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Thread: What will you tell your kids?
December 19th, 2013 09:36 AM #21
I was raised unchurched, my husband was raised Reform (Christian), but neither of us feels a connection to the rituals or beliefs of the Protestant faiths. Before we got engaged, but when we knew things were going that way, we sought out a religious home where the beliefs we did have were honored, the questions and doubts we had were respected, and the wisdom of many faiths was drawn upon in worship and religious education. We're Unitarian Universalist now. We look forward to raising our children in a church where they'll be free to question and learn about lots of different faiths, but will have the guidance and support of a community of people who share some core beliefs about helping and caring for one another and acknowledging the things in this life that are beyond our full understanding.
As for holidays and celebrations, our church and the people in the community have a lot of them, and we've enjoyed learning about what days and events are holy to people of different backgrounds. I hope our children will come to enjoy some of them as much as we have. We celebrate Christmas and Easter with our families, but enjoy attending our church's Passover seder and have come to consider the Winter Solstice/Yule the real start of the holiday season for us. It is our hope that by introducing our children to a variety of celebrations and traditions, they'll grow up knowing that coming together, sharing what we have, helping those who are not as blessed as we are, and talking about the mysteries of life is what it's all about.
December 19th, 2013 09:49 AM #23
We don't have children yet, but my husband and I are both Christians; our faith is important to us and part of our daily life. I plan to discuss faith and God with our children on a regular basis, not as something special that comes up once in a while. However, since we have family who are Jewish and live in a very multicultural city, we will also discuss the fact that other people believe different things and we respect that and don't need to fear or look down on people who have other beliefs.Miriam ~ Helena ~ Estella ~ Beatrice ~ Anastasia ~ Veronica ~ Sarah ~ EstherPaul ~ Wesley ~ Walter ~ Edmund ~ Isaac ~ Abram ~ Gabriel
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(Still) trying for baby#1
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December 19th, 2013 11:35 AM #25Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2011
That is awesome to hear!
And as to your second point, yes, absolutely. We have many friends who have different faiths and many friends who are atheists or agnostics. We will explain other religions to our son and teach him to be respectful of other people's faiths and lives and decisions. We are called to love all people, and we teach him that, too.
We believe that what we believe is true, so we present it to him as the truth. Our church does not do infant baptism, and the decision to be baptized as an adult will be his own.
December 19th, 2013 01:21 PM #27
So similar to our house!
I am a protestant Christian, I have been since a young age. I grew up in a Christian family, but made my own decision to become a Christ-follower. My husband's parents became Christ-followers when he was six or seven, and made the decision himself to be a christian when he was a teenager. He now is a pastor! Our kids are still pretty young, but we plan to raise them according to Scripture. We do not force the Gospel down their throat, we don't force them to be Christian. Once they are old enough to articulate the Gospel, they can decide if they want to follow God. They come to church with us, we have daily devotionals, but we aren't going to pressure them to conform.2 littles calling me Mommy, Waiting on #3 & 4 through our first adoption
Zev (15.06.09) & Koa (25.04.11)
December 19th, 2013 06:08 PM #29
My kids are going to be raised Catholic because my husband is Catholic, and he's very proud of his heritage and attached to the traditions he grew up with (even though he isn't always 100% behind the church, when it comes to political-type things...). I think it will be nice for our kids to have that connection with his family.
I am a Christian, but I have never belonged to a church (attended many, but never became a member) and don't identify with any particular denomination. And I refuse to choose one, even though my husband would like to convert me LOL! I just personally don't like how divisive it can be. I believe the vast majority of people, regardless of religion or lack thereof, have mostly the same values (as far as love, acceptance, forgiveness, etc.). We complicate things a lot and take attention away from what really matters by separating ourselves into these little groups over minor differences. I just don't like that.
Even though our kids will be "culturally" Catholic (baptized, attend Mass, Catholic school, etc.), we're not going to raise them to be ignorant about (or disrespectful of!) other beliefs or ways of life. My husband majored in Anthropology in college, so he's really interested in and knowledgeable about many different cultures and languages and religions. And we're both on the same page as far as being concerned above all with the moral development of our kids, not "religion". They'll be smart enough to make their own way in life.
As far as how we will teach our children, I can't say for certain. Our daughter is only 1 1/2. She's a bright little thing, though. She loves books, so we read a lot, and she definitely picks up a lot more from the books we read than I expect. She constantly surprises me. Right now it's little things like recognizing something that's a diamond shape in a different context or being able to tell me what sound a hyena makes, but someday I'm sure it's going to be more profound things! LOL! I have a degree in education and a special interest in children's literature, so I do choose our books with care and many times a lesson in mind. I also believe it's important for parents to model through their words and actions how they want their children to be, so if you want to raise respectful, tolerant, thoughtful kids, then you need to embody that yourself. I think we do a pretty good job, but we'll of course be more mindful as she gets older.
I think some people worry way too much about what they're children will be (i.e., atheists not wanting their children to grow up to be religious, or Christians not wanting their kids to grow up to hold different beliefs, etc.). I think we should focus a lot more on raising them to be the type of people we can trust to make these decisions for themselves, rather than trying to shelter them from all the things we don't personally believe in. I remember when I was in elementary school, it was around this time of year and our teacher read us a book about Hanukkah and one of our classmates who was Jewish brought each of us a dreidel and taught us how to play with it. My uncle (who is very religiously Christian) was extremely disturbed by it for some reason. He really is a good person, but I think (and thought at the time, even at that young age) that it was very intolerant of him. And almost insulting to me, too. To be worried that one school lesson that was simply meant to be fun could potentially change my entire faith? Jeez!Mommy to...Maura Lucille and Patrick Donley (coming soon!)
If we have another...
Seamus Arthur or Brigid Ellen