Lol @ the nanny monkey comment!! Kids say the funniest things 🙂

    I think you answered it well 🙂 We haven’t reached that topic yet, I’m not even sure we will with Miss 5, she tends to make her own mind up about things lol

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