As a parent, a teacher and an educator, I have been on the front line of this one for many years. Children are naturally curious, it is in their nature to ask questions and they want real answers. When they hear something at home or school, they will bring it to a place they consider safe—their Sunday school should be a safe place to explore these questions and get honest answers, which means their teachers need to be prepared to answer those questions.
Sometimes the rabbi, minister or priest is called upon to meet with the class and sort through a particular topic, but more often it is the teacher who grapples with tough theological questions children will bring to them. Questions like: My cousin said I’m going to hell because I don’t believe in Jesus, is that true? Why does my grandmother pray “in Jesus name, amen?” What is communion and why can’t I drink the juice and have the wafer when I go to church with my dad? If my dad is Jewish and my mom is Christian, what does that make me? Can I be half Jewish and half Christian? As hard as these questions are, there are ways of responding that make sense to children.
Interfaith Life Coaching