How Much of the Devil should children know?


#1

My son who is 8 years old was scared and said he was afraid become he felt the devil inside him and that the devil is inside everyone. I was very concerned about his fear and I wanted to make him feel safe. So I told him that the devil cannot live inside us because, first he was baptized, and second we are created by God. I told him that people can listen to what the devil wants them to do but he does not live inside people. I told him that this should make him feel better whenever he gets feelings like these, to make the sign of the cross, to say the St. Michael prayer. we did that about 10 times and he said he felt better.

I was talking to my husband about it and he said I lied to him and that I need to correct this and tell him that the devil can live inside or be inside of us because of possession. I thought this was too much for an 8 year old to handle but my husband thinks that I lying and not telling the truth. What should I do? Did I lie or just tell the truth to a certain spot? I think this would create more fear and I want him to be strong in faith before creating fear? My husband said that later on when he is older and learns or hears about possession that I encouraged and he will see me lying to him.

I need some suggestions because we had a huge arguement about this and I think for an 8 year old who was already afraid, this shouldn’t be discussed yet? I think if we do tell him about possession then that opens a lot of things that even I don’t understand yet.


#2

I think that you gave the son the information that he is capable of understanding at his present age. That is not lying. Your husband is guilty of doing what something that I am often guilty of, giving children too much information before their minds can handle it. Eventually you will be able to explain possesion to your son. You can build on each discussion to gradually add more information.

Perhaps you can get him some holy water and bless him every night before he goes to sleep.


#3

If it were my kids I tell him that it is more that the devil has influence on everyone and I would tie it into the stain of original sin. I would tell him that the devil can come into us, but only if we let him in which is why we must be careful not to do certain things like Ouija boards even if they have a casual intent. I would also reassure him that baptism does protect us.

I am probably like your husband and tend to be very frank with my kids ( oldest is 5 ).

I tell my wife that this is why kids have a mother and a father. Different perspectives provide a balance.:slight_smile:


#4

While my dd is 3, she knows about the devil and demons. I try to not focus on the devil, but remind her that God gave her a guardian angel (whom she named Sally) that never sleeps and fights off every demon that tries to get to her to tell her to do bad. I also told her that her angel doesn’t eat food but gets strength every time she goes to mass, adoration, prays, and talks to God. This may be a good approach for your son.


#5

“So I told him that the devil cannot live inside us because, first he was baptized, and second we are created by God.”

The truth is that the devil can live inside us despite being baptized and being created by God. I think this poses a problem, especially when he takes this information to a friend at some later date. He might whole-heartily believe what you have told him and renounce someone else’s true statement. (eventually he will be embarrassed with the truth and possibly look back to you to blame you)

You do not need to give “full disclosure” to an 8 year old, however you should be continuously revealing truth. (not disguising truth for his sake)

It may be comforting to tell him for instance that “the devil does not live inside you.” You can focus on the positive without making a false statement of fact. Also right practice in faith prevents possession. Encouraging prayer and surrender to God not only embraces truth but teaches him to rely on a higher power. (you obviously have already done this with the St Michael Prayer)


#6

You gave your son information he could understand, and could handle at this stage in his life. I don’t agree with your husband, but you have to live with him. Your call.

You might want to wait until you think he is mature enough to get gradual information on the devil. If not, you might not only find him frightened unduly, but :wink: you will have to listen how the devil tempted him into not doing his homework, “made” him hit another child or sibling, and urged him to polish off the whole cookie jar to the point where he could not resist. What can I tell you? The devil has a very busy schedule.


#7

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