What to Say to Kids About God and Religion

Respecting Professional Boundaries for Nannies and Parents

A benefit of hiring nannies that practice different religions is the opportunity to teach kids about diversity and that people of different religions typically share similar values and morals. Both families and nannies benefit from learning about different cultures, languages, and religions. Sharing simple recipes, customs, and traditions are great ways to appreciate the similarities and differences of others. But, it’s essential that both parents and nannies respect the other if they practice different religions.

Nannies should consult with the parents before discussing God and religion with their charges. Nannies should never give the impression that they are not interested when they don’t know how to answer a question about religion when asked. Instead they should let the kids know they would like to ask the parents when they get home and find out the answer too.

What Nannies Should Say:

  • “I’m not sure. Let’s ask your parents when they get home. I’d love to find out too.”
  • (If the parents say it’s okay to teach kids a little bit about your religion), “I am Jewish and I believe_____. You are Christian and your family believes _____.”
  • “It’s great that we all share the same morals and values.”

Some Common Questions and What to Say:
By Dr. Coleman, How to Say It to Your Kids

  • If the child asks, “What is God like?” answer, “I have never seen God, but I believe God is all love and all powerful.”
  • If the child asks, “What is heaven like?” you might answer, “Nobody knows for sure. But your parents believe it is a place where we can be with God and with people we love and be happy forever. What would you hope to see in heaven?”
  • “When our dog dies, will he go to heaven?” “I would like to think so. Do you think you will see your dog and pets in heaven?”
  • “Are people that don’t believe in God bad?” “No. Many people have different beliefs and that is not bad.”

What Not to Say:
By Dr. Coleman, How to Say It to Your Kids

  • “If you don’t obey me (or your parents), God will punish you.” The idea that God is a policeman is very limiting. Adults must provide consequences to the children when they do not behave.
  • “If you don’t obey me, (or your parents) God won’t love you.” God should not be used as a threat. Children should approach God with warmth and respect, not fear.

Don’t forget to stop by again next Monday for more advice about respecting professional boundaries for nannies and parents. 

How to Say It to Your Kids

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