‘I Don’t Think I Believe in God’: How a Canadian Father and Daughter Bond over Debate and Painting

Sep 18, 2019

Communication is vital, and raising children to be able to connect in a truthful and meaningful way is so important.

In the above video, a father speaks of how he's created an open and honest line of communication with his daughter, and the resulting questions and conversations that have come up.

More Episodes: Check out the rest of The Art of Parenting here.

Read the full transcript:

Sky: "I think one of the critical things that — that a kid needs to develop, is truthfulness. Over the dinner table we talk about this idea. 

Truthfulness is a way of creating a foundation that when you are, when you do encounter problems and you do have, you know, a kind of a moral dilemma, you — you can trust the voice that you've articulated or that you've developed, and without that you're lost.

You have to take the spiritual education of your children seriously. One of the things about Martha that I really love and that I enjoy so much is she's — she's trying to figure out her place in the world and she's quite inquisitive."

Martha: "I have a family of artists and I also really like to do art."

Sky: "She will ask me these really, really difficult philosophical probing questions, and she'll often be sort of provocative about it too, like 'I don't think I believe in God.' But she's setting it up. Like she wants to get into a debate or a discussion about it and question things and — and in a way that, I think, I probably see some of that in me.

So we can question things together.

Yeah. She's a happy character and she's really, really in her imagination.

And a lot of times we think about imagination as being like, daydreamy or something.

But for me the — the imagination is the faculty by which we distill experiences into something that we can use to structure our reality.

One of the valuable things about art is that it's a storytelling tool for making sense of things.

Trying to be honest about who I am as a father, as a Bahá'í, as a teacher.

So truthfulness would be something that with Martha that we, Julie and I, really try to hold a hard line on.

Martha: "Abstract is all like, it's spiritual. It's in your imagination. It's in the mind, you have to figure out what it is.

But for me, I don't actually really like abstract. I like to draw pictures that are actually like real things."

Sky: "When you start to realize that every action that you have — whether it's putting on your shoes or doing the dishes or taking your kid to school or buying groceries — they're all building on our spiritual nature.

Martha: "Art just comes from the soul. It doesn't come from the paint — well some of it comes from the paint, but it mostly comes from your soul and from your imagination also, and most of it, it comes from here. Comes from God."

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