I’m at an age where I have a number of friends (late 30s to mid-40s, if that makes a difference) with young children, mostly 10 and under, being raised in a faith. The faith varies among people, but it tends to be a liberal form in any case. As someone who was raised Catholic but would now consider myself more of a Modern Deist, this doesn’t bother me in the slightest.
However, there have been a few awkward moments for me when I’ve been a guest in these folks’ homes - moments when it’s clear that either the kids have no apparent awareness that other faiths even exist, or even if they do, assume that I’m the same faith as them because I’m “Aunt Noctilucent”, and that I’ll join in with them on something without a second thought. (An example of this last one: singing Grace before dinner while holding hands.)
I have no desire to pretend I’m something I’m not, and I do my best to gracefully explain that things are different for me without getting overly detailed. But I feel a bit put on the spot by the child’s expectations, while trying not to tread into parental territory by teaching about other beliefs when the parents obviously haven’t gotten around to that yet. (In defense of my friends, all but the example given above came up when a parent wasn’t immediately available to deflect the question, and in that case, a parent did step in.) Moreover, as someone with no kids of my own, I have a hard time gauging just what they’ll understand at certain ages, anyway.
So, couple of questions here:
At what age did you fill in kids about other faiths, or do you plan to?
Would it bother you if your kids asked a religious-based question of a family friend of yours, and they responded in a different way than you would have handled it? Would you have a problem with a family friend attempting to address any such question directly with the child?
FTR, I was only vaguely aware of people of other faiths until I was over 10 myself, so I don’t have my parents’ example to follow, obviously.