God and School

So, it’s been awhile. I’m just really having a hard time knowing what to write about. That and I’ve been busy with the boys and helping at their school. I have no time, nor do I have the concentration to write when they come home from school, and after they are in bed, well, that’s veg on the couch with the hubs time. A few of you have commented and emailed to check on me. Thank you so much! It’s nice to know that you care.

I do have a post I plan to write about today, but before I do that I’d like once again to do a question and answer post. I know I have several newer readers, some who might not have been around for the last few questions and answers. So, if there is anything you’d like to know feel free to email me or ask in the comment section.

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Ok, on with the post.

Evidently, a few weeks ago on the play ground the subject of God was brought up. I don’t know by who, or how it started, but K1 was asked if he believed in God. He didn’t tell me that this had happened until just recently, when another conversation took place in the classroom at center time, which is basically free play at designated stations in the class. K1 said when he was first asked he didn’t initially answer. I imagine him much like we all are when we are confronted with this question by someone. At least in my experience your mind goes through several scenario’s before you answer. He said he finally said no, he does not believe in God and added neither do his parents. To which one little girl replied, that she could not longer be friends with him and proceeded to try to convince several other children who were playing with him to run off and play with someone else. Which he said they did.

I didn’t hear about this conversation until a week ago, when on our way to dinner one evening he said one of his friends stopped being his friend and was telling other kids not to play with him because he didn’t believe in God. Now, let me just say my initial reaction was shock, that this was already becoming an issue in 1st grade and then anger, because this was already becoming and issue in 1st grade. He was quite indignant about the whole thing. He said he was at a center in the class with the little girl and a few others and he began to tell her that it hurt his feelings when she said she wouldn’t be his friend anymore and when she tried to get others to stop playing with him. He said he told her it didn’t matter what she or he believed that they could still be friends and that he was still a good person. I’m not sure what the little girl had told him would happen to him if he didn’t believe in God, but he told me he told her, that nothing was going to happen to him because he didn’t believe and “look, he was still here, he was fine.” I told him that unfortunately this is probably not going to be the only time this happens, to which he replied “why does it matter if I don’t believe, they can still believe in what they want to, it doesn’t have to make us stop being friends.” My boys smart! He’s also right, but I had to tell him that is not the way some people see it. That unfortunately that little girl has been taught that someone who does not believe in God is probably bad and not a good person, she doesn’t know any better and that it is our job to show them through kindness that in fact is not true. He wanted to know who would teach her such things. I had to tell him the truth and say her parents and her church and everyone else who believes the way she does.

My boy held his own. I know for a fact that this took place and that he was respectful, but able to communicate in his own words that this was hurtful to him as well as to communicate his side of things. I know this took place because the teacher told me. She also told me that she allowed them to have the conversation never stepping in because it did not involve an adult and was only between them. There was no yelling, or rudeness and at the end they seemed to have resolved something because they were playing together.  Now with that said I do need to tell you that this subject has come up in their class before,but it was just talk then. No one saying they couldn’t be friends and such. Around valentines day, when they were making their valentine boxes and my sons seatmate had things about God all over his box. The boy asked K1 if he loved God too and he simply said no, the boy told the teacher that K1 doesn’t love God, to which she said that’s ok, not everyone believes the same things.  Because I help in the classroom and because I’ve become somewhat friends with her she was able to tell me this along with a nice surprise. She too is a minority in the beliefs department that our state identifies with.

I could say much more about her, all nice things of course, but because I do not know who reads this I would never want to jeopardize her or her job. I would just like to say she handles it well and does not make it a big deal.

I’m proud of K1 for seeing that what we believe does not have to get in the way of our friendships, that standing up for ourselves is important, that doing is respectfully and with class is important. I am saddened that he has already been confronted with this. That others are already trying to make him feel less than. That he is even having to stand up for himself on this matter at all. I’m proud that he shared this experience with us and told us his concerns and how he handled it.

I did tell him that as he gets older he can explore what he believes, that just because mom and dad think something doesn’t mean he has to believe the same things. To which he said, I  kid you not, “I’m not going to believe that there is some man up in the sky listening to me. I’ve got no proof of that. ”

Ahh, life in the Bible Belt.

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About theagnosticswife

Living in the bible belt, in middle America, with a once Christian husband who has turned Agnostic. I no longer know what I believe.
This entry was posted in Agnostic, Atheist, Children, Christian, God, Life, Outing Oneself, Parenting and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to God and School

  1. jinkies says:

    Your son sounds very smart indeed! I am impressed on how he handled the situation and how you handled it as well. Kudos!

  2. bumfuzzled says:

    Oh, if I could have had that kind of confidence as a kid! He handled that very well. What a great feeling when you know your kid can deal with such a situation:)

  3. liza mckenzie says:

    I agree with the other comments…your son sounds confident and smart; you should be proud. I admire you – even though I’m an atheist, when my children were small in SC, I took them to church because I knew if I didn’t they’d be ostracized. I can handle it, but I didn’t want them to have to…..you’re teaching your son courage and to be true to himself and his convictions – a good mother!

  4. ... Zoe ~ says:

    So good to hear from you. This is a great post. K1 did a great job and it sounds like you two are really helping along with it all. Really cool about the teacher!

  5. Pam G says:

    Oh, if conservative Christians could have the level of respect and compassion your 1st grader has… The world would be a better place!

  6. Alice says:

    We’re not in the Bible belt here, so it will be interesting to see what the kids encounter next year. They have been homeschooled and now I’m sending them off into the world.

  7. tlethbridge says:

    Sounds rough and you should be proud of your child for handling it so well. I don’t remember anyone who did not believe in God when I was that young, and we lived in liberal New England then. I do remember a particular argument a group of us were having about whose Dad was most important. The grocery store owner’s kid said he would tell his dad not to sell the rest of us any food, the volunteer fireman’s kid said his dad would not put out our houses if they were on fire, and I said my dad was a preacher who talked to God every day and he would tell God to send their dads to hell. I recounted that story in adulthood and even then my father was completely horrified hearing about it for the first time :-).

  8. Thank you all for your kind words. I do not feel brave, but I am proud that my son. He did a good job. It’s nice to know that they do hear at least half of what you say. 🙂

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