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What to tell the children?

Forum: Atheist and Agnostic Parenting


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November 16th, 2006, 01:14 AM
Mommy2jnd's Avatar Super Mommy
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Just curious as to what beliefs (or lack of) everyone is going to instill in their children? Will you raise them atheist/agnostic? Or be open to letting them choose their own faith? Myself, my children will know where we stand on religion, but I will answer any and all questions I can about other religions, and if they find one different from ours, I'll be fine with that.

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November 16th, 2006, 10:19 PM
Number_3's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I'm pretty much of that same mindset. I personally feel it's not my decision to make for them. It's my job to educate them and afford them opportunities and room to explore. I can teach morals/ethics without religion and dogma.
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November 19th, 2006, 01:56 PM
quietsong's Avatar Just Another Slacker Mom
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Being agnostic, I'm not against the idea of religion, a lot of it just doesn't sit well with me. We're going to teach our son, and other other children we have, what we believe and why and answer any questions he may have about other beliefs as well as we can. From there, he can make an education decision. We'll be teaching morals and ethics, but they won't be "because God said so" and whatnot, just because it is the right thing to do and the right way to be.

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January 25th, 2007, 08:28 PM
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DH and I are both Agnostic.. so we will answer any questions about why we chose that path. And teach them about ALL the religions, and let them choose what faith they want to follow.
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January 27th, 2007, 09:09 PM
Story's Avatar French Canadian
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I am very interested in religions.
When my kids will ask me about "faith questions", I will teach them how the people of each great religion is thinking and let them think what they want.

Of course, I will raise my kids with my spirituality, but I will let them choose their faith..

I think it's important..

Mom to Maèva (11), Nadjat (9) and Klaus (5)

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February 20th, 2007, 01:02 AM
*kyle*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I will raise my children to view religion in it's human context. Religion can be approached from a historical and sociological standpoint. Why do some people believe this and others that? How is religion "handed down" from generation to generation? What needs do religions serve for people?

I would like to accompany my child to services at different worship sites, to compare and contrast. I would also expose them to books that approach the sociological implications of religion, the same as I would for any aspect of human culture.

My children will know how DH and I feel as atheists and why we feel that way. They will also be taught to be respectful of other's beliefs as other's believe in what fulfills their needs.

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February 20th, 2007, 02:21 PM
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We have officially decided to go with "tell it how it is" approach until they are old enough to think rationally and logically for themselves. This is a newer development for us; we were going with a "whatever they decide" approach. We will tell them how we see the Bible (insert other texts, but most likely their questions will concern the bible) is a collection of stories. We will talk about how logically most of these cannot be true.

We don't want them to be exposed to any indoctrination until later in life (our oldest is almost 4). They will , however, be taught to respect people's beliefs and how to act in places such as churches or religious gatherings (our family is very religious).

Our change on this was brought about by an incident with my niece. We were watching "The Prince of Egypt" and the part about the death of the first born came on and she said "this part is just make believe." I then realized that my brother had been telling her that certain parts of the bible (the less "nice" parts- such as killing innocent children) were made up but the rest is true.

I don't want to be like that with my kids. So, straight up, we decided to tell them that these are stories and explain why we believe like we do.
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February 24th, 2007, 01:18 AM
*kyle*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I then realized that my brother had been telling her that certain parts of the bible (the less "nice" parts- such as killing innocent children) were made up but the rest is true.[/b]
Oh, how confusing for her! I don't understand how people can justify this kind of thing. Picking and choosing which parts are "true" and which aren't.

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March 22nd, 2007, 12:11 PM
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We stay as far away from talking about religion as posible right now. He knows that there are books that try to teach people values but that people miss read them a lot. We've done engilsh to spanish to english to spanish to english to show him how thing get messed up. Anything he asks we answer as non-biased as possible. We want him to start exploring all types of religions as he grows up.

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June 12th, 2007, 12:00 PM
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This was a HUGE topic in our house for awhile and DH and I are both agnostic so when my then 6 year old asked questions like, who made the world, who was the first person on earth, how did they get here, and where do we go when we die we were floundering. Our first explanation was, we don't know and we can all just make good guesses that make sense to us.

I however had been raised with no religious background at all which is good, but I had no exposure to anything besides the God and Jesus stuff that creeps in all around. We looked into a couple of different options and found the Unitarian Universalist Church. They have no specific faith, they celebrate all walks of life and faiths and are more of a spiritual community. They have atheists, buddhists, christians, agnostics, humanists....everyone is welcome to celebrate and explore together. We joined for the children's education programs but then stayed for us, turns out we actually liked it! My son who is four doesn't really get anything out of it yet but my daughter really enjoys learning about different points of view.

Hope this helps!
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June 18th, 2007, 09:23 PM
tanya74's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Hey all, I'm new here and skipping around a lot of the boards to see what's going on.

Anyway, to the question at hand. I have a DS who just finished kindergarten and is asking this stuff right now. He wants to know why we don't go to church when his friends at school do, are angels real, etc. Well, I have tried to explain as much as a 6 year old mind can comprehend, but I tell him what DH and I believe (we are atheists) and why we don't attend church, etc. I did tell him, however, that everyone can believe whatever they want and not to tell his friends they are wrong. If, when he is older, he decides to go to church and find a religion that suits him, then that will be fine with me.
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June 26th, 2007, 09:12 PM
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This is a hard one for me. Until about a year ago this have been avoided with my oldest. I have avoided the whole issue with DS. I consider myself agnostic and DH considers himself atheist. My family are want to be catholics. You know the type. They go to mass maybe once a year, they pick and choose which teachings they want to follow, and their proof that God exist is because the bible says so. I told them before my feelings on religion. My mom and siblings went off on me. Ever since them my mom has been doing things like buying Issac picture bibles and talking to him about Jesus and Mary. This week she is taking her kids and Issac to the vacation bible study (mainly because it gets her kids out of her hair for a few hours a day) I let him go because I can't handle the drama she is sure to cause.
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July 24th, 2007, 12:55 PM
christy1108's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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This is something that is going to be difficult for me because I am agnostic and DH is a non-practicing Catholic. My mother is a hard-core Bible beater, which is where the problem lies. DH and I agree that we are not raising our daughter in any religion, but my mom is going to try and force her beliefs on her. It will get ugly, but I will stand my ground. I was raised without religion and turned out fine. My mom got remarried ten years ago to a southern baptist and has never been the same. We will celebrate Christmas and Easter, but the emphasis will be on Santa and the Easter Bunny and, as she gets older, we'll explain the history of the holidays. We'll answer her questions and let her choose her own path.

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