Mom, who is God anyway? Children and Faith

Kinder und Religion - wie führt man sein Kind heran? Easter is just around the corner and on this occasion we in the Kleine Prints team asked ourselves: How can you really introduce children to the subject of faith? Or are they perhaps introducing themselves? Is that still important today? In the end, the idea for this article did not become a "guide article", but an exciting personal report and insight from our founder Eva Malawska. Here are their thoughts on this particular topic:

Children and religion: is that still an issue?

Our society is so "modern" today that the question can arise as to whether we still have to deal with how we can introduce our children to the subject of religions and beliefs. But regardless of whether you are religious yourself or not - as soon as the children are in daycare, sooner or later they somehow come into contact with the topic. And of course that raises questions. Probably the most asked is: "Who is God?", Or all possible variants around it. What God does, what "he" thinks is good and what doesn't, and, and, and ... Kinder und Religion - wie führt man sein Kind heran?Kinder und Religion - wie führt man sein Kind heran? Especially now at Easter this is of course totally topical again and many parents will be confronted with relevant questions. But more on that in a moment.

It was like that in my own childhood

How I feel about "children and religion" is strongly influenced by my own experiences in childhood. I am as a child in Poland was raised strictly Catholic. (However, it didn't work in the long term, hehe.) So religion was part of life for me from the start, but from a certain age on I felt it to be very "forced" and compulsive, which of course I didn't like. When we moved to Germany, when I was 7, my sister and I had to go to the Polish religious school every Saturday, which I found very exhausting and annoying. I also never found the strictness of the Catholic Church nice, it never really touched me emotionally. I just had to go through everything, which many of you may know from your own childhood. As a child I thought that was stupid of my parents and I personally think it is wrong and completely absurd for me to force something in this form on my child. As an adult, I immediately quit the Church. (Luckily my grandma doesn't understand German, because it would be a total disaster for her if she knew. Please don't betray me.)

The beautiful side of religion

Despite my rather less intoxicating experiences with religion early on, I think it's really nice when you have and live certain traditions. I admire families who live a lively, loving faith. I would not call myself an unbeliever either, even if I do not believe in the God who was supposed to be imparted to me in the Catholic Church of my childhood. Much more important than teaching a certain, dogmatic religion with strict rules, I find it to give your child values that help him to lead a happy life and to be guided by compassion towards himself and others. Somehow, religions are originally always about love, even if people have often made something completely different out of it. And that's kind of what life is about: to live lovingly with yourself and others. In Poland, by the way, at Christmas or Easter there was not such a mega focus on the gifts, but much more about the family get-together. I found that nice. But, as I said, I could have done without a large part of the religious "activities" there.

Promote open interaction

Even if I do not follow any religion myself, it cannot be denied that religions continue to shape our (global) society. That's why I think it's important to somehow give your child access to the topic. That's why I try to teach our daughter Lotta a very open approach to different religions and not stir up any prejudices. Because somehow there are enough people with prejudices in the world, right ?! Kinder und Religion - wie führt man sein Kind heran? I also have the feeling that children tend to believe in God or at least have a strong curiosity and openness towards the topic. Since belief is something strengthening and positive in life for many people, I would find it somehow wrong for me personally to completely ignore the topic and not give my child any access to it.

But who is God then?

Well, what do you answer when you ask about God? Of course, the question does not arise for people who are firmly anchored and convinced of a certain belief. But even those who are not so sure for themselves whether there is God or not, or who or what exactly it is, can offer their child a good basis. I think you just have to be open and honest and not be afraid to say: "I don't know exactly either." Ultimately, each person has to find their own answer and I think it's nice when I can help Lotta build a stable framework that will make it easier for her to look for and find this very personal answer for herself later. Kinder und Religion - Gedanken zum Thema von Eva Malawska

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Photo sources: 1) Anna Lena Ehlers, pictures 2 to 4 all via unsplash.com - 2) & 3) Annie Spratt, 4) Kelly Sikkema, 5) Lina Grün

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