Through people at my work I have become aware of a man who has recently died.
Before I go on, I want to say this: I am saddened by this man passing away. I wish it would not have happened, but such is life. This man had a son, a young son. This also makes me sad.
Back to the story.
This young boy is in a soccer league. Before his father passed he hadn’t scored a goal in several games. 2 days after his father passed he decided to return to his soccer league. This was a great decision on the boys part. From all accounts of the game this little boy played his heart out. He scored a goal. That must have been great for him.
Here is my problem; His friends and family (who are very religious) have made the claim to the little boy that his deceased father and God guided his feet to score the goal.
This is ludicrous and preposterous for several reasons. And I believe it does more harm than good.
1: It Takes the credit away from the little boy.
Rather than saying that the boy played well and that his father would have been proud, it tells the boy that he didnt really score the goal. Instead, his fathers ghost and god did. They need to build up this boys self-esteem and confidence by giving him the credit when and where it is due. Taking away that credit and attributing it to the supernatural is just wrong.
2: What happens when the boy has a setback, not only in sports but in his general life?
The young boy now has this “wonderful” notion (and I am sure it is comforting to him) that his father is with him. When this boy has a setback he could now believe that his father wasn’t there for him. Leaving him with another dose of abandonment feelings. First from the passing of his father, and second from when he expected his dad to “guide his feet” into scoring a goal or whatever feat the young boy is trying to accomplish.
As I said, I am sure it is comforting for the young boy. But over time isn’t it better to deal with the child in real terms? Explain how death really happens and why it happens rather than giving the boy false hopes and teaching him to rely on the supernatural? In reality this child will not score goals in every game, not win the prize every time. If his dad helped him out that one time, why not now?