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Thread: Question about DD and religion

  1. #1

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    Mar 2005
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    Default Question about DD and religion

    Hi there!
    I have been having some issues lately regarding DD1 and her beliefs.
    I was raised catholic and went to a catholic private girls school and went to church the odd weekend. I didn't feel that I was pressured or that the education was thrown upon me. Maybe it just went over my head? Anyway, I have come out of it all believing in a higher power but not actively practising any religion.
    SO...when the inlaws offered to take DD to church with them, Anglican, I didn't realise they were Evangelist Anglican. Even if I had have it probably wouldn't have meant much to me. Now they have a 10 year old daughter (my DD's aunty) and she is read to every night out of the bible and has been taught since she was about 2 (when the inlaws "discovered" religion) that good girls that believe in God go to heaven and those who don't will go to hell. she constantly tells DD about the members in my family who will be going to hell because they dont' believe (ie DD's biological dad, her uncle etc). I also found a piece of paper she brought home with her one sunday that said "THose who don't believe in God will go to hell". That was A SHOCK, considering she got given it at church.
    It's only been this year (5 years of DD going to sunday school with them) that I have found this out and that DD has started to have nightmares about the devil, hell etc and keeps saying that she doesn't believe in God. I am a bit distressed as I dont' recall ever even having an opinion at that age, let alone being scared about it all.
    I was happy to let her have the education and she even did 3 years of Bahai studies at school, just for the education. I'd love her to know about religion as I feel I don't know about many religions. Guess my problem is Im wondering where to go with her next, as in what to tell her. I try to say that it's fine to pray and you dont' have to go to church with the inlaws but you can still believe but she seems to not want to even do that. Any thoughts would be appreciated!!! xoxo
    PS I dont' want anyone to think that I am saying all Anglican's are like this, I dont' know much about it, but this particular church is very very pushy.. xo


  2. #2

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    I wouldn't push it. You can't give someone faith, they need to find that themselves. If she is shaken by the church it might be best just to leave it for a while. You can cme back to it later but pushing it might just make her really dig her heels in.

  3. #3

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    I think Chlo's given good advice. She's learned the teaching of that church, she can take it or leave it. I don't think it's bad for us to be confronted by things...but if this is upsetting her, encourage her to talk about it if she needs - you might not have any answers, but it might help her to think out loud.

    Perhaps just follow her lead, letting her know you're around if she has questions - if you don't know the answers, you can find out together.

  4. #4

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    I think telling ANY child they are going to hell is disgusting, or any adult for that matter. Your poor little girl to be subject to nightmares from this calous treatment.

    Nelle's advice is spot on I think. Talking through her questions and fears. Remind her of the positive things she learnt at Bahai, and positive things about God. Remind her that it's her choice what she believes in, and that NO ONE has all the answers about anything, ever.

    I would definitely let the in-laws know that their evangelism was so effective that your child now doesn't want anything to do with God. At some later stage, it might be nice to go to a church, temple or other religious place and have a positive experience of spirituality? but don't push it, your poor little girl.

    (sorry, this makes me SO mad) I really believe It's just scaremongering and almost borders on abuse when children are involved. They don't have the rational brain development to deal with these kind of concepts and philosophies, it's kind of like letting a 9 year old watch hard core porn, just really damaging and age inappropriate.

  5. #5

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    Thanks guys! I will take the advice and just let her lead the way. I like the idea of reminding her of the postive things she's learnt as well! That's important and I hadnt' really thought of that!
    Nickel, I agree, I am pretty upset by all of it, but i just can't find a way to approach the inlaws. I think if they ask her to go again to church (and last time they asked about 2 months ago, they said they won't give up) I will explain what has been going on. And you're spot on when you say their brains just can't comprehend what they're being told at that age (well what she was being told. She can't separate the devil from the boogy man in the dark, it's all the same to her and it's what's causing the problem). They DEFINITELY should've kept all the teachings to the children totally positive. I dont see what good can come out of these scare tactics.
    As I said, growing up in a religious school, I just did not experience this, it's all new to me...
    Thanks again guys xoxo

  6. #6

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    sorry i cant offer you any direct help but thought i would let you know that when i was about 18-19 (partying hard) my young cousin (about 9-10y/o at the time) told me all the time i was going to "burn in hell for my sins" she was going to church every weekend and also to those weekday groups she was almost brainwashed. anyway she actually grew out of it and is now quite a lovley teenage woman with boyfriends and even a little wild. so she chose her own path in the end.

    hope you work things out soon.

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