God is not a concept or an idea or a belief system to children. Children are literal and concrete. They can only understand God as a person with whom they have a relationship.
One thing I find interesting about this approach children take to God is how they can attach to God in much the same way they attach to their parents and caregivers.
Dr. Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D. describes attachment as “the capacity to form and maintain healthy emotional relationships. This attachment, the emotional relationship, is not as easy to see or document, yet it is nonetheless as important for human development as the umbilical cord is in utero.
Babies are born ready to attach to a caregiver.
Researchers at the University of Dartmouth Medical School, embarking upon a study of infant attachment and child and adolescent brain development, reported that all scientific research now shows that from the time a baby is born the brain is already biologically formed to connect in relationships.
While an infant is experiencing delight in looking at the parent’s face, feeling warm bath water on her skin or being cuddled, the human spirit is doing its own attachment work within the young child. The human spirit is looking for a God who is able to know and be known. This “attachment view” of God underscores the personal relationship approach most children take to God.