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3 Bumps

A follow-up to "Religion and Children"?

How great of an impact do you think parents' beliefs have on their children? Many embrace their parents beliefs and follow suit, many others oppose their parents beliefs and do something quite different. But do you think it is possible for parents to not influence their children? And is that something to shoot for?

Answer Question

Asked by Airamana at 8:08 PM on Nov. 10, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 15 (2,282 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • I think that that is the direction that my husband and I have tried to go in. We explain what other people think. Saying some people believe in this that or the other but we do not tell them what we think. That is still influencing them. I grew up in a very religious household and it separated our family and that is the last thing that i want for my family. That is why we went in the direction.

    Answer by Melbornj at 8:13 PM on Nov. 10, 2010

  • Well, for me, my mother's beliefs had a great impact, however I don't share them. But because my mother is in a Minority Christian religion (JW) I was taught from little up never to buy in to propaganda about religion, but rather to find the truth before you judge. As for my sister, she's an "Apatheist" and far from religious in any way. But I would say again, my mother's religion had the same type of impact on her. We grew up knowing what it was like to be different because of religions, so we learned how important it was not to judge. My mother's strong beliefs and her paths obsession with "not being a part of the world" also taught me a love of research and history behind beliefs... So, yes, her beliefs shaped mine in quite a few ways, although I have never felt they were for me, I "rebelled" against JW & Christianity altogether from the time I was 6 or so, it simply wasn't the path for me, it wasn't in my heart.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 8:35 PM on Nov. 10, 2010

  • I don't know if it's possible for parents to not influence kids at all. If you have deeply felt religious beliefs, obviously they are going to influence many aspects of your life and your kids will pick up on that. I'm not making any effort to raise my kids to be Buddhist... but I am making an effort to raise my kids to be compassionate to all, to be mindful, to identify and master their emotions, to think of the consequences of their actions and thus to choose them thoughtfully. Those things are important to me, at least in part, because of the spiritual path I have chosen. If nothing else, if I am living my practice, then they are watching me live my practice, and I'm sure that has some influence because it is one factor that shapes the home they grow up in.

    Answer by Freela at 8:59 PM on Nov. 10, 2010

  • It is possible but rare. We are not religious but my daughter is a member of a church of her choosing and my other daughter is pagan by her own choosing...We never had any influence what so ever in their chosen beliefs and respect them because they are theirs and only theirs...however I know that we are a rare example

    Answer by 4_28_bbboy at 1:47 AM on Nov. 11, 2010

  • Everything you do or don't do influences your children, so no I don't think you can avoid influencing them. I want to share my faith with my kids, I think this lays the foundation for when why start forming their own thoughts about the big questions about life.

    I want them to be kind to others and see every persons belief system as important and valid to them. I want my kids to be strong in what they believe, even if it turns out to be different from mine. I just want them to feel secure in what they believe without belittling others, I hope that is the influence I've passed on to them.


    Answer by RyansMom001 at 6:43 AM on Nov. 11, 2010

  • I don't see how parents cannot influence their children at all. Either positive or negative, parents will always have some influence on their children.


    Answer by momto2boys973 at 4:25 PM on Nov. 11, 2010

  • I think parents are going to influence their children not matter what. I think the only way they could not influence them in terms of religion is to never talk about it, have no religious images, not bring their children to worship etc and I know if my parents had done that I would be a little hurt that they were leaving me out of a big part of their life. I also think it would be hard for most people to never ever mention religion at all even when they are home if they are around their children.

    Answer by MooNFaeRie30 at 5:32 AM on Nov. 12, 2010

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