Should I let my four year old attend a baptism? - FamilyEducation
Should I let my four year old attend a baptism?
02/10/2010 at 12:24 PM

I'm stumped. My nephew is being baptized, and my dad wants to take my four year old daughter with to the baptism. My husband and I are torn. We are worried about her impressionable mind being indoctrinated into something that teaches about heaven and hell, and take into consideration how scary that concept must be to a child that takes everything so literal.

We have never discussed with her the concept of God. We want to raise her to trust and love but to question everything until she's able to form her own opinion regardless of the subject matter. I don't want her to live her life out of fear or shame based on the teachings of a book that promises only judgement for natural human characteristics.

Is this something that could cause her to come home a little god fearing christian, or am I over reacting?

Explain to her that her cousin is being cleansed before the beautiful blessing and the lighting of the candle...focus on the meaning of the light, think of Christmas light,fire works, their beauty and "awe". She is four, teach love and respect to the creator of this world. We are always fearful that others will indoctrinate our children; however, we fail to see ourselves as the main indoctrinators. Enjoy your 4 year old. c.a

I would so no reason at all why a 4 year old shouldn't go to a Baptism. It's a celebration and supposed to be a wonderful thing. It was NOT scar your child or make him/her fear God in any way. It would be wonderful for you to expose your child to the different aspects of religion, as many as you chose. What would it hurt for you to learn more about religion and let your child form his/her opinion about things later on?

Thank you for your responses. I know a lot about religion and was raised in the church as a child, hence my apprehension. However, we did end up letting her go and no harm no foul. She told me all about her weekend, the funny things her friends did, exactly what the cats were doing, down to what she ate for dinner (and dessert!), but nothing about church, so it worked out well. Thanks again for your advice, Amanda2010

I am glad everything worked out well at this point for baptism is only a celebration. However this chapter isn't completely over because the event is over. Make sure that you and your husband observe your daughter and discuss your beliefs in a simple way to her so that she knows how you feel. Your post sounds as though you have had a traumatic experience with Christians in the past. What's so sad is that for those that truly know and live as Christ lived would never condemn another for how they live their life, Christ never did! Christ's entire life was a life of love.