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What do you tell your children about religion?

I am not a Christian. I used to be, but found as I grew older that I did not agree with the doctrine, or the Bible as a whole.

I recently enrolled my daughter in Preschool. One of the best in the city. It happens to be Apostalic. I was told when I enrolled her that the only Christian based teachings they did was a single Bible verse in the mornings. Recently my daughter has been talking about Jesus, and "praying."

Again, I am not a Christian. I do not believe Jesus is the son of God. I am, if anything, polytheistic, and still learning about other religions.

So, what do you tell your children in regards to God? If you are a Christian, this question is not really for you. If you are not, please, tell me what you do in this Christian country we live in...


Asked by mrskrisher at 1:01 AM on Jan. 12, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 15 (1,889 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (20)
  • It may take until she is a teen before she picks a path, but, the church is awesome...they teach EVERY religion but focus on those that aren't bible based. They have a big ceremony once the kid is a teen where the kid announces to the church his chosen path. LOL...there are all religions there. Even Atheist.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 1:08 AM on Jan. 12, 2011

  • I told mine about every religion and let him pick the path for himself. I even took him to a Unitarian Universalist church to help him decide.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 1:03 AM on Jan. 12, 2011

  • Hopefully, we'll be able to raise DD as religiously-neutral as possible. But as NP pointed out above...we may have to do some damage control at some point.

    Answer by MamaK88 at 11:48 AM on Jan. 12, 2011

  • Well. he is 14 now. The church has classes for little ones and you can teach about many religions even to 3 year olds. LOL

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 1:07 AM on Jan. 12, 2011

  • We originally intended to tell him nothing until he asked and then teach him about all of them and let him decide. Unfortunately, other people took that option away from us by not teaching their kids to keep it to themselves. So far, his religious education has been trying to walk through the mine field of explaining why we don't believe what his friends at school assume EVERYONE believes, without saying it in a way that makes him outright question their religion. (even though some days I'm sorely tempted to let him at them)

    Answer by NotPanicking at 1:36 AM on Jan. 12, 2011

  • My oldest daughter is only 7, and it was only recently that she asked about Jesus. Up until then I had only given her a general explanation of my own views about God which are very open-minded as is. I told her the story of Jesus and what he means to the Christian religion. I explained that I have a slightly different view of Jesus, and that's it's okay to have different views about such things. I just basically have begun to say, "This is what such and such religion believes, and this is why I agree/disagree with it, but everyone's beliefs are to be respected." I'm just trying very hard to raise my kids to know that spirituality doesn't have to fit inside a box, but it can be difficult because I have some pretty devout Christians in my family that are less than open-minded about my personal beliefs. It's a difficult balance to keep, teaching them spiritual open-mindedness without disparaging other beliefs in the process.

    Answer by KelleyP77 at 2:03 AM on Jan. 12, 2011

  • I'm also a former Christian, and was thinking of not telling him anything unless he asked--then we'll say here's what we think, some people think this, etc. However, the area we live in now is generally much more conservative than the area I grew up in, and people tend to approach people they don't even know with proselytizing messages, so I may want to teach him about many religions so he's prepared for this. I do have a bedtime storybook about Buddha and I still have a children's Bible from my own childhood, but haven't really read much from them yet. He's only 2, so the only thing that has come up is related to his obsession with birthday parties. We were putting up the Christmas tree, and he said, 'It's a birthday party!'. We said, 'Not exactly...well some people believe it's a birthday party.' That was the extent of it. I'm also planning to check out a UUA church about an hour from us when he's a little older too.

    Answer by pam19 at 9:11 AM on Jan. 12, 2011

  • We tell the kids that different people believe different things about whether or not there is a God and what that God might be like, and what happens when we die, but that no one really knows for sure, and we encourage them to think about what they believe.

    Answer by Freela at 9:51 AM on Jan. 12, 2011

  • "I'm also planning to check out a UUA church about an hour from us when he's a little older too. "

    I would LOVE to find a UUA church to take my kid to, especially since I've heard many have classes on different faiths, but the closest is over and hour and a half away. Hopefully we'll be able to move again before he gets too much older to somewhere where there is one closer by. My husband (who is also a Christian Universalist) has gotten to a place where Christian churches just don't really do it for him anymore, so I'm hoping a UUA church would be something he would enjoy as well. Not that I want to pressure him into it or anything (I'm not one of those who believes you HAVE to have a church of some kind), just that I think it would be neat to explore together as a family, and I'm hoping it would be something we could enjoy as a family, if you get what I mean. :)

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 10:51 AM on Jan. 12, 2011

  • I tell them nothing until they ask.

    My oldest is nearly 7, then I have a 4 1/2 and nearly 3 yr old.

    The subject doesnt come up much and when DH and I discuss spiritual things the boys tend to not pay attention LOL.

    If subjects come up we tell them how we feel and go from there. Death is really the only topic that can have a religious/spiritual tone to it thats come up.

    They know we believe in a God/Goddess and my oldest will talk about them from time to time but overall...they just dont really care yet.

    Like I said before...when the questions come, we answer. I used to be Christian and am well versed in the beliefs to answer their questions as they arise. If they have a question Im not sure of we will look the answer up or they can ask their grandmother or aunts who are all still Christian.


    Answer by Amaranth361 at 10:54 AM on Jan. 12, 2011