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Thread: What will you tell your kids?
December 18th, 2013 11:15 AM #1
What will you tell your kids?
My SO and I are agnostic atheists, and we plan on teaching our kids about various religions and allowing them to choose for themselves what religion they would like to be a part of, if any. We don't really have a timeline set up for this. We figure we will answer their questions about religion when they are younger, as they are bound to hear something about God or Allah or Buddha when they start school.
I grew up in a religious household, and I always felt pressured to believe in God and be as "good" as the people I went to church with. But I just never could be like them, so when I was 17, I branched out and have been a lot happier since then. I don't want my children to feel like they are required to be a certain kind of person and that they have to believe certain things in order for me to love them.
I know religion is sort of a touchy subject, and I assure you, I mean no offense to anyone. I'm just curious as to what other parents are teaching their kids when it comes to religion these days.Vanessa
due with first child 08/17/14
caine, calloway, clark, boyd, declan, evander, flynn, graham, heath, ian, innes, jared, kent, kieran, lawrence, lewis, linden, marcus, oscar, rhys, robert, sage, soren, wade
anne, annika, anya, ashelia, astrid, augusta, beatrix, bonnie, catherine, cecily, clara, cordelia, della, eileen, elsa, eulalia, freya, helena, henrietta, india, jane, julia, linnea, liv, louisa, mabel, magnolia, margaret, margot, matilda, melanie, nell, rose, tallulah
December 18th, 2013 12:18 PM #3Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jul 2013
We plan to do things much like you, we'll wait for his questions and teach him that there is no right or wrong way. We plan to explain that there are many different types of mythology, some that a lot of people still follow and others with very, very few believers. We think this is the most respectful way to describe them. I don't want to separate 'theology' from mythology, they're the same thing, it's just a different time. It's just belief.
We'll explain extremism as it comes up, but make it clear that most people in our country really only pay attention to one type, and that all of the major mythologies have extremists and that while we will support him in any faith he chooses, he needs to pay close attention to what is being asked of him. Of course, we'll wait until he's a little older for that discussion.
I think the most important thing for us to teach him is that he must respect all beliefs equally. I personally believe that each form of mythology is true for the follower, and I hope to instill that sense of respect.Mommy to one Snug.
December 18th, 2013 12:43 PM #5
Interesting topic! I don't have kids yet, but my husband and I are also agnostic/atheist and were both brought up in Christian households. I'm sure our kids will be exposed to Christianity since we still go to church on Christmas Eve and sometimes Easter with our families. We plan to be honest about our beliefs (or rather lack of, I guess), but explain that some people find comfort and faith and religion and that they are allowed to decide for themselves what they believe. As far as them adopting a religion, they could attend church with their grandparents at any age, and we would support them in learning about other religions if they were interested. I'm not sure how it would work if they wished to formally convert to a religion other than Christianity, but I guess that the kids themselves could to look into that in their late teens or after they are 18 if they wish.
December 18th, 2013 01:01 PM #7Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
My DP and I are atheists and will just answer questions and say that 'some people believe in X' and this is what we believe. My eldest goes to school and has religion/ethics class, but we have asked that he doesn't attend church when the school goes (like tomorrow they are going for Christmas). Instead he attends a multicultural session where children who are not the state religion go instead of church. We do Christmas and Easter, but from a sense of family and seasonal celebration rather than the religious side. I am happy to talk to them about other religions as I looked into several before deciding that I was indeed an atheist and I am happy for them to make their own decisions in their own time as to what they believe.Mum to Mousie, Foo, Bumptious and Pudding.
December 18th, 2013 01:45 PM #9
pistachio, I agree with you on the theology vs mythology front. It really is all the same, whether its Christianity or Roman Mythology. It's a good idea to encourage your child to be aware of what his religion is asking of him. I would never want my children to be a part of something that pressures them into doing things that they don't feel comfortable with or believe in.
My husband and I also plan on teaching our children to respect each person's beliefs equally. People are people, regardless of their religion, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, etc. and we would like to instill the idea that everyone deserves to be respected in our children.
september - We also attend church with my parents and grandparents occasionally, so our children will be exposed to religion at an early age. They will definitely be allowed to attend with their grandparents, or aunts and uncles, whenever they wish.
malk - When our children are young we also plan to say things like, "some people believe that X did this and that, and some believe that X blah blah blah."
As for holidays, one of my cousins once asked me why I even celebrate Christmas if I don't believe in Jesus. I told her that there are other, non-religious aspects of the holiday, such as (like you said,) family, friends, seasonal celebration, and tradition. As a child, my family never had any religious traditions on Christmas or Easter anyway, so I never associated the holidays with Christianity.