My 6 year old asked me today if we go to "the Heavens" when we die. I told him that I don't believe in Heaven. He wanted to know if we would be together after we died. I assured him that death is a long ways off, that everything dies, and that I will always love him.
He said, "even after we is dead?"
I said, "yup." Then to stay in line with my beliefs, I added, "Love is bigger than time." He asked how I knew and I told him because I could feel it.
How might you have handled this? It's important to me to be honest about what I believe, to allow for other options, and to not scare the poor kid, who is obviously grappling with ideas about the finality of death. I remember feeling the same at his age. In the end though, I'm not interested in affirming something I don't agree with. It's important to me to raise them with my beliefs, even if they don't adopt them exactly. I want them to be skeptical. I don't mind them toying with spirituality or playing with the supernatural or the invisible or the imaginary in order to maintain some mystery and fun and maybe even safety in childhood. I want their ideas to come from a line of questioning though, of discovery.
To that end, I'm trying to find the line of protecting their feelings while maintaining my own ideals and being honest about my beliefs.
Edited by annakiss - 8/28/11 at 12:05pm