Deciding What Religous Beliefs To Impose On Kids
Hello all, I just joined this forum last night..due to my perusing(spelling?) the net looking at wicca sites. no I'm not wiccan, I'm actually very undetermined as to my beliefs. I've not had a specific religion in my life since I was a child-catholic was what I was raised as..and was turned off for a lot of reasons I won't go into now. I consider myself to be very open-mined and agree with a lot of beliefs in some of the eastern religions and some of the earth-based(new age) religions, but I still hold on to the christian based befiefs I was raised with(I'm so confused!) anyway I have a 4yr old and 2yr old and have been contemplating for some time, just what do I teach them...anyone else out there going through or gone through the same thing...I wasn't sure if this post is in the right place or if it should go to parenting section also?
I spent a good deal of time searching for the "true" religion when I was younger. I attended many different types of churches in my quest. So, I know how you feel. My search ended one day when the missonaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints found me. :)
Hazyfox, this is a great topic! And in a good spot, too. :)
First of all, I respectfully disagree with the use of the word "impose," when what I believe I'm doing is teaching my child about sacred things, and doing so because it is commanded for us to teach our kids the gospel (if we are Christians, of course).
Second, the decision about what to teach your own kids should come from your own deeply-held beliefs about how/what/where/why the world exists etc. If you don't have any... well, then you first need to find out what you believe in; because if you have nothing to direct your own life, how can you teach your kids?
In my opinion, of course.
i agree with you farseer/roz about the word "impose", i regretted using it later. as far as my beliefs.. i believe in a higher power/entity/god, mostly due to my years of recovery from alchoholism & eating disorder and probably maturity. i've came a long way spiritually from my earlier agnostic days, but i think i still have a ways to go! i think my bible based beliefs from childhood will be and is what i will teach my children.i haven't been to a church in probably 15years, (excluding weddings & funerals),i will probably decide on a christian/non-denominational church nad just see how it feels. i do believe in the importance of raising your children with some degree of religion and church involvment..i think that i'm probably hanging onto some of the reasons i became agnostic in the first place... so much growth to do yet!! :) i want to have that strong, in the heart, to the soul feeling that so many people seem to have, seemingly without effort! hmmm
Hmm. I know it's weird that I'm posting here. But well, it's always nice to have a teenager air her views on matters such as these.
I'm a Catholic. My father and younger brother are Catholics. My mother's a Buddhist. Most of my close relatives are either Catholics, Protestants, Taoists or Buddhists. A lot of my friends are agnostics, atheists, Christians (of many different denominations, but we don't really see many differences) and Buddhists.
So, you can say that I grew up in an environment with people believing in something. Belonging to a religion - I suppose you can put it that way. I still go to church every Sunday, and I still consider myself a Catholic - although I'm not too sure if I agree everything with what other Catholics hold. Then again, what I (and a lot of people of my age) believe is that what we believe is what we believe - and that's what faith is all about.
Okay, anyway. (Yes, I ramble)
I do feel that a healthy religious environment is very beneficial to a young child. From experience, it has taught me to look at things in different lights, and think about a lot of things that go on in everyday life. I find meaning in my faith, and I do seek comfort in God when I need help. Yes. I do feel that it is important to instill some sort of faith in a young child because that will affect, in many ways, the way he or she grows up - especially so if his/her parents feel strongly about their religion.
But I don't believe in imparting "a religion" to a child. Because, frankly, I don't think that's right. Faith and beliefs differ from one another - there's no "best" religious belief out there. It's really what you believe in, what your philosophy is, and what you are looking for in life.
And the truth is, what you teach your child to believe in now might not be what they will believe in in a decade or so. First of all, external influences influence your beliefs, which might explain why I don't fully agree with all the Catholic teachings. Next, you might just become and atheist, or change your religion, because of the fact that the way you look at life when you're 7 and when you're 14 can be very different. Yes. I did say that religion affects the way you perceive things - but there are other things too, like peers, daily experiences, and thousands of other little things.
Besides, I've always held the belief that a belief cannot be imposed on you unless it really touches your heart. After all, it's your religion. It's what you believe in, it's your faith. If your religion doesn't touch your heart at all, it's very difficult to feel anything towards it, honestly. Well, yes, Bible Study classes and things like that do exist, but at times it just doesn't work. Some people just don't share what Christians believe, what Jews believe, what Buddhists believe, what Taoists believe, what Muslims believe, so on and so forth.
And when I grow up, I'll most probably take my child to church (because I believe I'll remain a Christian for the rest of my life, even if I do convert to another denomination) and tell him or her what Christianity is all about - but if he/she finds that Christianity is just not for them, then I really won't object at all. Let things take their own course.
|i want to have that strong, in the heart, to the soul feeling that so many people seem to have, seemingly without effort!|
|But I don't believe in imparting "a religion" to a child. Because, frankly, I don't think that's right. Faith and beliefs differ from one another - there's no "best" religious belief out there. It's really what you believe in, what your philosophy is, and what you are looking for in life.|
|QUOTE (tenaheff @ 2-Jul 04, 6:53 AM)|
|I agree with part of this statement and disagree with the other part. First, I do believe their is a "best" religious belief out there. Of course, I believe I have found it, but you don't have to believe I found it to believe one exists. If God exists, then he also has a plan for how he wants us to live and how he wants us to worship him. Whatever church espouses those beliefs and that plan would be the "best" religious belief. For example, if Jesus Christ really was who he claimed to be then the "best" religious belief would have to include that in their belief systems. If he wasn't who he claimed to be then the "best" religious belief would have to be one that doesn't include that in their religious belief system.|
|We say we do, because we believe in him. But you see, people may not see that - and they might not see Christianity as the religion for them.|