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Do you encourage free thinking?

I am starting a blog based on this subject and exploring different things in the world that we can think about in a different light. So, my question is this; Do you believe it is important to teach children to think for themselves? What harm, if any is there in teaching this?

If you do not teach free thinking, do you expect your children to be believe as you do? What harm could come from not allowing your child to be a free thinker?


Asked by jujubean1979200 at 4:12 PM on May. 9, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 23 (15,456 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (31)
  • I think it's important to teach our children to be thinkers, period. This can apply to matters of religion and faith, but also to love and relationships, career, parenting. I don't want my child to get in trouble at work because he blindly follows his boss without thinking for himself. Same applies at school, in a marriage, etc. I think it's important to allow your child, or even help your child when they are younger, to think things through and come to their own conclusions. Granted, it's hard not to hope my child concludes the same things I do on many issues since clearly I feel I have thought them out and come to the best answer, but that's the best answer for me and it may not be the same for my child. My job is to help her learn how to reach those decisions on her own, and to be confident in her choices. It's not an easy task, that's for sure.

    Answer by MaryMW at 4:30 PM on May. 9, 2011

  • yes. religion needs to be something one seeks out & feels a connection with, not just something you do b/c you're suppose to or its expected. i havent had any religious talks w/ my kids (they're too young) but we encourage my DD to think things out for herself. shes just now entering the "why" stage and we usually answer with "why do you think...?" its important for her to think about things & then want to find the answer then just us telling her the way it is.

    Answer by okmanders at 8:21 PM on May. 9, 2011

  • Yes, i sure do.

    I don't expect her to believe as i do, i tell her that all the time. I want her to be her own unique person. All i can do is be an example....

    Some people believe if their children are encouraged to think more freely, that they might stray from the path the parents are hoping they'd end up on....if that makes sense...

    Answer by samurai_chica at 4:17 PM on May. 9, 2011

  • Yep, I absolutely encourage free thinking. A child following a faith because they're "just supposed to", have been scared into believing, or are only go through the motions to make parents happy, isn't really following a faith. That's a path they have to find for themselves and they can't do that without learning as much as they can about how lots of different types of people experience faith. I'm Roman Catholic, fyi.

    Answer by Dr.Donna at 4:19 PM on May. 9, 2011

  • Yup, he can believe whatever he wants. I'm a spiritual believer - my son is currently going to a Christian school tho. I will withdraw him if the "God" stuff gets too much & starts to really impact his life (in a negative way that I feel is holding him back from experience life), but if he wants to believe more than I do than thats up to him. To each their own. But at the end of the day, I'm his mother & I have to make the decisions that I feel is best !

    Answer by loudnproud87 at 4:19 PM on May. 9, 2011

  • . My dd came home telling me her friend didnt believe in God ( im a christian ) so she asked him what he believed in and he told her unicorns. So i asked her do you believe in unicorns? She told me know mom they aren't real have you ever seen one? So i asked her have you ever seen God and she said no. So i asked her how do you know hes real then? She taught about it then said because hes in my heart. i told her to believe in God you have to have alot of faith and believe in what you dont see and its hard, I left it at that i dont want to push to much on her but just enough to where she will think for herself. Do i fear she will turn no her heart loves God i dont know how to explain it but i do want her to question and find her own truth. shes 6.


    Answer by whitenena at 4:20 PM on May. 9, 2011

  • I never make my children feel bad for communicating ideas and emotions with me. I am very determined that they are educated in my beliefs and to have respect for others beliefs.

    Answer by 2tinyhineys at 4:27 PM on May. 9, 2011

  • Yes, I plan on encouraging my child to learn whatever he can, to try to understand everything that he can. For example, I plan on educating my child on all of the religions of the world (to the best of my ability) and letting him make his own choice on what he feels resonates with him. As long as he makes an educated decision, or comes to his conclusions through earnest and honest understanding, I support him in whatever he does or believes - whether it's religious in nature or not (meaning, that I would support him even in areas outside of religion or non-religion). I care more that he understands how to attain, process, and apply information than whether or not he thinks just like me. I want him to have the tools to think for himself, and do hope to instill them in him.

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 5:03 PM on May. 9, 2011

  • I guess I am the only one going to say no....I will raise my children to be christian as i was is my job as a christian parent...

    Answer by doula-mom25 at 7:36 PM on May. 9, 2011

  • but they do think for them selves....they play and ask questions and want to learn so i think this question is weird and hard to say an absolute no would to have brain washed zombie kids kids think for themselves but i do teach them my religion

    Answer by doula-mom25 at 7:38 PM on May. 9, 2011