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What To Tell The Kids?


kazza
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I was just wondering do people here intend to/have done...told thier kids outright that their is no god etc etc?

 

I feel like maybe i'm doing something wrong telling them 'this is the truth' because thats what my mum did to me only her version would be god and jesus and mine would be - evolution, highly unlikely there is any gods etc (i'm more or less atheist). Its like, i dont wanna do what was done to me but with a different set of beliefs if that makes sense? But then i feel like if i'm saying 'there may be a god - people have to decide for themselves', well then i feel like i'm giving xianity more credit than it deserves somehow...

 

I hope i am making sense here! Any thoughts anyone?

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How about just telling them the truth?

 

Parents generally try to instill their values in their children. The truth might be stated something like, "Most of your friends were taught to believe in some kind of god. We haven't seen any evidence that a god exists, so we don't believe in gods. Some people don't need proof, but decide to have faith anyway because it makes them feel better. There are lots of choices, but you will eventually believe what makes sense to you."

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Just tell them what you believe and why (depending on age) whatever you do don't force it on them. Let them try what they will, and be a guide instead of pushing them where you want them to go. If you you're a dick and say or act like "we know there is no god, you can't believe in god" they're more than likely going to rebel and get sucked into christian "love". Just let them know that they can choose for themselves what to believe, and that you will love them no matter what they choose to believe in or how they choose to express those beliefs. Truly unconditional love is a great anchor against christianity taking too deep of roots

 

You can't really control what they will do, as scary as that is, but trying too hard will likely have result in things turning into what you don't them too (christianity)

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But then i feel like if i'm saying 'there may be a god - people have to decide for themselves', well then i feel like i'm giving xianity more credit than it deserves somehow...

 

I see what you mean because it can be a slippery slope from a general conception of a god to believing a "revealed" religion but you can talk to them about xtian/other religion counter apologetics. One argument I like is here: The Argument from Locality

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I think the best course is to just introduce them to a whole variety of religions around the world, throughout history, and compare them to xtianity, giving it no special treatment but to say it happens to be your country's most prominent religion.

 

I was surprised to hear Christopher Hitchens say that he never told his own children what he believed (even if they'd find out eventually) because he didn't want to influence their thinking.

 

But it's true that kids, early on, are going to take after you whether or not you intend it. And the beliefs they come to on their own are going to be generally healthier and more valuable than anything they believe for being told to.

 

I think some people might need to be religious for a time in their life, so I'd be fine with it if I raised kids who turned out xtian. I've done my job as long as I've given my case and allowed them to question me on it.

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Thank you all for your input - its helpful to get clear in my head what i want to say - its like i cant quite find the right words to say cos i'm a little caught up in the fear of 'indoctrinating' them - I was hyper controlled and well and truly indoctrinated as a kid and i so dont want to do that to mine - its kinda like i wanna tell them the truth, but its my truth and i want them to find thier own truth...how florduh expressed it was spot on.

 

flockoff - that was a good point - about some people needing to be religious for some period of time, and also what you said about that i can only do my bit then let it go.

 

Falloutdude - yep i agree, unconditional love definately the goal!

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How about just telling them the truth?

 

Parents generally try to instill their values in their children. The truth might be stated something like, "Most of your friends were taught to believe in some kind of god. We haven't seen any evidence that a god exists, so we don't believe in gods. Some people don't need proof, but decide to have faith anyway because it makes them feel better. There are lots of choices, but you will eventually believe what makes sense to you."

 

 

That's pretty much the way the wife and I handled it. My kids are pretty skeptical when it comes to religion. They do tease me about neglecting their cultural literacy, though, since I failed to expose them to the Bible and all their friends know the Bible stories.

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I just answer their questions when they ask. My 5 yr old asks about death and I say "it's part of life - it's the end part." she asks if we will ever see the deceased again. I say "I don't think we will, but nobody really knows for sure, sweetie." My husband takes the kids to church but lets them skip it when they don't feel like going. The older kids 11,12,13 know I don't believe in god anymore and the 5 year old is still trying to figure it all out - she's confused that some people go to church and some don't, and that mom doesn't think there's any such thing as god. I tell her lots of people believe lots of different things and they have to make up their own minds. I tell her everyone gets to think for themselves. A good resource is the book Parenting Beyond Belief. There is a practical guide that goes with it; I think it's called "Raising Freethinkers."

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