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Would you send your children?

Imagine you have a child with a disability. You have no family close by to help with the care--it's just you and your husband. Babysitters are hard to find--both because of the cost, and concern that your average teenager might not be equipped to handle caring for a child with disabilities, and your child might not be able to communicate what he or she needs to the babysitter, or let you know if something went wrong.

Now imagine a group came up with a wonderful idea of offering parents one night a month where they could drop off their child with disabilities, and any siblings, up to age thirteen, for one-on-one attention on a Friday night for up to four hours.  This group has a nurse on hand, an outdoor playground (fenced), different rooms set up with various activities like crafts, sensory activities, movies, music and movement, and a quiet room if a child becomes over-stimulated.  They are very caring adults who offer this free of charge, simply because they know how difficult it can be for parents of children with disabilities to find proper childcare, and rarely have time when they're not "on duty".

Now. . . imagine that this group is set up in a place of worship for a religion that is very different from your own beliefs.  They do not say that it is only open to families of their place of worship--in fact, they open it to anyone who has a child with a disability.  You are assured that it isn't for the purpose of indoctrinating children into their faith, it truly is intended to offer parents an evening of respite.  You learn, though, that many of these activities involve singing worship songs, coloring pictures of their religious symbols, and being told stories about their religious figures, maybe even from their religious text.

You are concerned about the confusion this might cause your child/ren.  What would you do?  Would you politely say, "Thank you so much for offering this much-needed service to our community, but we do not subscribe to your faith, and we're concerned that some of the activities might confuse our child, so please involve him/her in non-religious, more secular activities."? 

Would you shrug your shoulders and convince yourself that the evening of respite is necessary, and four hours of your child being exposed to these stories and songs will probably not cause too great of confusion?

Would you not send your child because it seems hypocritical to take advantage of this group when you don't believe in their religion, and you really don't want to risk causing confusion for your child?  (Remember, your child has a disability, and may have cognitive or communication difficulties, so trying to explain your religious differences might be very difficult)

What would you do?

Answer Question
 
jsbenkert

Asked by jsbenkert at 11:54 AM on Feb. 9, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 37 (89,331 Credits)
Answers (46)
  • confused

    sherribeare

    Answer by sherribeare at 11:55 AM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • honestly keep my child at home and ask for help with in my own church
    cara124

    Answer by cara124 at 11:58 AM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • i would keep my child home i wouldnt trust people now and days
    mykids44

    Answer by mykids44 at 12:00 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • If you do not agree with the beliefs then don't send your child.
    Misteh

    Answer by Misteh at 12:00 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • For me, I think its good for people..of all ages to learn at least a little about different religions..so I dont think that would really bother me.
    kimberlyinberea

    Answer by kimberlyinberea at 12:00 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • I wouldn't send my child. Singing religious songs, coloring religious pictures and reading stories about their religious figures from religious books all equals indoctrinating children, imo. So either they are lying about their intent or they are lying about the activities. Also, being religious is no guarantee they are "caring."
    SuperChicken

    Answer by SuperChicken at 12:02 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • I am thinking about doing this with my children. I am Atheist and the local Baptist church offers this. I think exposure to different religions is great!
    ashisamom

    Answer by ashisamom at 12:02 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • That's tough....If I needed the break, and it was my only option, I'd probably take it, honestly....I've sent my kids to stuff that other religions offer, and often wonder if I've done the right thing...I allow my kids to explore and have their own beliefs, but others taking advantage of this and trying to indoctrinate my kids has been a problem....but sometimes I've had to make choices for my sanity....and that sounds like one of those situations.....
    Anna92464

    Answer by Anna92464 at 12:02 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • I would take advantage of the care. I have no issues with my little ones learning of different faiths and if they taught something different we could just have a discussion as to why we do not believe a certain way. I want my kids to learn that there is different choices out there and they have to wind up choosing what they believe to be the right path.
    Melbornj

    Answer by Melbornj at 12:03 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • That's a hard one. It would really depend on a lot of circumstances. I have chosen not to sign my son up for the mom's day out/preschools in this area because they are all run by churches (most fairly conservative). If they had one at a liberal church (and we lived in the city where there are more liberal universalist churches), then I would more likely to consider a program there. I did ask a friend who has her son in one of the Baptist mom's day out programs (and she is Christian but another denomination) and she said they do talk about Jesus each day but they don't pressure him about anything specific to their denomination in her opinion. In most ways it seems like any other daycare to her. I said I would consider signing him up later, but I decided to keep him home for now and join a local mom's group for activities instead. If I had to work and couldn't afford regular daycare, I might consider it though.
    pam19

    Answer by pam19 at 12:06 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

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