Raising Children in religion

wil

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a "hot topic" from another post I thought was interesting.

The basics of the question is two folks of differing beliefs, how do you raise the children?

Now I know folks who think raising kids in any religion to be a form of child abuse....

Should there also be a question if two folks of the same belief, be it Christian, Jewish, Muslim, whatever... Be questioned as to how they should raise the children?

Molding a young persons mind into believing as their parents... Is that an issue to anyone?

Can we explore?
 
I have a friend, she and her husband were both raised Christian, who is actively exposing her kids to a variety of religious faiths while they're still young (8 and 5 currently). She'd like for them to both end up Christian, but she believes that if she doesn't expose them to other religions now and lets her kids pick, that they're more likely to reject Christianity down the road as having been forced upon them.

I don't have kids, so I haven't thought much about this from my own perspective. Simply as a discussion had with parental friends.
 
I have no kids of my own either, but my grandnephew lives in a Christian/Hindu household. The way he's taught is, one God, two different perspectives. While he's been encouraged to believe in God, neither faith is pushed very hard nor one over the other. He's also been made aware that there are other religious perspectives beside these.
 
Should there also be a question if two folks of the same belief, be it Christian, Jewish, Muslim, whatever... Be questioned as to how they should raise the children? Molding a young persons mind into believing as their parents... Is that an issue to anyone?
Can we explore?

My wife and I raised four children.... The first was adopted and then we had our natural children. We raised them in the Baha'i Faith. We also had a weekly meeting where the children contributed their ideas and asked questions. As they matured we had them exposed to various temples, churches, synagogues, mosques around where we lived. They usually had a summer school as well. Around the age of fifteen they could declare their faith or not as they chose. I think this arrangement worked for the most part and gave them a good background and example for later life.
 
The topic that started this, the young lady who has a Muslim boyfriend, a few expressed concern of his desire to raise kids in his tradition...

Why is that?
 
I don't think the concern was being raised Muslim. At least mine wasn't. The concern was that the young lady in question was being led to believe something other than what was likely to take place. Namely that she or any resulting children from said Christian/Muslim relationship would have a say in what religion they were brought up in.

Going by various clues presented in her OP and subsequent posts, it seemed very unlike to me this would be the case and that their relationship would be decidedly one sided should they choose to pursue it.

Now, if she's ok with that, great. No problem. If however she commits to said relationship, because she's been led to believe otherwise, that's a different matter altogether and cause for concern.
 
In my case, if you've tracked my biography dotted across this forum, I met my beloved when we were both members of an 'esoteric society'/'cult' in the 70s.

At some point she became aware of my cradle Catholic heritage, she said she knew there was 'something going on'. Hers was a middle class alternative/arts background, so, so different from my working class conservative Catholic upbringing.

When we left what had by then become a cult (btw, 40 years later we are the only couple we know to have remained together) she was jaded by the discreet misogyny of an organisation that regarded itself as 'chivalrous' but was actually promoting a male ideal of the feminine. But my disillusion left me with a hunger for something, so I took to Platonism and, quite by chance (or was it?) stumbled upon the Sophia Perennis and thence back to what many I suppose many would assume to be hard-core traditional Catholicism.

My beloved, being a 'no faith' agnostic, free-thinking, feminist campaigner for social justice, had 'issues' (to say the least) with institutional Catholicism, but never stood in my way on my way back to the faith of my birth. I dallied with Soto Zen for a bit, but it was never really going to get off the ground, even though she told me: "You're more Buddhist than you care to admit." It was her idea I do a degree in Catholic theology, and she supported/suffered me through a very time-intensive five-year programme, which meant Glastonbury without me ...

All the above as background as to why, when kids came along, it seemed clear to me that to raise them Catholic, something I would have to insist on as it was not her religion of choice by any stretch, would place a perhaps intolerable strain on the relationship.

We did look at Catholic junior school, but she found the emphasis on discipline (the reason why so many non-Cats want their kids educated in cat schools) and the presence of a crucifix in every room, oppressive. (We have Greek icons at home, focussing on transfiguration rather than crucifixion.)

Anyway ...

Long story short, our kids have not been raised in any tradition, but hopefully to love their neighbour. Our youngest has come to mass with me, and she did theology and philosophy at university, although her thesis was on Buddhism, she steered away from Christianity!

So my kids have not been raised in any faith, but they understand and defend me in mine, which I think is as much as I might ask for.

As for the rest, I have spoken to the Boss. I have explained we come as a package deal ...

+++

As an aside, from where I stand I would say the idea of an education in all traditions equally is a bit of a nonsense. You can either do one, or none. You can touch on morals and ethics, which is usually as far as the 'everything' goes, but that falls far short of what the religion is about, and you'll never do an adequate job of the rest, and end up just serving all of them equally badly.
 
So my kids have not been raised in any faith, but they understand and defend me in mine, which I think is as much as I might ask for.
Indeed.
As an aside, from where I stand I would say the idea of an education in all traditions equally is a bit of a nonsense. You can either do one, or none. You can touch on morals and ethics, which is usually as far as the 'everything' goes, but that falls far short of what the religion is about, and you'll never do an adequate job of the rest, and end up just serving all of them equally badly.
I do cautiously agree here. Can you effectively teach all aspects of every religion? Probably not, but I think, in addition to teaching your child what you believe and why, you can at least hit the high points of other faiths and make them aware of the alternatives. I think that's especially important when parents practice two different religions.
 
Can you effectively teach or fully indoctrinate in all religions? Hell no, but one can take folks to the buffet table, so as their taste buds mature they may choose their own favorite cuisine.
 
I'm reminded of the times you've told us about how your father refused to go to Church with your family. Would that also count as indoctrination?
 
I'm reminded of the times you've told us about how your father refused to go to Church with your family. Would that also count as indoctrination?
It wasn't until I was 8 or 9 before I thought that wasn't normal and started asking questions... He also didn't go to a Hindu temple...or a Mosque... was that indoctrination? How could it be? Dang him for forcing me not to goto church... when I quit going to church he indoctrinated me into gardening, house repairs, painting, swinging a hammer, wood work...
 
It wasn't until I was 8 or 9 before I thought that wasn't normal and started asking questions... He also didn't go to a Hindu temple...or a Mosque... was that indoctrination? How could it be? Dang him for forcing me not to goto church... when I quit going to church he indoctrinated me into gardening, house repairs, painting, swinging a hammer, wood work...
So showing by example is not indoctrination?
 
As for the rest, I have spoken to the Boss. I have explained we come as a package deal ...

Love that attitude!

Okay, so the ‘young lady in question’ has arrived.

Why would it be indoctrination if you teach your children what you believe? There’s a reason you follow a certain religion or a certain spiritual path, hopefully because you think that’s the right thing to do. Why would it be bad to teach your kids that. You want the best for your kids as well right?

Off course, the kids should not be forced to believe certain things and should be able to choose if they would like to continue with your path after a while
 
So showing by example is not indoctrination?
Is it to you? Is that the definition of indoctrination to you? Are all our friends, family, everyone we meet indoctrinating us all the time and we them...just by being?

I say Good morning... you say "Don't try to indoctrinate me!"?
indoctrinateverb [ T ]
US /ɪnˈdɑk·trəˌneɪt/ esp.disapproving
persuade someone to accept an idea byrepeating it and showing it to be true:

They claimed the teacher was trying to indoctrinate his students with ideas that were not democratic.

Are we derailing discussion for semantics or do you have a reason?
 
Love that attitude!

Okay, so the ‘young lady in question’ has arrived.

Why would it be indoctrination if you teach your children what you believe? There’s a reason you follow a certain religion or a certain spiritual path, hopefully because you think that’s the right thing to do. Why would it be bad to teach your kids that. You want the best for your kids as well right?

Off course, the kids should not be forced to believe certain things and should be able to choose if they would like to continue with your path after a while
Yes, the young lady has arrived!! I started the thread because most of these posters wish to raise their children in their belief...and had noticable issues "red flags" when you indicated your future husband would want to raise your children in Islam.
 
Okay, so the ‘young lady in question’ has arrived.
Welcome to the mad house...:D

Actually, teaching anything, religious or otherwise could be considered indoctrination. Especially where uncritical acceptance is expected. That in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing though.

Found this interesting 'Did You Know?' on the Merriam-Webster web site.

"Indoctrinate simply means "brainwash" to many people. But its meaning isn't always so negative. When this verb first appeared in English in the 17th century, it simply meant "to teach"-a meaning that followed logically from its Latin root. The "doc" in the middle of indoctrinate derives from the Latin verb docēre, which also means "to teach." Other offspring of "docēre" include "docent" (referring to a college professor or a museum guide), "docile," "doctor," "doctrine," and "document." It was not until the 19th century that "indoctrinate" began to see regular use in the sense of causing someone to absorb and take on certain opinions or principles."
 
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Actually, teaching anything, religious or otherwise could be considered indoctrination. Especially where uncritical acceptance is expected. That in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing though.

Found this interesting 'Did You Know?' on the Merriam-Webster web site.

"Indoctrinate simply means "brainwash" to many people. But its meaning isn't always so negative. When this verb first appeared in English in the 17th century, it simply meant "to teach"-a meaning that followed logically from its Latin root. The "doc" in the middle of indoctrinate derives from the Latin verb docēre, which also means "to teach." Other offspring of "docēre" include "docent" (referring to a college professor or a museum guide), "docile," "doctor," "doctrine," and "document." It was not until the 19th century that "indoctrinate" began to see regular use in the sense of causing someone to absorb and take on certain opinions or principles."

Okay, but when you say it like this then you could not raise kids without indoctrination. Simply because you learn your children during their youth.

That indoctrination actually means something else does not necessarily mean that the explanation stays the same over the years. Nobody will say that they indoctrinate their children by buying learn-alphabet toys, but they are teaching their children through the toys.

The point isn’t in what indoctrination means, I guess. But what the main population seems to think that it means. A lot of people do think that is means something like brainwashing instead of teaching and they use it to subscribe persons who want their children being raised in a believe. So, why would raising your kids with your believe would be brainwashing?
 
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