I just sent a reply to another post, in which I used a comment my almost 8 year old daughter made not long ago. She is a declared atheist, a decision she's made based on the discussions her Dad and I have on a regular basis. I love how her mind works, and I love her incredible intelligence and her desire to learn the truth.

When I look around me though, most parents will tell me that their kids really don't have much to say about the subject at all. In most families, religion has never even come up. (Needless to say almost all my friends are atheists/agnostics). What about you guys? Do you have little atheists in your families? Or do your kids have an opinion at all?

When asked by our neighbor's son the other day, whether she believed in God, she proudly said no to him. He said, this was weird, and she simply smiled and said, "Well, if you think so... " Then they went on to play.

Looking forward to hearing your stories.

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No stories yet, but my kids are 12 and 9 and both are atheists. Unless you count the FSM. :)
Well, being a pirate is, of course, much more fun. :)
I love the way the whole thing rolls off kids' backs. What a bright little girl you have!

I'm perfectly fine with my kids declaring beliefs, but I'm uncomfortable with labels at this age -- even self-declared. My kids believe in God for months at a time, but I do not call them "Christians" during those times. Likewise, when they lapse out of belief, as they have now for a long time, I don't want them calling themselves atheists. Not yet.

During the election my ten-year-old said, "We're Democrats, right?" I said no, Mom and Dad are Democrats. You guys are excited about Barack Obama right now, but in the next election there might be a candidate from another party who you support. You get to choose a party when you are old enough to vote, and even then you can change your mind a thousand times or have no party at all.

Dawkins spoke to this when he said referring to a child as "a Catholic child" or "a Muslim child" or "an atheist child" is as ridiculous as saying "a Marxist child" or "a Keynesian child" or a "Monetarist child." These labels represent complex worldviews that they cannot yet claim to have examined and chosen freely.

It's just my two cents, but I think the difference between saying "I believe this" and "I AM this" is an important one, and when it comes to kids, I opt for the former.
I understand what you're saying, but I think it's wrong to tell my child that I think she's NOT an atheist, when this is clearly a definition she likes to live with. If she ever changes this label for herself, then good for her. :) It is not important what I opt for. It's what she is comfortable with.

As for my son, he has zero interest in the subject and simply considers himself "Logan". :)

I am generally not a fan of labels, but my daughter is strong enough and smart enough to figure this out for herself. :) Thank you for your input, Dale.
I think it would be fine if my son(s) were to say they were atheists if all they meant was that they don't believe in any god(s)!
That is exactly what she means when she says it. :)
Dawkins emphasis was on adults labeling children who are too young to understand and make a decision specifically based on their parents beliefs. He talks about it in many books and documentaries but in one specifically* he cites a study by child psychologists (I believe) in which they find that at an average age of 8 years old the brain develops in such a manner that most imaginary friends go away and other supernatural things take on less realism. So it can be said that a child around 7-9 years of age can say that they are atheistic (and believe it). *(It might have been Sam Harris who said this. I'll follow up if I can find it)
My son is too young (he's 3.5) to have formed any kind of opinion about much of anything, except for a definite preference for bread and honey sandwiches at every meal.

We live in SLC, UT and lately I'm starting to worry about how we're going to handle it when he starts getting shunned (it's already happened when we were trying to make friends one day at a local park -we're new to the neighborhood and a woman completely ignored me when I asked if we could get together sometime for a playdate). My mother-in-law says we should just move out of state. She tells me that ppl are going to be all too willing to take him away from us if he hits another child or strips in public. She's a bit paranoid, in my opinion, but who knows what could happen in this day and age?
Bread and honey for every meal... too funny. :)

I went to SLC before and we wanted to tour the temple. Well, it was more of a missionary style tour than anything, and I was disappointed, that they don't let you inside. But I guess that's a way to catch fish. We left the tour early and went into their little self-guided tour with all the videos. I felt nauseous when we left.

I don't know what it would be like to live there. I don't think I'd last long. Good luck to you and your family.
My girls are 11 & 7, at this point they both do not believe in god. I think they both consider themselves atheist, but my oldest hides it. My youngest was always quick to say it about herself, but she just mentioned last week she believes in heaven. Just no god.

I try not to label them & I tell them they need to make there own decisions. I try to answer questions truthfully. We did the Democrat thing as well, they asked what "we" were, so I told them what I was & what my husband was. Told them they need to decide for themselves.

I think that is great your daughter is secure in it, good for her!
"I'm homeschooled and I don't believe in god!"

Hey, I'm going to start introducing myself that way, too! LOL :)

Like you, I expose my daughter to different supernatural belief systems, not as a sampling platter from which I expect her to choose "when she's old enough," but in hopes that it will afford her some protection from those who would gladly exploit her.

Like the most lovely Freckles ;) I think I would be a little disappointed if she chose a religious life (not in her, but in the choice). I know that sounds harsh or close-minded but, after only recently escaping a religious life myself, the sober realization of having wasted fleeting and precious LIFE mired in an imaginary world that never existed is still fresh in my mind. What a tragic waste.
My kids are, let's say, confused, lol. They know me, their father and grandfather (my dad) don't believe in god (me and my husband are atheist and my dad is agnostic) but they go to a Catholic school where they are taught Jesus and god are real and the only truth and all that jazz.

It's all about quality of education (and the fact that our local PS had no room for my oldest when we moved back here, she was in 2nd grade and wanted to bus her to a different school).

Anyway. My oldest is 8 and she says she believes in god. She has since she was in 1st grade and some kid at her school (a public school at that time) told her if she didn't believe she was going to burn in hell. Great. She had nightmares for a week and since then has professed a belief in god but I don't call her a Christian. She's just a kid that believes what the other kids believe.
My son is 7 and sometimes says he believes in god and sometimes says he doesn't. He's kind of torn between what they tell him to believe at school (what his friends believe) and what he knows we believe at home. He's too young to make a decision one way or the other.
My middle daughter is 6 and this is her first year at the Catholic school (the other two have 2 years) and she is clueless but she's the kind of imaginative, easily persuaded type of kid and believes in Santa and the tooth fairy with every fiber of her being so believing in god is an extension of that. It is all the same to her right now. We happened to mention Santa wasn't real one day (just joking around with our oldest who I don't think believes any more) and she freaked out and got really upset that we would even suggest Santa wasn't real. That's about the level her belief in god is.
My 2yo has no clue about any of it but it's really cute to hear her say, "oh gawd," when something goes crazy, lol.

I'm sure they will all figure it out eventually. It took me 29 years, lol. That was after 13 years of Catholic school.




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