Words have meanings. That is understood, but humans don't always identify words to their dictionary meanings. Human experience is how children define words. And how these words are "felt" are the understood meaning. True communication means that one understands the individual's definitions, as well as the word itself.
Have you ever had a "reaction" or response to an event that went way beyond the actual event itself? Your emotions were "out of kilter"? Why do you suppose this happened? Memories that are recorded in the brain are "revived" by some "image" that parallels the present experience. One can have physical reactions to such experiences, whether good or bad. And such emotional responses have a lot to do with religious feeling.
How do you suppose that such "recordings" or "brain images" are transformed?
Children need nuture, not harsh discipline to grow to a fruitful maturity. Discipline should be age appropriate, and not demanding or overwhelming to the child. Childish fears should be respected, not by dismissing childish fears, but giving the child a means of self-responsibility. A flashlight that can be turned on if the "monster" invades his/her room, or a special "fairy wand" that makes a "magic space of protection, where the "monster" cannot see the child.
The religious child is trained to "pray to God" for protection and help. And the child's belief in "God's help" is really the parent's representation of "god" to the child. Good parenting should give the child a means to transferring his dependence on "god" (parental image) to "self".
Childish beliefs must be challenged, and children need to grow up to own their life, where fear doesn't inhibit healthy self-identity. Without self identity, the child will never grow to become and make a difference. He will be crippled and left to his childish imaginations where "monsters" (the Devil) invade his "world" and make bad things happen, or "God" invades his world and makes "good things happen".
Words have meanings and true communication means that individuals seek to understand the meanings, images, messages of the words that are used, so that understanding and true communication can happen.
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