How Do You Explain God To A Three Year Old?

"Who’s God?" she asked. And I had no idea whatsoever how to answer her.
Publish date:
December 27, 2012
xojane UK

For the past few months, I’ve been taking my kid regularly to the Jewish version of church, which we call shul or synagogue. We’ve actually been every Saturday morning for the past eight weeks, in an effort to get her into one of the local Jewish schools.

I won’t bore you with the ins and outs of the laborious school entry procedure, but in simple terms, we have to have had a record of our religious practice (officially called Proof of Religious Practice) so she can attend the same Jewish school I went to as a kid.

Our first week of attending the kid's toddler service at shul arrived. We dressed in our finest and I had to explain to my girl where we were going. It went a little something like this.

"Today we are going to talk to God."

"Who’s God?"

I looked at my husband who shrugged, all "I’ll come back to you on that one." And I had no idea whatsoever how to answer her.

This is how I see God in my head. I'm screwed.

Since becoming a parent, there are things I’ve struggled with. For instance when my child started furiously humping her hand at any given opportunity. I didn’t want her to feel this was wrong, but doing it on the floor of the living room at her nana and papa’s house, well, there’s a time and place.

After Googling how to deal with this (one stoopido suggestion: ‘Take the kid to a pediatrician -- they are sick!!!’) I came up with "private time" and have since explained that this occurs in bed. Alone.

So, she threw me a curve ball and I do believe I hit it out of the park. I have no idea what that means as it’s a sporting reference, but I think I dealt with the situation well.

But trying to explain God to a three year old -- where the hell was I meant to begin? Especially when I'm not entirely sure what I believe in to start with.

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