Four year old seeing God and setting traps for him

I have a boy who just turned four this summer and started pre-Kl this year. Recently he’s been telling a lot of stories that aren’t true. They have been pretty funny, but it’s starting to get disturbing.

First big story we caught him in recently was when he told us that his pre-K teacher told him that she had a lot of skeletons in her house, and the reason she had them was because her husband really likes skeletons. We didn’t doubt him on this, the boy is always talking about skeletons (he’s loved Disney’s “Skeleton Dance” since he was a baby) and we know his teacher and her husband from when she taught his big sister - the teacher’s husband is a kindergarten teacher himself, is eccentric, hispanic, and an artist - we thought maybe he had a large skeleton collection that may have had something to do with Dia de Muerte or something, and this was brought up by my son always talking about skeletons. My wife mentioned this to the teacher one day and found out that our son made this up completely. He’s a pretty clever liar because he asked my wife if she had ever been to his teacher’s house before telling the story about the skeletons.

Second story was related to school as well. He said that the showed a spooky Halloween video in class that had all kinds of scary sounds in it (which he did imitations of). My wife told him she’d have to ask his teacher about it because it sounds like a really cool video and she’d like to buy a copy of it, and my son says “No, don’t ask her about it”.

Things have got really weird lately, though. The other evening he comes stomping out of his room, saying very angrily, “God didn’t make our food, he didn’t make the ocean, he didn’t make the seas, and he didn’t make my rainbow”. He then says “I’m so goddamn mad at God, he didn’t make my rainbow, I’m going to kill God, I’m going to kill Jesus, and I’m going to kill Mose” (not a typo, he said Mose instead of Moses). We say “That’s not nice, why are you saying that?” and he says he asked God to make a rainbow for him and his friends at school, and God said he was going to make a rainbow, but he didn’t, and he’s SO MAD that he’s going to kill God and chop him up (and he started miming doing fighting moves where he’s throwing someone down and doing karate chops on them). His big sister (7) told him that you can’t kill God because he’s already dead and you can’t kill a spirit. We told him that wasn’t nice to say and that God would be sad to hear him saying that, but he stayed in an angry mood for the rest of the evening.

The next day, he came in after playing outside and announced he wasn’t mad at God anymore. We asked him why, and he said that while he was playing on the swings, he saw God flying by, and he asked God about the rainbow, and God said that it was Jesus who made rainbows, and he’d talk to Jesus about it, and Jesus would try to make a rainbow for him. He seemed pretty happy about this, but a few hours later he’s mad again because Jesus didn’t make him a rainbow. He announced that he was building a trap for God so the next time God flew through our yard, he’d get killed. His trap was some sticks with ashes from the grill on them stuck in the ground next to a puddle he had made with the hose, and he explained that the ashes on the sticks would burn god and make him fall down in the water and die. He said he was going to get some shark eggs to put in the water and the sharks would eat God. I told him that God made sharks too, and that the sharks would probably just thank God for making them, but he said he was going to make the sharks mean. He then waited outside for God to fly by but he never showed up.

The next day he was still mad and my wife made him feel better by spraying the garden hose so it made a rainbow and pointing it out to him, and told him God is always making rainbows but sometimes he’s making them in parts of the world where he can’t see them. He hasn’t mentioned anything about being angry at God anymore but he re-built his trap yesterday after I took it down.

You got a weird kid with one hell of an imagination!

If it were an adult doing these things, I might worry. But kids have active imaginations and can have very active fantasy lives.

If it were an adult, then I’d consider the possibilty of schizophrenia. But that disorder is rarely diagnosed prior to adolescence, and in males usually first manifests itself between ages 18 and 25.

More on (very rare) childhood schizophrenia here and here. From the first:

God traps? That’s a new one.

“Be vewy, vewy quiet! We’we hunting Gods!

<shrug> When I was in kindergarten, I had my teacher absolutely convinced that I had ten dogs. (I mean, we lived out in the country, so it wasn’t implausible.) I was rock-solid on their breeds, names, dispositions, whatever. It was only discovered when we actually got a dog and I wanted to bring it for show and tell, and the teacher said to my mom I could only bring one.

“God season!”

“Jesus season!”

God season!”

Jesus season!”

Then the last sign reads:
Buddha Non-Season

The law was very firm it
Took away my permit
The worst punishment I’ve ever endured
Turns out there was a reason
God was out of season
and one of the seraphim wasn’t insured…

I wouldn’t worry too much. (Although I think the bit with the hose was brilliant.) My daughter’s thing is spiders. Not scary spiders, spiders as the protagonists of her “stories.” We got to hear a good one this morning about a spider who is gluten intolerant, but he ate a bad bug with “glute” in it and got sick and threw up all over the table at a party and was very sad.

Guess who got glutened the other day when **BlueKangaroo **was over for a small dinner party? I’m sure throwing up on the table was very embarrassing for the 3 year old, and her telling her spider story is her way of processing that emotion, and letting us know she’s getting some mastery over the experience.

It sounds like your tot might be dealing with some issues around promises not being kept, or maybe the power struggles that all kids feel when they start attending school and there are other people telling him what to do all the time. I’d do a quick inventory to see if he feels like the grown ups around him are breaking “promises” (and remember to a 4 year old, “Maybe we’ll go to the zoo sometime” can feel like a promise), but other than that, it sounds like things are well in hand.

Suggestion for the God-trap, though - let him dismantle it himself and rebuild it tomorrow if he wants to. Tell him it’s not safe to people to have that up in the dark, so he’s got to take it down before dinnertime, but he can build it again tomorrow if he wants to. Puts him in control of the construction, but also the destruction.

This is just brilliant. Your wife is brilliant. I see where the kid gets it from. Raise him right and he could entertain a lot of people with that imagination.

I used to lay out bobby traps to catch Santa.

6 of 1, half a dozen of the other.

Well that was your problem. Bobby traps only catch bobbies. You should have made a Santa trap. :stuck_out_tongue:

My wife thinks it’s because he’s trying to be the alpha male, but he is frustrated because he can’t really challenge me, so he’s going after a father figure that’s in a position of power but doesn’t have a history of punishing him.

He figured out God & Jesus aren’t at his beck and call. Bet he figured the same thing out about his parents.

Better watch for traps.

Maybe he’s having doubts about the existance of God. I used to ask God to show me a sign that he existed. The usual one was “Turn the ceiling of the church red.” and when that didn’t happen then “turn the roof red but so only I can see it.” as it was unfair to expect him to give everyone else a shock. The final one, sadly, “make next door’s cat come alive again – pleeeease.”

I’m not a believer now and I understand why the failure to perform as asked is not proof either way. I know that doubts can start young, maybe it’s time for some serious theological talk!

Edited to add I like your wife’s Alpha male theory.

You could tell him the truth about rainbows, god and Jesus.

Could be. You didn’t name him Oedipus, did you? :smiley:

What’s the bag limit on God(s) anyway?, any approved hunting equipment? Archery, black powder, or standard long arms?, or is a more high-tech approach called for, like Proton Packs and Ghost Traps?

Are God(s) good eatin’? what’s Godison (like Venison) like, or is God best fillet’ed? do they make God Helper breaded coatings?