How to explain to them, "Who is a God"

The main ideas of

  • Knowledge protects. Idea of ​​the structure of the world gives the child a sense of greater security.
  • Sincerity helps. Honest conversation about what parents give their views will help shape his personality.
  • Tolerance is brought up. Knowing that the views are different, children will grow more tolerant.


How to explain to them,

We live in a secular society where religion no longer plays the dominant role that it played in the life of our ancestors. Modern man is not too often thinks of the divine, considering matters of faith rather a private matter or simply not giving it special significance. And so often we are not ready to talk about it with our children. "Last year, when he saw on television a Christmas service, my daughter demanded that she was taken to the temple, - says Oleg, a father of seven-year Ksyusha. - She started to run, halloo, like in the forest, look at all the angles. Then Xenia said she was looking for God. I tried as best I could explain to her that it can not be seen with the eyes, but I'm afraid it I did not understand. "

Faced with such difficulties, many of us do not apply to this complicated topic in conversations with the child in the hope that with age, the very figure everything out. However, it is silent on issues of faith and the structure of the universe, we are depriving our children of the opportunity to acquire cultural and spiritual experiences. "In regard to religious education, parents need to provide the child's knowledge that will prepare him for the perception of our world and draw attention to the diversity of human opinions and beliefs - says the French psychoanalyst Malek Shebelle (Malek Chebel). - the only way he will be able to get acquainted with different views of the world, standards of morality and behavior. It is useful to him in the future, it is always useful to look at these things in a new way, openly and without prejudice. "

Knowledge and protection of

Understanding the cultural foundations of different religions is important for the harmonious and integral development of the human personality. "Whether you are an atheist, an agnostic, an Orthodox Christian, Jew or Muslim children can be familiar with the religious heritage, as it relates to the basic knowledge, accumulated by mankind for all its long history, - says Alexei Zhukov art. - Monuments and celebrations, marked on the calendar, music and literature, art and history - the space surrounding the modern child is steeped in religious symbols. Not giving the child the keys to understanding them, we condemn it, not only on the aesthetic deafness, but also to inadequate perception of the world in which he will live. "

However, the need to master common to all people cultural codes - not the sole basis to acquaint your child with the religious vision of the world and tell him about God. "The child feels keenly the uncertainty of the future, neohvatnost universe and their own vulnerability to its powerful forces. That is why the mystical ideas are very close to the children - says gestalt therapist Maria Andreeva. - They meet their internal needs to feel under the tutelage of a wise and reliable power. And even if you do not start a conversation with a son or daughter about the "afterlife", they fantasize about it, dreaming or fear. "

This interest does not mean that the child lacks the parental protection in everyday life (although it is possible), - most likely, he just starts to realize that there are forces in the world, beyond the control even of his father or mother, and trying to enlist more reliable protection. "Maybe a five-year kid will not remember all the details - continues to Maria Andreeva - but the very idea of ​​the existence of God to perceive easier for him than it seems to adults - it is based on clear he is now the need for security - a major inherent in any living being . Talking with children on these topics, we allow them to feel more confident and secure. "

If the parents - faithful

When a child grows up in a religious family, it does not mean that issues related to faith, will be solved automatically for him.

"Speak to the children of God in the traditions of your faith, explain to them the meaning of rituals, respect you expect from them - suggests Katherine Khmelnytsky. - The mechanical repetition of the prayers and rites inhibits a child's creativity, a keen interest in the life and prevents it from growing up. " Bringing up a child in a religious way, parents should some caution. Maria Andreeva warns: "It is very easy to turn God into a kind of" policeman "who frighten children some parents. To avoid this, do not forget to emphasize the forgiving nature of the Creator, his love for people and infinite patience. Point out that many things have to do on their own and that ultimately their way of life depends on them. "

Give your opinion

The main reasons for not giving parents talk with their children about faith openly - this reluctance to impose them their beliefs and doubts, and sometimes banal lack of knowledge. "Our family is almost no mention of God, - says 38-year-old Zoe. - I myself can not call myself an atheist unconditional, but no specific faith, too, do not stick. And besides, I just do not have education in this field. So when my son starts talking to me on the "divine" theme, I respectfully decline to answer or try to slip him some good children's book. " Of course, talking about such important things like faith are misplaced categorical and intolerance. However, to hide his own opinion (or lack thereof) - is not the best way, the more the child will still feel false. "Children understand more than we say the words, - says Maria Andreeva. - No matter how we tried to maintain impartiality, they still feel our uncertainty and the degree of freedom that we are ready to provide them in the spiritual quest. " Hiding from the children's own view on matters of faith, parents can not only reduce their sense of security and inner peace, but also to create an obstacle to the development of the child. "Negatively affect the child can only be forced to believe or not to believe in anything but an open conversation about your views, - says family therapist Katherine Khmelnytsky. - Tell him what you believe in yourself, and explain what gives you that belief in life (after all, atheism is not unbelief, but the belief that God does not exist). If you do not know the answer to a question, admit it frankly and offer read and think about it together - you will not only meet the needs of children in a stable picture of the world, but also to strengthen the proximity and trust with your child. "

Awareness of their own - by parents and family - belonging to a particular belief system imposes certain restrictions on the children, but there is nothing to worry about. "By limiting yourself in certain areas (for example, eating certain foods), the child receives in return a sense of belonging, not only to his family but also to the huge community of people who share the same belief - says Maria Andreeva. - Parents certainly have to explain to the child that there is no "bad" and "good" religion, and that the choice of a particular denomination or religion, conscientious objection is determined by the views of the person and the traditions of his family, and no shortage of other points of view. "

Stages awareness

"Starting a conversation on metaphysical themes, should take into account the unique features of perception inherent in each age" - advises gestalt therapist Maria Andreeva.

  • 4-5 letRebenok very responsive and sensitive to the mystical ideas. It is easy to understand and accept the very idea of ​​the existence of God because it is based on clear for him to safety requirements. Child's interest in the religious theme is substantive in nature: he wants to understand who God is, and that the existence of God means to him personally.
  • 5-7 letEgo care about more complex questions: "Where do I get when I die?", "What is the soul?" Etc. Children can no longer simply believe in the existence of invisible and intangible abstractions, but direct them.. imagine.
  • 7-11 Singleton can understand the meaning and content of ethical practices and religious norms. And most importantly - to distinguish them from social imperatives: the child begins to realize what the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" is different from the mother's "bad fight."
  • 12-15 letEgo cognitive abilities develop to the adult level. The teenager begins to be fully aware of the spiritual content, which is the essence of any religion.

Boris Falikov

How to explain to them,

the right tone, the right time

Talking with your child about the faith, it is necessary to take into account the specific features of the child's perception. "First of all, the conversation should go to a language he understands - advises Maria Andreeva. - All religious ideas are abstract, they can be present, but can not touch. That is why it is very important to our explanation relied on the words and experiences of everyday life, such as "Creator cares for us, he was sad, and laugh with us." An important task - to choose the precise intonation and a good time to talk. "It is important to talk with your child and the trustee was going on, they say, by mutual inspiration - Katherine Khmelnytsky said. - If you are going to share with his son or daughter their views on this delicate subject, and he (a) at this moment wants to play or watch cartoons, the conversation is unlikely to succeed. If the child asks himself "suggestive" question, use it as an excuse for further conversation. It is important not to deny children if they are asked to talk about what they care about - for example, whether we will all die and go somewhere after death. If you are caught by surprise, honestly say now I can not discuss with you this question, but we'll get back to it. And do not put off the conversation in the closet! " Some people tend to talk about religion with a sense of, others will prefer detached tone, and in any case we will have to worry that a child had taken out of our conversation. "It is not necessary to artificially create an atmosphere of mystery, speaking with emotion, or, on the contrary, try to avoid impersonal proposals - the child will immediately feel your insecurity or awkwardness - suggests Katherine Khmelnytsky. - Be yourself, talk to the child as an equal. As for the questions on "mastering the material," then try to ask: "What do you think about this?" If the place, time and tone have been chosen correctly, you will see: the child himself, in his own words tell you more than you have time to tell him ".

Take into account the cultural context of the

"We have one grandmother - a Catholic, my grandfather - a Muslim, my wife - Pentecost, and I myself am a convinced atheist, - says 42-year-old George, the father of twins Anna and Sergei. - We decided that the best way to give children an idea of ​​the religion - they read the myths of various peoples. The children listen to the story of Moses, or the exploits of Rama with the same pleasure as the tale of the Snow Queen. I think they will be able to find their way in the field of religion and make your own opinion. " The family, whose members do not belong to a single denomination or not very competent in matters of faith, the easiest way to introduce a child to the basics of the religious perception of the world through cultural monuments.

Hike to the museum, a walk or a joint TV viewing can be a starting point to talk about the world. As they grow older children will be able to reconsider the information in a new way and use it to form their own attitude to religious beliefs. The same is said and known Buddhist proverb: "Do you remember - ask one another monk - in the days of our youth, the late abbot read his sermon, so low that we could not hear them? So, I've just managed to make it out a whisper. "


What and how to talk? We asked representatives of major denominations.

Father Georgi Kochetkov, an Orthodox priest "When a son or daughter asks you about God, we should not indulge in theological reasoning. I encourage his flock to have a conversation in this vein: "God - is the one who always, under all circumstances, loves us, and so we also want to love him. Yes, it can not be seen, but can not see the wind, it can only be felt. Try to blow - and you will feel how the air moves. And the divine spirit: you can not see it, but you feel. " The child will have new tough questions. For example, why do other people other gods? I think here it is important to emphasize that God - one, but to comprehend his men may have different. Naive children's questions and will help you better understand your faith. So that the benefits of such discussions will be both children and parents. "

His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama "A young child needs time to grow and develop into an adult. It may not happen overnight. Similarly, it takes time for the transformation of consciousness. When it comes to spiritual practice, we can not instantly instill a man certain positive qualities and instantly transform his consciousness. It takes time. It is important to think carefully before you carry yourself in a particular spiritual tradition. But if you made a choice, you need to stick to it in the future. It is not necessary to turn to the man who now and then trying dishes at various restaurants, but still can not decide where his dinner. Be careful in the choice of religious practice, but then follow it with all my heart, and try to convey this attitude toward the faith to their children. "

Catholic theologian Alexey Yudin, a member of the Pontifical Council for the Laity "I propose to begin this important conversation with a capacious and profound way:" You have a father, your father's father - your grandfather, and God - this is our universal father. And he still loves all his children on earth. Even if they are acting up. But you will not be naughty if you do not want to disappoint the one who loves you? "This intonation is well suited for children from non-religious families. for the father of the child - the most powerful being, at the same time loving and demanding. The image of God - the father of all living does not impose the faith, and gives cause for reflection. Conclusions will be done by the child. I advise parents to read "Children Write to God" (see. "This") book by Mikhail Dimov. Second-grader Igor writes: "On the ground, so much misery and suffering that people were not sorry to die?" Think about this question, and maybe you will be able to support the "theological dialogue" with the child at the right level, but without academic dryness. " Imam Shamil Alyautdinov, the preacher of the Moscow Memorial mosque on Poklonnaya Hill "Faith in God gives the child, and every person, so he needs assurance that his love, support, and at the right time lend a helping hand - only With a little patience and diligence. This is what the parents and the need to speak in the first place. But also need to pay attention to our children that faith gives to feel the responsibility that rests upon us in this life. If you do not remind growing child that everyone in this world is responsible to his family, to the society and, finally, to God, then he can take the path of the reluctance to grow up. Parents with children will try to dispel doubts, logically justify their point of view and thus make the relationship with their children more intimate, and at the same time will give them powerful charge of optimism inherent in the religious world view. After all, as the Prophet Muhammad said, "He that believeth in all circumstances considered his best position: no matter how difficult it may be, he thanks the Lord."