I have noticed that there is a significance decrease in fear in our home since we adopted reason over faith. The kids are able to distinguish better between what is real and what is fantasy. We indoctrinated them into Christianity from birth (which I regret) but their beliefs are their own. At this point, the focus is entirely on critical thinking and the ability to make informed decisions for ourselves. We have shared the whole process of how our beliefs have changed, not in one long talk, but in the everyday interactions when it comes up. Over the last year, I’ve seen them start to evaluate situations and look for rational explanations.
My 7 year old son claims to be a universalist. He simply believes that all Gods throughout history are real. He thinks it’s funny the things that different religions believe and are scared or mistrusting of. We answer all his questions and he is working out for himself what he thinks. He still struggles at times with fear before bed but NOTHING compared to what he used to. And who could blame him when I was over there telling him there were angels and demons fighting over his soul or that the devil is real and there is a spiritual war going on that we can’t see, but this other entity that we can’t see (God) is more powerful than the invisible devil . . . HOW COULD HE HELP BUT BE CONFUSED AND SCARED??
It has always been easier for my daughter to dismiss things that are not real. She does not believe in monsters or ghosts. She has no need to sleep with a nightlight, no fear of the dark. She is 5 and says she still believes in God because we told her that God created her. She doesn’t have the same fear that my son has been working hard to let go of.
In short, a lack of God has led to a reduction of fear for our kids. Amazing how those two things are related.