Originally Posted by treehugz
Not sure how to say that, but I think the things that surround you when you're little, when/if you're totally safe and secure, remain powerful throughout you're life... like your default setting... your safe place that you always want to go back to and recreate as you get older. I would prefer that DD not have that connection to religion.
The hard part is that I started out parenting as a fundamentalist Christian myself. At about age 6, my older dd got really upset when one of her Sunday School teachers said something about liars going to hell. Dd has actually always been quite honest, but she still worried that she might have accidentally told a lie sometime.
I started to realize that this kind of religious teaching wasn't having a good effect on my dd, and I also realized that I didn't really believe any more that God was like that. We took a step back from church, and I talked a lot to her about how God is Love, and I asked her if she could believe that I
would ever throw her into hell, and she said No, and I said that God is so much more loving than any human, so God doesn't throw His children into hell either.
Then, the other night, we were watching a documentary about that Intelligent Design trial in Dover. One of the couples that was pro-Evolution was also Christian, and dd looked at me and said, "Are we Christian?"
I wasn't sure how to answer. I started talking about my belief in Love, and she got very upset and asked what would happen to us when we died. I told her I couldn't really know for sure, but I was remembering this book Life After Life
, in which some people who'd had near death experiences told their stories.
These were people who had all different beliefs -- not just Christian -- and yet they all saw the beautiful light and they all felt a sense of peace and wellbeing. I told her I'll get this book so we can read it. I said that I've never died, so I honestly don't know "for sure" what happens next -- but I just really believe in Love and I really believe that everything will be all right.
In some ways, it seems like dd felt more reassured when the teachings were "definite." Then she had the anxieties about hell, but I guess at least she felt like she knew "the rules." All this "I don't know" and "I'm still learning" stuff is terribly unsettling to her.
Maybe when families are UU from the very beginning, the children are spared all this angst? I wish I'd started this journey a little sooner, but for me it took becoming a mom to get me to start questioning the whole "God can't forgive our sins 'til someone bleeds for them"-spiel.
I feel so free and happy now, witin myself, but it's hard realizing that my prior beliefs and teachings have placed my now 10yo in the position of having to work through some really tough issues now, too.