Today, in class, at my incredibly conservative college, we had a discussion about the benefits of prayer for children (mostly at around age 8).

The study was done by Bamford and Lagattuta. They had groups of 20 4, 6,and 8 year olds and 40 college students from the University of CA look at pictures of faces depicting various emotions and picture stories of children in different situations who decided to pray. "They were asked when and why people might pray as well as how they would feel afterward."

After being raised in a religious household the children come to believe "...that prayer is
communication, and they expect that prayer will make them feel better,
especially when they are sad or angry" (The Developing Person Through
the Lifespan, Berger, 356). They claim that religious beliefs become
useful for school-age children because it helps them cope with their
problems and fosters resilience.


I understand that part of the point of their study was to show the development of the brain as one ages and what kinds of thoughts and feelings go along with that but I was frustrated with the fact that the prof. and the book and everyone in the class excepted praying as a valid thing to do. Couldn't part of why the kids think it's so good be due to modeling and scaffolding? I mean, I was raised as an atheist and in middle school I remember having a moment of prayer for the remembrance of 9-11 and saying um... I don't really know how to do that...? Because I'd never been taught to. (Perhaps one good thing my mother has done for me, haha :P)

Also, if kids are praying, especially, in times of fear, anger and sadness to make themselves feel better, shouldn't that be something that is brought to the parents? I, personally, want to encourage any potential future children of mine to come to me with their problems so we can figure out real world solutions. Doesn't that help foster the parent-child bond that this class continues to emphasize the importance of?

Views: 8

Comment

You need to be a member of Think Atheist to add comments!

Join Think Atheist

Forum

What would happen...

Started by Griffin Buckerfield in Small Talk. Last reply by Simon Mathews 1 hour ago. 5 Replies

The Shinto Flower among the Weeds of Religion

Started by Cato Rigas in Advice. Last reply by Simon Mathews 1 hour ago. 4 Replies

Awe struck

Started by Davis Goodman in Small Talk. Last reply by Unseen 19 hours ago. 15 Replies

Blog Posts

Life Condensed

Posted by Cato Rigas on October 19, 2014 at 8:30pm 1 Comment

Cool Vehicle Inspection!

Posted by Ed on October 18, 2014 at 9:03am 2 Comments

Services we love!

We are in love with our Amazon

Book Store!

Gadget Nerd? Check out Giz Gad!

Advertise with ThinkAtheist.com

In need a of a professional web site? Check out the good folks at Clear Space Media

© 2014   Created by umar.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service