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What to do when your child asks if you believe in God

Kids can blindside you with big questions - we should be honest

My four-year-old was sitting with his brother in the bath this week and out of nowhere asked me; 'do you believe in God, mama?'. I paused before offering up a classic deflection technique; 'well, what do you believe?' He didn't skip a beat - 'you first'. Damn it.

I was raised Catholic but my family aren't especially devout; as is often the case my Grandparents are, but my parents less so. My brothers and I went to a Catholic school and although we didn't attend Church every Sunday, we did 'show our faces' (as my Dad would say) periodically, and definitely at Easter and Christmas. I identified myself as Catholic well into my teenage years, when I was confirmed, and into my adulthood, although even my Christmas attendance became increasingly sparse as the years went by. My two boys had Catholic Christenings however, and my husband and I were married in a Church (albeit a Church of England one, purely due to its tantalisingly close location to our reception venue). Yet somewhere along the way I realised that my Catholism wasn't based faith any more; I was clinging to it because it's my heritage. And being proud of your heritage, and believing in and practising a religion, are two very different things.

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