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Atheist Families, Talking About Death With Kids

Started by Bad Penny II, December 14, 2017, 01:15:16 PM

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Bad Penny II

My kids went to Catholic School, I didn't pretend to believe.
Anyway they didn't suffer a lot of loss, there was Harry the black Labrador pup.
Poor Harry, a paralysis tick got him.

I'm sure we've done this before but why not do it again?
I suggest the troll be ignored in this thread.
He (are they not invariably he?) should be just thought of as a chicken, doing chicken head backwards and forwards stuff, scratching around.
Take my advice, don't listen to me.

Recusant

Telling them a fairy tale about the "better place" the dead go to doesn't seem a great solution, if the parent honestly doesn't believe in that fairy tale. I take a cue from Mark Twain here.

QuoteI do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.

"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


AngelOfDeath

#2

Well, then why did you send them to Catholic School?


Pasta Chick

It's a really tough topic, because our society is steeped in such toxic ideas about death, many of which stem from the church.

I had a secular upbringing, but not specifically athiest. I was told "no one really knows" and it was left at that. While its a true answer and a good one, it leaves a lot to work through. My Grandmother, who was a large part of my upbringing, was strongly Catholic and terrified of death which played a role as well. My childhood didn't include any significant deaths. It took me a very, very long time to start working through some things.

I guess if there was one thing I could pick out as having been missed the most, it is that at its core, death is simply part of life. It's not necessarily good, but it isn't inherently bad, either. Unfortunately I had to see a lot of horrible things before I came to that on my own.

xSilverPhinx

Quote from: Pasta Chick on December 15, 2017, 01:27:44 AM
It's a really tough topic, because our society is steeped in such toxic ideas about death, many of which stem from the church.

I agree. Other cultures may have a healthier attitude towards death but most of our western societies see death as taboo, something to be excluded from discourse or sugar-coated to make it seem less scary. We never really die, churches tell us, we just shake off our bodies and the soul lives on, in heaven, hell, or somewhere else.

As for discussing the subject of death with children, I posted this question in HAF's Facebook page a while ago, and some members (I don't remember who, sorry) suggested buying (nonreligious) books to read with children that tackle the subject. I thought it was a good idea. 

It seems to me that young children go through a phase in which they are overly attached to their parents and anxious of losing them to death, and I don't know if telling them at that age that should one of their parents die, they will cease to exist is ideal though. I don't know. It seems much easier to tell a still emotionally immature child that their loved ones will always be around in some form or another, so as not to exacerbate their anxiety.

Tough subject, to be sure. I guess a lot of it depends on the parents outlook and the child's emotional resilience and state.

I am what survives if it's slain - Zack Hemsey


Bad Penny II

Quote from: AngelOfDeath on December 14, 2017, 06:35:46 PM
Quote from: Bad Penny II on December 14, 2017, 01:15:16 PM
My kids went to Catholic School, I didn't pretend to believe.
Anyway they didn't suffer a lot of loss, there was Harry the black Labrador pup.
Poor Harry, a paralysis tick got him.

I'm sure we've done this before but why not do it again?
I suggest the troll be ignored in this thread.
He (are they not invariably he?) should be just thought of as a chicken, doing chicken head backwards and forwards stuff, scratching around.

Well, then why did you send them to Catholic School?

This goes back to back to early eighties.
I was living in a shared house and I answered the door
She was wearing orange overalls and had this big smile
Children were her vocation, she was, still is a natural
I could have forgone children for I'd known No one gloom
I'd known children too and they are light and life
Anyway we had two.
She said go Catholic, they turn out nicer kids and I acquiesced,
I don't have any regrets.

Take my advice, don't listen to me.