Explaining God to kids

I was having a rough day last week due to some pregnancy concerns, and I ended up having a minor emotional meltdown. My daughter, Nicole, was sleeping in her crib while I sat in her room crying quietly.

Nicole suddenly sat up, looked straight at me through the dark and said, “God takes good care of us.” She promptly lay back down and went back to sleep, leaving me stunned. It’s odd when your 3-year-old child is wiser than you are.

I’m glad my daughter has a strong belief that God will take care of us. We talk about God and Jesus openly in our house, so they are household names and concepts to her.

So far, her definition of God is someone who we can’t see, who watches over us, and who won’t let the mean witch or Captain Hook “get us” while we sleep. All in all, it’s not a bad definition.

Sometimes, though, I’m stumped by the questions my daughter asks me about God. It’s not that I don’t believe in God, it’s just that it’s hard sometimes to give her satisfying answers that don’t sound like another story from a fairy tale book. I don’t want her to lump God and Tinkerbell in the same category.

Nicole got very worried the other night, for example, when I told her God takes care of all of the children. She was scared that he wouldn’t have time to take care of her. My explanation of how God can see all the children at once sounded fantastic, even to me.

So how do you explain God on a child’s level while also not making faith sound strikingly similar to make-believe?

2 comments

  1. Stacy Barry

    Did you ever get an answer to your question? Because the last question of your article is an issue I”m grappling with. My son is having a faith crisis right now since he recently learned the truth about Santa Claus. I don’t want them lumped together but don’t know how to explain the difference in satisfying terms!

    • Erin Stewart

      Stacy,

      Yes, actually a lot of people wrote in with advice on this topic, but that was before we switched to this new blog format and all the old comments were wiped out. One thing that some moms said was that they talked to their kids about how there actually was a St. Nicholas who did wonderful things for children. They explain to their children that the myth of Santa Clause is just a spin-off of that for fun, but that at its core, there is truth to the story. If you are able to do some research on this and explain it like that to your son, it might make more sense that although the tales get changed through time, there is truth at the heart of it. Hope that helps at all and I wish the old comments were still up! –Erin

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