Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

9 Bumps

Do you teach them to keep it to themselves?

Between the other 2 questions (about the hypocrite mom and the one about indoctrination) this is what comes to mind. If you believe in indoctrination from birth, because your religion is integral to your way of life, do you also indoctrinate your child to keep that faith to himself? Do you have one of those 2nd graders who tells their classmates they are going to Hell? Is your kindergartner the one who stares at the Muslim kid all day and refuses to hold their hand or stand by them in line? Is your teenager the one who cyberbullies the non-Christians on MySpace? More simply, is your child the one terrorizing other kids with out of context bible stories that they don't fully understand, and instead sound similar to 9/11 or Katrina in the retelling to a child's mind?

One more - had this thought ever even occurred to you before you read this question?


Asked by NotPanicking at 12:46 PM on Jul. 14, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (40)
  • One more - had this thought ever even occurred to you before you read this question?

    Yes, I am an educator and see this more than I should. There is a time and a place for everything and it bothers me when children are not taught this at home. I am a believer BUT my views have no place in school. Too many children impose their views on others-religious or otherwise. Its OK to live your life as you believe but children should not be imposing their will on others at school. I have kids that think they should be able to say "this sucks" at school because its OK at home-their parents back them up and argue with me about it... the goal is creating a comfortable environment for all and learning what it means to be part of a larger group.

    For me, yes-my children are well versed in a time and place for everything-do they make mistakes-sure-but its not something I think is OK.

    Answer by soyousay at 9:47 AM on Jul. 15, 2010

  • I don't think that it's fair to assume that your only two options are to teach a child to keep their faith to themselves, or that they will end up being really pushy and dogmatic about it. Someone can be strong in their faith and allow that to be known without pushing their faith on others. I think it is fine for children who are raised in a given religion to share that with others and that can be done without being rude or pushy. They don't have to keep it to themselves as the OP suggests.

    For the record, I am not religious and I am not raising my kids in a religion. I don't have a problem with their friends or classmates sharing their knowledge of their faiths with my children.

    Answer by riotgrrl at 12:53 PM on Jul. 14, 2010

  • My daughter didn't even know she was white until some little racist pointed it out... she came home in tears and I asked her, well baby, what color did you think you were? and she looked at her beautiful little tanned arm from swimming all summer, and said, kind of brown.

    We approach religion the same way around here... there's this thing in the Bible that says God has many names. that even traces back to original language pretty well. That's what I believe. So while my kids their bibles together, it's not a forced thing...

    I'm going to hear it on this one, i know it.

    Answer by lovinangels at 12:51 PM on Jul. 14, 2010

  • I think you're taking it a little far. Not all religions that indoctrinate from birth are intolerant of others. I know plenty of religiouus families that teach tolerance as well as faith.

    Answer by rhianna1708 at 12:51 PM on Jul. 14, 2010

  • We have many wonderful and open minded mothers on here! I've seen the children you're talking about and my little pagan kids have had to find out for themselves how not tollerant some people can be. That being said, my husband is a Catholic as are my step sons and they are wonderfully opening minded people. Even my Southern Baptist grandmother who is convinced me and my Buddhist mother will be going to Hell doesn't say anything to us. We discuss religion, just not personal religion. You can't teach a child tollerance, it has to be shown, they will emulate what they see. Parents who are always saying negative remarks about other faiths can't undo what they've done by telling their children, "to each their own honey" the kids remember what they see, not hear. Actions speak louder than words. BTW, I thank people who preach to me, they care enough to try to "save my soul",

    Answer by Cassarah at 1:04 PM on Jul. 14, 2010

  • Since my children are "being indoctrinated" in a religion whose tenets include respect, tolerance, and diversity, as well as social justice and environmental responsibility... I'm okay with them sharing that with other children. Because part of the indoctrination is that we can all learn from each other, and that everyone has inherent value, and that how we live and interact with others matters more than what we believe about god, I'm pretty sure that they'll be nice and open-minded about it.

    I don't enjoy that one of their friends told them about Hell, in a way that we don't agree with, but it opened up some interesting conversations, and my daughters ultimately came to a conclusion that was satisfactory to them, and even though it wasn't what I believe, seemed beautiful and meaningful, and I encourage that.

    Answer by Collinsky at 2:51 PM on Jul. 14, 2010

  • We dont believe in telling anyone they are going to hell. After all, it is not up to us to decide that. We also do not teach them to Judge or to push our faith on others. However, if someone asks them, they will tell. Or if someone says something false about our religion they will correct them. My Children will be free to befriend whom ever they want(as long as we approve. I mean I dont want my children hanging out with a bad crowd, ya know) but the other persons religion would not even come into play, unless they are the ones trying to push, or telling us we are wrong.

    And yes, we teach them from birth. I don't see why or how wewould not. Our faith is the foundation of our home, it is a part of our everyday lives.

    Answer by RheaF at 3:06 PM on Jul. 14, 2010

  • All I know is my ds has been told numerous times since he was the age of 3 that he would go to hell by his fellow 3 yr old christian friend. I was sitting there at the time that it happened, and it was clear this child had ONLY been taught about his god. NOT about respecting and showing compassion for their neighbors. He only knew what he had been spoon fed, (the literal words from a book) and not taught that there is a right way and a wrong way to tell others about his god.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 3:52 PM on Jul. 14, 2010

  • My children are proud to be Jewish. They won't accept food that it's not kosher, for example. And they don't do it because I've threatened them or brainwashed them. They see how their dad and me hold to those standards and respect those laws and they wish to do the same. So no, they don't keep it to themselves. But they certainly don't preach to others. We have raised them knowing that this are OUR beliefs and OUR way of life and others don't follow it and everyone has to be respected. They, for example, understand that our neighbors celebrate Christmas and Halloween and they're very respectful of that. It's not that hard to teach a child to be proud of who he is while respecting what others are.


    Answer by momto2boys973 at 4:01 PM on Jul. 14, 2010

  • I am a non religious person so I teach my kids to respect everyone and treat everyone equally. Just as I would want to be treated. Also I teach them not to hammer their beliefs (you know the beliefs a 4 yr old princess has... ALL girls should wear pink and if they wear green they're trying to dress like a BOY! lol) into other kids. That everyone has their own ideals in life.

    Answer by Memigen at 12:49 PM on Jul. 14, 2010