Monday, December 1, 2008

Religious Conversations with an almost Three Year Old

Yesterday after church, my son and I were eating dinner, (dad was sick in bed all day). I felt like we should have a family conversation. As I was scanning the room trying to think of something meaningful to talk to my son about, (there are only so many conversation you can have about what colors are in the room). I saw his nursery handout. I put it next to him and asked him what he learned about in nursery. He said ummm... Looking at the paper, I said did you learn Heavenly Father has a face like you? He said no, a body. I was very impressed, that was pretty much enough of a conversation for me. I have never had him contradict me when I ask him about Nursery, so I felt like we were making real progress in both conversation and in recall ability. We actually went on with the conversation, and a little while later I asked him if he had hands like Heavenly Father, he enthusiatically said yeah! And then spent a quite a few seconds examining his hands.
On Friday morning, I asked my son if he wanted to say his prayers in the morning. He said yes, so I helped him say one. (I always direct him to pray that he can be a big boy during the day. I figure that covers all my bases, pottying in the toilet, not crying, etc.) After he prayed I asked does praying to Heavenly Father make you feel good? He said yeah! I said, isn't it nice that we can pray to Heavenly Father and feel better afterward? (I'm trying to teach him to pray if he feels sad or lonely, it helps with bedtime when he doesn't want me to leave.) He responded yeah! Then we talked about how important is we pray and some of the blessing we thanked Heavenly Father for, like having a mom and dad because no everyone has that, and how he has so many blessings Heavenly Father requires a lot out of him, so its very important we pray to him everyday. (Teaching him this in hopes I will get less no responses out of him, when I ask if he wants to say morning prayers and blessings on food.) He seemed to follow the conversation well. Its pretty easy to tell with J if he is understand a concept or not. After we finished our conversation I went in my bedroom to talk to my husband, the first thing he said, was I'm glad you are the mom and not me. I smiled, lately I've gotten quite the trill from teaching my son about our religion. He is so receptive too it, and I never got to serve a mission so its exciting to be able to teach someone this much. (Last time I talked about my religion regularly was in high school and I never got much past no I don't think my religion is too strick, yes I go to a Bible study of sorts every morning for an hour, and I refuse to argue with you-- Bible bash, but I'll explain my beliefs and you can tell me yours. Not many took me up on that option.) I then continued the conversation with my husband, saying I never know if I'm actually teaching J correct doctrine or changing it as I try to make it understandable for a two year old. He responded that it sounded fine. Nonetheless I'm still worried I'm going to teach my son incorrect doctrine and screw him up for life.


  1. I have the same fear. Not in teaching my own children because I don't have children yet, but I teach Primary. It is so easy to sit back and let the kids banter back and forth about what they think the correct answer is. I used to only stop them when they got WAY off base. Now I feel an obligation to step in earlier and help them understand the answers. Daunting task when half of them can't even read...