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Sunday, January 22, 2006 

Now I lay me down to sleep...

It should be pretty simple to understand the needs of happy & healthy children. Nurture them, create a safe and stimulating home environment, freely give unconditional love. Use opportunities to encourage creativity, curiousity, and compassion.

Well, I went to see if people still used the sweet little "die" poem I posted earlier, and I found one of the most frightening pages I've seen yet on the web. Charles Kirkpatrick uses this prayer on his site Sermons4Kids.com to suggest indoctrinating children with the theme "Looking forward to the resurrection". He suggest finding a doll "that can open and close its eyes", (and excuse me for a second because I can't help but summerize the whole page) along with two scripture quotes, a story about Job suffering and dying, a teaching of Jesus, and a COLORING PAGE. In smaller letters at the bottom, it says that some people felt this too disturbing for young children. Obviously the author doesn't share this concern!

Well, why not frighten a child with the thought of death while they are relaxing into sleep?

Hey, let's give them some other things to think about:

...
and if a fire should light my bed,
mom will come quick, just rest my head;
and if an earthquake should shake the ground,
mama will make sure that I am found;
and if a tarantula should be strolling near,
papa will take care of it, never fear.
[mamas don't do tarantulas]
time to close my eyes, rest, and pray,
hope that a flood won't sweep me away.


Do I add Mr. Kirkpatrick to my list? Stay tuned for more...

You know, when I was little and said that lovely prayer before bed, I really had no idea what I was saying. Same with the whole "I pray the Lord my soul to keep" or "take". As I got older, I thought back to that and shuddered.
Now they say:

"As I lay be down to sleep;
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
Angels watch me through the night;
until I wake in the morning light."

When my first was born he got a little knealing (nealing? WTH?) bear that would say that pray when you squeeze it. I think we sold it to Once Upon a Child.

Oh, and Uh, the Sermons4Kids.com definitely needs to go on the list!! Wow... That is frightening.

When our kids were little when we were still trying to be xians, and our boys went to a Lutheran school up until our oldest was in second grade mainly because the public schools were so bad in the area we lived in at the time. The sermon told at the kindergarten graduation or our younger son was about how Jesus keeps his flock together and the pastor used the example of how sometimes when there is one sheep in a flock that keeps wandering away, the shepherd breaks the little lamb's leg to keep it from straying! So, that is to explain why bad things happen to us in life...to keep us in line!!!!!!! I could not believe he was saying this to KINDERGARTEN KIDS!!!!! One little girl started crying and ran to her mother. I have it all on video. I was MORTIFIED and had to tell my son the pastor didn't know what the hell he was talking about. We took them out of that school real quick and moved to a town with good public schools!

I'm always looking for advice. I'm an atheist (or freethinker or agnostic or whatever you want to call me..) mom. Husband's born again fundie. Besides clashing on many, numerous things, he insists on "die before I wake" prayer for our 4,6 year olds. I have my "don't let the bedbugs bite" advice to lighten the mood - for me anyway. I've used a pirate poem (that I've already forgtten) - with ARRRG sound effects, anything to keep them guessing and not take any night time "ritual sayings" too seriously. Got any goos ones?

Would your your husband consider switching to Cassandra's above? I like your idea of keeping the mood light. Are you looking for night rituals? (I assume you mean you have a 4&6 yr old, not four 6 year olds, right?)

lol - four 6 years olds! My typos can get atrocious. That would a 4 and 6 year old. Do you have any good (different )night sayings ? I guess my ritual is to get mine saying in first and run out of the room while Dad says his. I will have to suggest Cassandra's above switch. In a non-clashing demeanor......

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  • I'm the freethoughtmom from New England. Welcome!
  • The word rational means having the ability to reason. Reasoning takes time. Giving yourself the space to think is practically a luxury in our society.

    My father is a logical engineer, my mother a caring nurturer. My handwriting with my dominate hand resembles that of my father, the other, my mother. I feel lucky to have both sides to draw from.
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