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How do I explain Paganism to my 11 & 8 year olds?

Recently my son(11) asked his uncle if he was Catholic. We are and so he tends to think all family members are. His uncle replied that he is not Catholic and left the topic to drop. Dyvin, however, was curious and asked him what religion he was., his uncle replied he was a Pagan.

Now both Payton(8) and Dyvin(11) want to know what a Pagan is. I am stumped on an age appropriate response for both of them. Dyvin is an Aspie and his need for full disclosure and knowledge can sometimes be difficult. He is also very black and white on issues.

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Asked by mom4wine at 11:10 AM on Jun. 6, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 8 (256 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • As a practising Pagan myself, I would have a discussion before with the uncle, and then let the uncle explain it directly to them on an appropriate level. There are so many different belief systems that are pagan, so I would want the uncle himself to explain it so that it's an accurate explanation - I'm assuming that your kids want to know what he specifically believes, not full blown explanation of all that paganism encompasses. Although I would talk with the uncle first, so that he knows where your coming from and can keep his explanation age appropriate.

    Answer by Telephus44 at 11:17 AM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • Thank you so much Telephus44! This is a great iea and should help with any more questions they have,

    Comment by mom4wine (original poster) at 11:19 AM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • I completely agree with Telephus.

    Answer by twinsplus2more at 11:22 AM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • Simple is the way to go. After giving them a brief simple answer if they want to know more then start in on some details but most likely they will be fine with something easy & simple to understand. As the PP said speak with the uncle.

    As far as other religions go lucky for me my 3yo is exposed to many so far big time Christian, Jewish, Amish, etc & I simply answer her questions as they come. For right now they are simple questions though so its been easy up to this point. I"m happy personally that she gets to experience these things like her bestfriend is a Jewish family & at christmas we celebrate both what we like to do & what they like to do. Its lots of fun & I learn a lot like the monurah (sp) has eight not 12 candles lol I felt dumb about that one!

    Answer by Mel30248 at 11:23 AM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • Telephus beat me to it. I'm also Pagan, and will be the first to admit that there are lots of different beliefs, traditions and ideals that fit under the the title.

    Now, that said, YOU should do some basic exploration yourself because even after you/they speak with the uncle something tells me there will be some continued questioning...

    Here you can learn some of the basics -

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 12:05 PM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • Thank you SabrinaMBowen!! I will check this site for sure. You guys have all been so helpful!

    Comment by mom4wine (original poster) at 12:23 PM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • The above Ladies are correct in their approach. I, too, am Pagan and I agree it would be best to ask the Uncle first.

    BTW...what's an "Aspie"?

    Answer by MamaK88 at 6:30 PM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • MamaK88 thank you for your help. Aspie is short for Aspergers.

    Comment by mom4wine (original poster) at 6:53 PM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • I also agree with having the Uncle explain his beliefs. There is a Pagan joke that if you ask 10 Pagans to define what it means to be "Pagan" you'll end up with 20 answers. As Sabrina does, I have a blog discussion on defining Paganism, because I wholeheartely concur that they will probably have other questions.  My brothers are the ages of your sons, and while they have always known I was pagan, they were never really able to ask me about my beliefs (I was in the military, and halfway across the country) until recently...I think, in terms of understanding and communication, it worked for all of us (my brothers, my mom and I) to have that discussion together.


    Answer by thalassa at 1:02 PM on Jun. 9, 2011

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