At a certain age, it is quite normal for your child to start asking questions about the universe, God, and religion. These questions aren’t always easy to answer, especially when it depends on faith. Whether it’s due to technology or the child’s wide exposure to media, young children have become smarter and more open-minded, resulting in questions that are difficult to answer.
A few of the questions that cause anxiety to numerous mothers when asked by their children are: What does God look like? Where can we find God? Who created God?
In this article, our Certified Positive Psychologist, Rana Hany, shares the most common questions kids ask and how to respond to them in a simple and age-appropriate manner:
Difficult questions asked by children about God
- What does God look like?
- How did God end up in the sky?
- Why didn’t God make my prayers come true?
- Why did God take my grandfather?
What does God look like?
“My child once asked me if God looks like his grandfather,” Hany explains. “This is because the first thing they are curious about when they start to hear about God is how HE looks like. Because it is difficult to visualize a picture of something they’ve never seen, their curiosity makes them ask questions.”
Hany recommends that the best way to respond to this question is to explain that God is a bright light that is absolutely beautiful. However, no one knows how HE looks like exactly because we haven’t seen HIM yet. ” You should also explain that God created us, but doesn’t look like us. God is all around us, protecting us, and when we want to speak to HIM, we can pray to him or read the holy books.” Hany recommends.
How did God end up in the sky?
Hany explains that a good response to this question is teaching children that God didn’t go up to the sky, but is everywhere around us. “Remember to teach them that God is really close to us whenever we need HIM and that whenever we speak to HIM, he will always hear us.”
Why didn’t God answer my prayers?
“God promised that when we pray to HIM, he will answer our prayers, but when and how is something we do not know,” Hany explains. When children pray for tangible things that we, as parents, have the power to make come true, we should try our best to do that. This will help prevent this hesitation from occurring as well as feeling the beauty of having your prayers answered.
Why did God take my Grandfather?
Even if your child is angry or upset at God or voices their dislike towards God during this time, it is important to respect your child’s feelings. Hany explains that your response should not involve making your child feel guilty or getting upset, but instead showing empathy and telling them things like, “I know how much you loved your grandfather and that’s why you’re upset. God also loves him and wants him to go to heaven where your grandfather will be happy and comfortable.”
While your children are young, it is advised not to speak about hell or make your children fear God or expect him to punish them. “This approach could build fear and hate towards religion in children and that’s why parents should focus on heaven, and how much God loves us and is close to us.” It is best to take advantage of the positive situations in life and explain how grateful we should be for God’s blessings to create a strong spiritual bond between them and God.
The most important thing when answering your child’s sensitive questions about God is to be welcoming and even thank them for thinking and sharing their questions with you. It is best to refrain from making them feel guilty for asking inappropriate questions or make them feel that they did something wrong. This could result in your child asking other people their questions, making it difficult to control the answers or their effect on your child’s relationship with God.
If you find yourself being asked a question that you do not have the answer to, you can ask your child to discuss this matter later when you have an answer. If your child is a bit older, you can even suggest that you research the answer together from a reliable source.
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Sources used in this article:
- Book: Positive Parenting in the Muslim Home