Planting seeds in young minds
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
28-02-2011, 05:06 PM
 
Planting seeds in young minds
Problem:

So I'm marrying into a catholic family...

Everything is going fine so far, but I have a serious problem with lying to my future nieces about "god." The oldest just turned 8 and is starting to ask some pretty interesting questions on the subject. I was around her age when I began to question the beliefs of my parents/community as well. Her parents, the father in particular, is brainwashing the household and I can't stand it. Although it is his house and his rules, my fiancee and I have been babysitting a lot lately. I can overlook the ignorance of the parents, as they are beyond the point of reasoning, but I feel like I can help these kids.

Does anyone have any experience in this area? How can I influence her to continue questioning these stories and encourage her peers to do the same? How do I react if confronted by the parents? Their priest?

Help me help this poor girl!!
Quote this message in a reply
28-02-2011, 05:32 PM
RE: Planting seeds in young minds
It's more than likely that telling her anything other than her father's dogma would result in violence.

[Image: sigone_zps207cf92c.png]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-02-2011, 06:58 PM
RE: Planting seeds in young minds
I'll have to give this one more thought before I give an opinion.

I would like to say however, that saying, "It's more than likely that telling her anything other than her father's dogma would result in violence." is absurd. To assume someone you don't even know will react with violence based solely on their religion is as absurd as saying an atheist is immoral based solely on their lack of religion. I was disappointed to read that to say the least.

Just visiting.

-SR
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-02-2011, 07:43 PM
RE: Planting seeds in young minds
(28-02-2011 05:06 PM)Case Wrote:  Problem:

So I'm marrying into a catholic family...

Everything is going fine so far, but I have a serious problem with lying to my future nieces about "god." The oldest just turned 8 and is starting to ask some pretty interesting questions on the subject. I was around her age when I began to question the beliefs of my parents/community as well. Her parents, the father in particular, is brainwashing the household and I can't stand it. Although it is his house and his rules, my fiancee and I have been babysitting a lot lately. I can overlook the ignorance of the parents, as they are beyond the point of reasoning, but I feel like I can help these kids.

Does anyone have any experience in this area? How can I influence her to continue questioning these stories and encourage her peers to do the same? How do I react if confronted by the parents? Their priest?

Help me help this poor girl!!

Does he know you're an atheist? Is he comfortable with it? What you do should be weighted by these questions.

Every case is different, but my cousin has just started asking me some questions about it (he's 12 and from a VERY religious family). Right now I'm moving carefully as some of that side of my family is unaware of my atheism, but for the most part I'm just trying to plant some seeds of not accepting the default answer you're given by people and a hint of curiosity about how the world works. Hopefully it'll be enough to grow into skepticism, or at the very least push him towards an interest in college where he could further his skepticism.

But if you're looking for a method to get his blessings on what you're considering, try to further their interest in science. It'll teach them to question how the world works, and show them a way out of their faith. He'll support that they are becoming interested in school, and may not realize that they are on the path to skepticism.

Of all the ideas put forth by science, it is the principle of Superposition that can undo any power of the gods. For the accumulation of smaller actions has the ability to create, destroy, and move the world.

"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." -W. E. Henley
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-02-2011, 09:18 PM
RE: Planting seeds in young minds
I have mixed feelings on this. My gut reaction is that you should mind your own business and not interfere on how other people raise their kids. On the other hand, my kids have been taught about god, Santa Claus, etc., without me ever bringing it up. So, obviously other people have no concerns about spreading their views to my kids.

I do think if you interject yourself you could be setting yourself up for a very ugly start to your marriage. The most likely outcome is you don't see your future nieces any more, and you most certainly won't be left alone with them should the parents figure out what you're up to.

Have faith, though! (irony intended). Kids are smarter than we often give them credit for. I've never talked to my kids about god either way and right now they believe there is one. But, my youngest (he is 7) was asking me about "bad" germs the other day and why god would make something like that. It just didn't make any sense to him. I encouraged him to keep thinking it through. I think he's going to figure this out all on his own before I tell him my views on things, which would suit me just fine.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-02-2011, 10:26 PM
RE: Planting seeds in young minds
(28-02-2011 06:58 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  I'll have to give this one more thought before I give an opinion.

I would like to say however, that saying, "It's more than likely that telling her anything other than her father's dogma would result in violence." is absurd. To assume someone you don't even know will react with violence based solely on their religion is as absurd as saying an atheist is immoral based solely on their lack of religion. I was disappointed to read that to say the least.

I'm not too sure. In my experience interfering with how people raise their children is a big step on the way to violence, and even more so if they think you are trying to send their children to hell.

[Image: sigone_zps207cf92c.png]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-02-2011, 10:39 PM (This post was last modified: 28-02-2011 10:42 PM by Lilith Pride.)
RE: Planting seeds in young minds
It's always a really difficult position to see children being raised by others and decide what to do. If you step too far it tends to damage the kid after the parents remove you from their lives and agressively wipe out anything you said to them from the kids memory. Parents of all kinds tend to get offended when those they trust their children to influence them in ways that weren't agreed upon.

If she asks questions about real things give her some information she can look at on those real things so she can better decide on her own. If she asks philosophical questions, then the first thing to remind her is that, there are times and places to ask these questions because not everyone likes to talk about them. You can then let her know that you are more than happy to discuss with her, but generally treat her like a therapy patient and allow her to come to the conclusions with just small statements. If her conclusion isn't what you intended accept that for now it's fine and she might change her mind later.

And of course, BnW has a good suggestion as well. Letting her know that religion is only a small part of the world will help her a lot in gaining her world view. A big problem with the extremists is that they consider god to be everything. Just having strong interests in other things will help her to grow into her own. But make sure to enforce in her the fact that if she disagrees with religious statement that it is ok to argue, but if people get very angry she should accept their opinion for now. She's too young to really stand agressive arguments. The more she questions the more she needs to know it's ok to question, and part of that is teaching her safe ways to question.

But yes, you're not her parents so don't expect your actions to be the centerpoint of her life. Just do what you can without stepping on the family's toes.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-02-2011, 11:34 PM
 
RE: Planting seeds in young minds
It's a difficult situation, but if I were you I'd stay out of it. When it comes to how their kids are raised, parents might get protective and defensive and you don't know how they'd react. It could cause conflicts with your new family. The best you could do is be there for her, answer her questions honestly and as others mentioned, try to increase her interest in science.

You mentioned that you babysit with your fiance.. Check out this website. http://www.letstalkscience.ca/programs-a...ities.html
It has some really cool hands-on activities you could do (using cheap material you can buy from a local walmart). Try some activities for her age group (you could even try to sneak in 'How Evolution Works' Wink). Hope this helps.
Quote this message in a reply
01-03-2011, 12:14 AM
RE: Planting seeds in young minds
In the past, I've handled similar situations by telling the kids what native Americans and Hindus believe. If they are still curious, I'll contrast Christianity with Islam and Judaism. Finally, I'll contrast the various Christian dogmas. What you accomplish here is that you are honest and you plant the seed that "Catholic" teaching has its detractors without ever once even mentioning the possibility that all of them are actually wrong.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: