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How should I bring my kids up, spiritually speaking?

My soon-to-be-husband is Christian and I am not as spiritual right now as I'd like to be, but I do believe my path is Wicca. A lot of our family feels strongly about religion as well, mainly being some form of Christian. In fact, my husband's mom gets them religious books, movies, and CDs for Christmas and birthdays all the time. I want my children to be open-minded, but not confused. How do I go about this? Do I initially raise them Christian and then introduce them to other paths, or do I try to keep their minds open from the start (at the risk of them being confused and I only know information about two religions myself!)? When answering this, please, I don't want to hear the personal feelings on different religions. That's not what I'm asking. And if you think Wicca is a "devil-worshipping" religion or evil in any way, don't answer this question. You need more information. Thank you to those who answer! :)

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MissLia

Asked by MissLia at 4:30 PM on Jan. 8, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

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Answers (10)
  • try to keep their minds open from the start

    Expose them to as many different paths as possible and let THEM decide.
    MamaK88

    Answer by MamaK88 at 4:33 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

  • Personally, my son is raised to come up with his own opinions. We talk about different religions, I let him know what he believes is perfect for him. I don't push him to go (or not to go) to church. I tell him about what I believe now, and things I have believed in the past. Don't make it too complicated.
    kitten_shuga

    Answer by kitten_shuga at 4:35 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

  • Answer any questions they have about religion. Teach them about the different religions and make sure they know that its a choice.
    SalemWitchChild

    Answer by SalemWitchChild at 4:36 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

  • This is a tough job for a mom. We want our children to follow our path, but while they are an extention of us, they are their own person. I am now dealing with this with my own son, whom is a teenager. I have raised him to believe in God, but this is not the path that he is now taking in his life. He believes he is an Atheist. Really all we can do is subject them to faith, but in the end they will choose their own path. All we can do as parents is support them in any choice that they make. As long as they are good people any choice they make is theirs and theirs alone to make. I have wrote a journal on my own stuggles with this topic.
    ronjwake

    Answer by ronjwake at 4:36 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

  • We've decided to go to the Unitarian Universalist "church" because they don't teach doctrine. They teach tolerance and peacefulness and respect. Christians and Wiccans are welcome. A "church" group is something we decided would be best for our kids to have a social network of people their own age who may practice faiths that aren't as popular.


    http://www.uua.org/

    ecodani

    Answer by ecodani at 4:42 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

  • I think you need to use the same methods as with any other thing we do as moms, give them all the information and options and let them make a good choice as they grow to understand fully.

    They will appreciate you support them but not pushing :)
    Fairegirl33

    Answer by Fairegirl33 at 4:42 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

  • I think because Wicca and Christianity as so different its going to be challenging. I think its important to teach your children to think and study for themselves but as a parent you need to be there to guide them. A lot of it depends on age. A 4 year old is not going to have the same reasoning abilities as a 10 year old so you don't want to put too much on them too soon. I think its really hard to teach your children about these things when your not even sure yourself (thats what my husband and I are going through). I believe in God and I believe that he can do great things. So thats what I teach my girls (6 and 19 months). I don't go into lots of details at their age. I think its great that you are so willing to expose your children to other beliefs than your own and give them the chance to make up their own minds. So many parents are not like that (both christian and non christian). I hope that all made sense! LOL
    Frogbaby83

    Answer by Frogbaby83 at 4:44 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

  • Just give them as much unbiased information as possible. Maybe regular library trips to get books on a certain religion bi-weekly. Visit different churches,temples and the like. Just let them know the world outside our borders.
    AngiDas

    Answer by AngiDas at 7:27 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

  • My dh and I are different faiths (I practice Buddhism and come from a Christian family, dh is an atheist from a Hindu family.) We talk to the kids about what different people believe- we feel it would be giving them a disservice to tell them that 3/4 of the family is wrong whatever belief system we choose to give them! The kids are 7, 5, and 3, and the older two already know a decent bit about holidays, beliefs, different ideas about the afterlife, etc. They aren't confused about anything, they seem to formulate their own ideas that work for them. My 5 year old seems to think the afterlife is much like our life except everyone is a skeleton! LOL! As they get older we will have lots more conversations and will support what they choose to look into. I do think this is something you and your dh should talk about... especially if you feel pressure from family. Being on the same page with dh is important!
    Freela

    Answer by Freela at 7:40 PM on Jan. 8, 2010

  • I am Pagan, my DH is Christian. My children are being raised without a religion but with religious "teaching" We are exposing them to religion though the stories and myths surrounding these religious paths as small children. As they age they will have a Christmas, Yule, and both understand and recognize Hanukkah and Kwanzaa (for example). They will be taught the difference between these days and the reasons for them. But will NEVER be told what is right or wrong. As an adult (or at least older child)they will be able to choose a path for themselves.

    I would say to you, that if you want to keep their minds open it's a simple job of keeping yours open. If they grow up in a house that sees no devil in Wicca, they will pick up on that. There are books of myth for children from many paths, use them as stories. THis will help them to understand the beliefs of others without ever being "taught" and will help to keep their minds open
    SabrinaMBowen

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 8:51 AM on Jan. 9, 2010

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