Help raising kids in conservative religious family

Discussions for education, teaching & parenting.

Moderators: Blip, The_Metatron

Help raising kids in conservative religious family

#1  Postby DanDare » Feb 28, 2010 1:48 am

From over in the welcome threads:

newbie76 wrote:Hi! Just joined today. I was alerted to the site by a post on Atheist Nexus. I am new to all that Atheism entails, and am trying to find the best way to tell my family and friends. I have a six year old little girl who is very curious, and would like to find tips on how best to riase her rationaly and still let her have her make believe. Any suggestions? :think:

newbie76 wrote:Thanx, Everyone!
Yes, I am from a VERY conservative, christian family. My little sis is in a christian college trying to get a bio-chem degree. She is still very much engrossed in the christian culture, and most in my family do NOT believe in evolution, and think that atheists are immoral and lost. So, I am having a difficult time trying to make some casual remarks tthat can lead to me coming out. I love my family, and do want them in my life. I've argued some general points with them, but haven't out right told them that I am an atheist. Thanx again!
Atheist. Ozzie.
Strange Flight
User avatar
DanDare
RS Donator
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 1900
Age: 59
Male

Australia (au)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Help raising kids in conservative religious family

#2  Postby DanDare » Feb 28, 2010 1:58 am

You should have a poke through the "Interesting links for Parents and Teachers" section.

A first step would be to disconnect religion and morality in your child's mind. To do that you need to teach your child ethical thinking skills, how to decide for herself what is "the right thing to do" in any situation, and how to question if someone else's idea of the right thing to do makes sense. This is an important skill for anyone who is not to be straight jacketed by someone else's thinking system.
Atheist. Ozzie.
Strange Flight
User avatar
DanDare
RS Donator
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 1900
Age: 59
Male

Australia (au)
Print view this post

Re: Help raising kids in conservative religious family

#3  Postby Godless Infidel » Feb 28, 2010 11:38 pm

I would say 'come out, only If you feel you need too'. You are not likely to change the mind of your relatives. There is no real hurry.

I would say the above except for this.
newbie76 wrote:I have a six year old little girl who is very curious,

You only get one chance at the formative years. Letting her know that you do not believe tells her that not believing is an option.

My Wife is a Christian. The kids (8 and 10) choose not to go to church on Sunday :) . I make sure they have this choice. They do choose to go to 'fun' church events. If there is going to be swimming and pony's they will probably want to go.

It is important to me that the kids know why Dad does not go to church.

Without getting preachy I tell them that lots of people have had many different ideas about religion and I don't think any of them know better then any others. If anyone claims to know for sure I think they are mistaken or lying.

Any further questions they have I will answer honestly. Anything less than honesty on this issue would make me an accomplice to the indoctrination process.
"Let it be remembered that all churches have persecuted heretics to the extent of their power. Toleration has increased only when and where the power of the church has diminished"
-Robert Green Ingersoll 1874
User avatar
Godless Infidel
 
Posts: 1019
Age: 8
Male

Canada (ca)
Print view this post

Re: Help raising kids in conservative religious family

#4  Postby King David » Mar 13, 2010 3:01 am

I would say that the best thing you can do for your children is to nurture their natural curiosity. I have a few ideas: Encourage them to question everything, even their most fundamental views. When they ask questions, try and find the answers. If you don't know, search for answers together. Have educational discussions with them and buy books about a wide variety of subjects, especially science and history. I also suggest buying books about ancient cultures and world religions. Take them to the museums, libraries. Go on nature walks and point out interesting phenomena to discuss. Go stargazing, or buy an amateur telescope set. Another important point-ask your children questions: "what do you think about that?" "why do you suppose the moon changes phase?" "where do you think life came from?" They may not know the answers but this type of dialogue will encourage them to think for themselves. There are so other many things you could do to instill a love of learning and critical thinking in your children. Of course, I am only 22 and have no children, so my advice only stems from my own childhood and the way my parents educated me.

For further research I suggest searching youtube for videos of the physicist Richard Feynman entitled The Pleasure of Finding Things Out. They are very entertaining and informative. I have been glued to my computer ever since I discovered them. In them he discusses in detail how his father taught him to question and love learning. It reminds me so much of my own father, one of the most intelligent people I know.

Hope my advice was helpful.
Nothing is so fatal to the progress of the human mind as to suppose that our views of science are ultimate; that there are no mysteries in nature; that our triumphs are complete, and that there are no new worlds to conquer. -Humphry Davy
User avatar
King David
 
Posts: 1483
Male

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Help raising kids in conservative religious family

#5  Postby Bolero » Mar 15, 2010 12:32 am

One thing I can add as a "don't" is to keep your principles intact and make sure you don't fall into the same trap as the religious people in your family: Don't tell your child that people who think differently are wrong. I think this is very important for children to understand. You are a freethinker, not someone trying to indoctrinate them into a different kind of faith. By all means give them your opinion, but, as has undoubtedly been said before on this and other threads, teach your child how to think, not what to think.

The other point here is that children can be stubborn, and reverse psychology is often a factor in their choices - saying something is wrong, especially if that something has lots of fun stories, songs and social events, can push them towards it.
"You live with apes, man: it's hard to be clean." Marilyn Manson
User avatar
Bolero
 
Posts: 1534
Age: 42
Female

Country: Australia
Australia (au)
Print view this post


Return to Parenting & Education

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest