Childrearing

Parenting A Reincarnate: My Daughter Says That She Has Lived Before

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My daughter has had a variety of experiences when it comes to religion. Well, that’s not accurate. She’s been exposed to a variety of Christian religions. I would like to introduce her to other faiths as she gets older. But so far, she’s attended Mass routinely with my husband’s very Catholic family. She’s gone to Brethren services with my grandmother. She went to a Methodist pre-school last year. It’s a lot of different denominations, but all of them are Christian. So how exactly did my little girl learn about reincarnation?

Brenna is four-years-old, but she has an extremely strong view about faith. And for the life of me, I cannot figure out where it comes from. My daughter believes that when you die, you’re born again. She routinely refers to the times before, when she was a grown-up. She talks about past and future lives with a certainty that I find truly astonishing.

For a while, Brenna’s belief that you “become a baby again” seemed like a joke to people. After all, she’s aware that the elderly often need help taking care of themselves. She’s watched myself and my mom care for her great-grandparents. We tried to explain that it wasn’t exactly an appropriate way to phrase things.

Then, it became really clear that she was referring to reincarnation. She’s never known that as the name for it. She doesn’t really assume it needs a name. It’s just what happens in her mind. You’re born. You live. You die. You’re born again. Even though she’s learned about God and heaven, it hasn’t changed her mind. And while there are other key principals to reincarnation that she hasn’t discussed at this point, such as karma, it doesn’t change the premise of her very confident view.

I have to admit, my daughter’s idea has made me question my own faith. There’s something about the certainty of a child who comes up with an idea on their own. It’s easy to write her off as having a vivid imagination, which she does, or repeating something she heard when I wasn’t paying attention, which is possible. And yet, there’s something about her simple explanation that makes me respect her opinion.

Every once in a while, Brenna will tell me a story about the times before. “The last time I was an adult,” she’ll explain, “I didn’t like driving a car.” In those moments, I sit and wonder where the opinions are coming from and how she can be so sure. But even though my mind is racing and analyzing, I don’t challenge her statement. I like hearing her discuss her beliefs openly.

For my daughter, reincarnation is just a fact of life. It’s one she completely accepts. And that security, whether it changes as she grows or remains constant, is something that I admire. It’s something that I wish I could channel at times, when I get pessimistic and doubtful.

I want to continue to expose my daughter to religions outside of Christianity. I want her to learn about different faiths, different beliefs. It’s possible that all that knowledge will lead her right back to where she started, confidently stating that she’ll be born again after she gets older. It’s possible that her views will change and adapt. No matter what, I’ll support her. No matter what, I’ll always be a little more faithful for having seen my little girl confidently stand by her beliefs, whether anyone else shared them or not.

(Photo: Photosani/Shutterstock)