Please tell me how to deal with this situation..

  1. My son is in second grade. He has a good friend from a different ethnic and religious background, and they have been friends for a while.

    My son sleeps well at night, but for the past few nights he has been having really bad nightmares. I wondered if something was bothering him, and I asked him about it. He told me that his friend told him that if he didn't believe in God he would go to hell and burn in hot fire. He's now realy frightened about it, and wants to go to church, yada, yada because his friend told him that that was the only way to not die and burn in hell. This boy says he doesn't want to be friends with my son anymore either, if my son does not believe in God and go to church. My son has bad nightmares about burning.

    I don't mind what the other kid thinks. I'm all for everyone following what they like. However the other kid saying stuff like this to my kid is unacceptable to me. My kid can go to church if that is his inclination when he grows older and believes in the teachings of Christianity (our family is Buddhist). But I don't want some other kid doing this to him.

    Can anyone tell me how to deal with this? I actually debated posting this here because it involves *some* aspect of religion, but the overlying issue is not the religion, it is the mental bullying of my son and how I should teach him to cope with it.
     
  2. What have you told him about Christianity and theist religions with hell(s) in general? I would post some advice about that talk, but don't want to offend anyone here. I mean, people can give you advice about bullying, but now your son has a real fear of hell; that's beyond peer pressure to accept any one religion.
     
  3. ^^I've told him that there are many theist religions and some or many of their ideas are different. I got his some books from the library, and tried to make him understand the word 'beliefs' - different people understand/interpret things in different ways. I also got some books about older mythology - Greek, Roman, Viking myths.
     
  4. This is a tough one.

    Maybe talk to the other child's parents??

    Good luck...very sticky situation!
     
  5. I've PM'd you. :yes:
     
  6. I would definently talk it out with the parents. I am having this exact issue with my In laws too so PM me if you need any support! :smile:
     
  7. Tell him Winston Churchill said: "If you find yourself in hell, keep going".

    OK all joking aside, I think you are totally on the right track. Not only are you helping him navigate this situation but you are teaching him how to learn and think when presented with views that differ from his. Bravo.
     
  8. If it was my son I would tell him that we believe different things and there's nothing wrong with that. And that he's just a little kid and doesn't know everything so he could be wrong.
     
  9. Ironically, this just came up with my 6 year old, first grade...thankfully not like your situation.

    But, I think you are one the right track...I told my son pretty much the same the thing, there are many, many religions, but if you get to the main idea of each, it comes down to the golden rule...treat others as you want to be treated....and if you follow that you will be ok.

    I also told him religion is a lot like different languages, different areas and cultures created different religions, just like they created different languages. One religion is no more 'right' than one language in more right than another.
     
  10. The Viking books had some interesting stuff that helped my son understand a little bit about different beliefs. We were reading about Norse mythology and Valhalla which was the Viking's idea of heaven where people would battle and feast...not a modern person's idea of heaven by any means!

    He seems to have understood a little bit about differences between beliefs now, and I hope his nightmares will stop.
     
  11. Your son should tell his friend that the things he's saying isn't very Zen of him!
     
  12. tough situation :sad:
    i can't give u any advice, but i watched a movie some times ago about a chinese in canada, and how the little girls in teh family having the same situation with your kids.
    very interesting movie. i forgot how it ended though
     
  13. I'm sorry this happened to your son.. It's sad what things parents feed their kids. I can relate though..My son goes to a private Christian school however we aren't highly religious. We don't even attend church. I do believe in God & of course there is a certain about of "Bible studies" during his school day. I expect & accept that. Hey, it's fine. Sad, but my 6 year old knows more about the Bible than I do at this point.

    Anyway, one day my son got in the car after school & he was really upset. I asked him what was wrong & he said that his teacher told him that you can't walk with Jesus if you haven't been christened/baptized (my son has not been..) I gritted my teeth a little & told him, Honey, yes you can "walk with Jesus" & you can be baptized anytime you want to in your life. If you want to when you get older, that's great~ That seemed to make him feel better & we moved on.

    We aren't the only non churchgoing family in this school but we are in a small percentage. Unlike most people, we didn't send my son there because it's Christian but because it's a very highly academically accredited school. Many things are fine but many ideals that have been put on my son make me cringe a bit. His teacher is nice but VERY religious. I say nothing~ hey, what can I expect right?! We're moving out of state this summer & although my son got a great kindergarten education at this school, I'm somewhat relieved he will be at a regular public school in our new town.

    But in your son's situation, the boy's comments were not necessary & I think you're handling it perfectly!:smile:
     
  14. Poor guy, he must be so scared right now. I would be if I was his age. But my two cents is, explain to him that there are many religions. Ulitmately each religion believes in a higher being. My DH and I do not believe in conformed religion, however, each of us believe in a God. This is through personal experience that we do not believe in conformed religion. Maybe explain to him that people pick certain religions because its what suits them best. And no matter what as long as he lives a caring and helpful life, no way will God reject him.