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How Much "Sheltering" is Too Much?

I was talking with an elder and my pastor the other day about school curriculum and the things parents often complain about. It seems like the parents that want changes here or there want them specifically taylored to whatever their kid needs and believes and they're unable to understand that a school has to serve EVERYONE and by doing so, there has to be comprimise.

My pastor mentioned that people overly-sheltering their kids and trying to control any and all content that their children are exposed to is perpetuating ignorance and intolerance of others.

I'm going to go hear Bishop Elias Chacour. He also has the philosophy that if children are exposed (exposed to, not necessarily taught as "truth") to other beliefs and cultures early on and make friends, they'll be less likely to hate or fear others as adults.

What do you think?

Answer Question
 
NovemberLove

Asked by NovemberLove at 9:23 AM on Aug. 10, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 13 (976 Credits)
Answers (21)
  • This isn't a question about the Bishop but for those of you who do not know who he is, here is a little blurb from my church newsletter:

    "Archbishop Elias Chacour, Melchite Church of Galilee (Greek Catholic).

    An advocate of non-violence, Chacour travels often between the Middle East and other countries around the world. In addition, many visitors, fact-finding missions, and pilgrims have come to Ibillin. He has received several international peace awards. On March 10, 1994, Father Chacour received the prestigious World Methodist Peace Award, awarded annually by the World Methodist Council. On Feb 19, 2001, it was announced he was to receive the Niwano Peace Prize which he traveled to Japan to receive.

    (cont)
    NovemberLove

    Answer by NovemberLove at 9:25 AM on Aug. 10, 2009

  • Chacour is the author of two best selling books, Blood Brothers and We Belong to the Land. Blood Brothers covers his childhood growing up in the town of Biram, his development into a young man, and his early yearsas a priest in Ibillin. His second book, We Belong to the Land , recounts his work in the development of Mar Elias Educational Institutions, from humble beginnings to major schools for educating Palestinian young people and for helping to bring about reconciliation in a land of strife. This book has been translated into 11 languages."

    I believe he has either founded or is working on founding a school where Christian, Palestinian and Isreali children all learn together.
    NovemberLove

    Answer by NovemberLove at 9:27 AM on Aug. 10, 2009

  • I THINK YOUR PASTOR IS ONE WISE MAN, WE CANNOT KEEP OUR KIDS IN A CACOON FOREVER, THEY WILL ALWAYS BE EXPOSED TO THINGS WE DON'T NECESSARILY AGREE WITH, AND ALL WE CAN DO IS GIVE THEM OUR VIEWS AND MAKE SURE THOSE VIEWS WILL NOT DISCRIMINATE ON ANYONE ELSE. SHOWING COMPASSION FOR OTHERS EVEN IF THEY DIFFER FROM OURS IS ALWAYS A GOOD TRAIT TO TEACH OUR KIDS.
    older

    Answer by older at 9:33 AM on Aug. 10, 2009

  • I'm not sure where the line in the sand would be. And to be honest, I see many adults also "self-sheltering". For instance, my ex-SIL was a very devout born again and she was so upset by listening to people talk about their weekends on Mondays in her office (drinking, sex before marriage, etc) that she quit her job to work out of her home. She told me she just couldn't continue working with people like that and overhearing conversations (that didn't include her) about things she disagreed with. I thought that was so sad because she basically just shrunk her world down to suit her myopic view of what the world should be like.

    Anyway, I don't know the answer to this but the world cannot and will not change to suit those with very strict views on how ppl should behave. But building walls and trying to shut out the world shouldn't be the solution. I do agree that sheltering only leads to fear/misunderstanding.
    deadheadjen

    Answer by deadheadjen at 9:39 AM on Aug. 10, 2009

  • I do not believe in sheltering at all. I believe that by exposing children to all types of people on all types of paths (both religiously and secularly) prepairs them for a tolerant and happy life. I grew up in a home where my mother tried to shelter us from everything!!! It was horrid and lead to many issues through the years... I take every chance I have to expose my kids to other paths, traditions, beliefs and ways of life...
    SabrinaMBowen

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 9:42 AM on Aug. 10, 2009

  • Both of you make very good points.

    Letting your children be exposed to other children from different cultures or views doesn't mean you can't have a strong structure at home and let your children know what you think is right. One of the things I think the Bishop says is that by keeping children seperate from others, they're not making friends with others. Doing this perpetuates war as people who are friends are less likely to hate and go to war together. It's much easier to go to war with a person you've never met and you don't care about.
    NovemberLove

    Answer by NovemberLove at 9:46 AM on Aug. 10, 2009

  • i dont believe in sheltering either :)
    necro1134

    Answer by necro1134 at 9:47 AM on Aug. 10, 2009

  • I completely agree with what you and your pastor (and the bishop) said, and think this is a great post!

    I intend on teaching my son as much as I can about other beliefs, not only because I'm a Universalist and a syncretist, but also because I hope that it will teach him to respect and understand any religions he chooses to reject in his own spiritual development.

    =D
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 10:27 AM on Aug. 10, 2009

  • My aunt and uncle tried to shelter my cousins from the outside world and from all the "worldly" stuff. They thought the Bible was all they needed. The problem was that they didn't realize that they needed to still communicate to their kids about certain things. Needless to say the whole thing blew up in their faces later on as the girls go older. Also, my aunt and uncle have sheltered themselves and have really become intolerant. It's sad really.


    For several years my kids went to Catholic school. The school they went to not only taught about Catholicism during religion, but also other religions. They would actually bring in people of different religions to talk about what they believe. That was the one thing I actually like about that school...

    anime_mom619

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 11:31 AM on Aug. 10, 2009

  • Thanks to her over-sheltering parents, one kid I know will be lucky to graduate before she's 20. Eventually, kids need to be able to survive in the world. Too many don't realize that the ability to interact with different people is as vital to survival as the ability to add and read.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 11:32 AM on Aug. 10, 2009

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