How to teach religion to small children?
By Madhurie Singh, August 10, 2009
My son today wanted to know what is the meaning of St Mary’s; it’s the name of his school.
Here is how our conversation went, till both of us were satisfied.
Son: “Mom ! What is the meaning of St Mary’s? “
Me: ” Well, it’s the name of the mother of Jesus Christ.
Do you know about him?”
Son: ” No”.
Me: “Hmm, Ok what is our surname?”
Mom: “You have 48 kids in your class, and each has a different surname, right? “
Son: ” No, mom, there are three Singhs”
Mom: “Ok, so you have 45 other surnames and 3 Singhs. Now do they all live in one house?”
Mom: ” Ok now where do you and all your friends live”
Son: ” In houses in Pune.”
Mom: “Right. And where do Dada Dadi, Nana Nani live?”
Mom: “Right. We who live in Pune are called Puneites, those who live in Delhi are called Delhites. But is there any difference in any one living in Pune or in Delhi?”
Mom: ” Now when we all, Nana, Nani, Mumma, Papa goes to Mama’s house in US, we are all called Indians. But Mamas, Mamies, Priti, Piya and Janaa are called Americans, because they live in America.”
Son: ” Yes”
Mom: “Is there any difference in any one who lives in India or America?”
Mom: “Do you know we are Hindus?”
Mom: “Hmm, tell me whose pooja do we do?”
Son: “My friend Ganesha, bal Hanuman, Ghatotkach, Krishna.”
Mom: ” And have you seen whose pooja Janak does?”
Son: “Sardar uncle’s.”
Mom: ” Ok yes, he is Guru Nanak, and so Janak is a Sikh. Whose pooja Aimaan does?”
Son: ” I dunno”
Mom: ” He does pooja of Allah and is a Muslim. Who is Irene aunty’s God ?”
Son: “I don’t know”
Mom: “Her god is Jesus Christ, and she is a Christian.”
Mom: “Is there any difference you see in Aimaan, Janak, Irene aunty, and yourself?”
Son: “No and Yes !”
Mom: “Is it? Tell me how?”
Son: ” No because they all are living things and look same. Yes because we all do pooja of different God’s”.
Mom: “So, does that make anything different in any way?”
Son: “No, then what is the use of different religion and god?”
Mom: “Like you ask mamma and papa for everything and do what we tell you mostly, same way different gods and religion tell what to do and how to do when we are young or confused. Nothing much.”
Mom: ” Now do you know what is Jesus Christ’s mamma’s name?”
Mom: ” Her name is Mary. And because her son is a God to all Christians, she is called St Mary. And your school is
named after her as St Mary’s School. Got it?”
Son: “Yes got it.” But what is Alien’s God called and what are they,? Hindu or Christian? And Mamma is Transformer a God?”