Dr Amanda Gummer, Play & Parenting psychologist and founder of Fundamentally Children has been has answering your questions on how to respond to those awkward questions children ask!
So here is the first question :
‘My 6 year old has been asking why his science books (he is a bit of a bookworm) say the universe was made by the Big Bang but at church they say God made it. He keeps asking me who is ‘lying’?’
It is important to have our own personal beliefs as it helps us to make sense of our complex world and can create a comfort to some people. You could try saying something along the lines of …
As the world is so old it’s hard to know exactly how it was created, and there is no one answer that everyone agrees on. Individuals and groups of people have varying ideas about what or who created the world and these are their personal beliefs.
Scientists believe there is evidence of a ‘Big Bang’ and that the planet Earth was formed during this event. Whereas the church likes to think ‘God’ created the world and everything that lives here.
There are also other theories from other groups and religions too. You are able to believe whichever theory you like and neither are the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer, you may even have a different theory of your own.
It is important to remember your friends may have different ideas and opinions to you and that you won’t always agree, but you can have different opinions and still respect each other’s views and be friends.
This is also a good opportunity to engage with a child on what they’ve been learning at school and ask them what they liked about the Big Bang theory for example. Ask your school or library if they have any relevant books you can borrow.
Note from Mumsnet Berkshire Editor:
It must be really hard to discuss this without imposing your beliefs on your children and you may even find they are curious to know what your beliefs are. Of course it is fine to share these with your children. I think its a great idea to use this as an opportunity to help your child learn about these different ideas and teaching them to research beliefs and ideas before they make their own minds up.
I am really interested to know your thoughts on Dr Amanda Gummer’s advice on how to respond to this question. Please leave your comments here or email Berkshire@mumsnetlocal.com
Read Part Two: Why do Grown-ups argue?
Read Part Three: What does the tooth fairy do with teeth?