kids & atheism, etc
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07-05-2014, 11:06 AM
kids & atheism, etc
So, this past couple years I have been more focused on religion and the role it plays in not just my life but that of my kids. Before I just really didn't care all that much either way about it. I ignored it. But this past year, different things in my life (local elections, my YEC in laws, neighbors, etc) I've started taking a bigger notice. I started listening to the TTA podcast, reading, coming here and over the past year I have become more and more vocal about how religion well, just isn't right.

At the same time, my kids have heard parts of the podcasts in the car, or listen to Cosmos, or we just get sucked into these deep conversations about religion because of my inlaws, or my believer husband, or the neighbors and friends. When questions come up, I tend to give my opinion and explain why I feel the way I do. I encourage them to ask questions. And vice versa, I ask them questions about their opinions and listen to their explanations as well.

But I see the topic of religion coming up 'all the time' now. Almost like we aren't discussing other things. Not only is it boring, but I don't want to have them being little militant atheists. Trying to find a balance. So I've decided to consciously just kind of dropping the topic with them....moving on to other things.

My oldest, (almost 11). She calls herself agnostic, because she knows that calling herself an atheist will get her shunned by friends at school. The youngest (almost 9) flip flops on me, one day she talks like an atheist, the next she is embracing the woo. She tells me that she doesn't know. And that is always answered with a statement of its ok to not have the answers, and its ok to change her mind later on.

Earlier this week, my youngest came to me and was telling me about the conversations she was having in the backyard with the neighbor boy, who goes to church regularly. From what I could tell she had some questions about god for him. Poor kid probably didn't know what hit him, she was giving him all sorts of arguments when he would answer a question that she asked. She was asking about where we came from. He gave the god did it answer, and she hit him with the god of the gaps argument, pointed out other errors in reasoning, on and on. I was just shocked when she was telling me all of this.

Yesterday I was painting the downstairs bathroom. My youngest is out back playing with the neighbor again. I hear the back door open up and she yells a question at me.

daughter: Mom!
me: what?
daughter: Is it true that we are made from stardust?
me: yes!
daughter (quietly): see...told ya. (said to the neighbor boy that I"m guessing was standing there with her.)


so, I guess she is figuring things out for herself. I am expecting a call from the neighbor boys mom soon. Confused

I hope other parents will share how these conversations go with your kids.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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07-05-2014, 11:34 AM
RE: kids & atheism, etc
(07-05-2014 11:06 AM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  So, this past couple years I have been more focused on religion and the role it plays in not just my life but that of my kids. Before I just really didn't care all that much either way about it. I ignored it. But this past year, different things in my life (local elections, my YEC in laws, neighbors, etc) I've started taking a bigger notice. I started listening to the TTA podcast, reading, coming here and over the past year I have become more and more vocal about how religion well, just isn't right.

At the same time, my kids have heard parts of the podcasts in the car, or listen to Cosmos, or we just get sucked into these deep conversations about religion because of my inlaws, or my believer husband, or the neighbors and friends. When questions come up, I tend to give my opinion and explain why I feel the way I do. I encourage them to ask questions. And vice versa, I ask them questions about their opinions and listen to their explanations as well.

But I see the topic of religion coming up 'all the time' now. Almost like we aren't discussing other things. Not only is it boring, but I don't want to have them being little militant atheists. Trying to find a balance. So I've decided to consciously just kind of dropping the topic with them....moving on to other things.

My oldest, (almost 11). She calls herself agnostic, because she knows that calling herself an atheist will get her shunned by friends at school. The youngest (almost 9) flip flops on me, one day she talks like an atheist, the next she is embracing the woo. She tells me that she doesn't know. And that is always answered with a statement of its ok to not have the answers, and its ok to change her mind later on.

Earlier this week, my youngest came to me and was telling me about the conversations she was having in the backyard with the neighbor boy, who goes to church regularly. From what I could tell she had some questions about god for him. Poor kid probably didn't know what hit him, she was giving him all sorts of arguments when he would answer a question that she asked. She was asking about where we came from. He gave the god did it answer, and she hit him with the god of the gaps argument, pointed out other errors in reasoning, on and on. I was just shocked when she was telling me all of this.

Yesterday I was painting the downstairs bathroom. My youngest is out back playing with the neighbor again. I hear the back door open up and she yells a question at me.

daughter: Mom!
me: what?
daughter: Is it true that we are made from stardust?
me: yes!
daughter (quietly): see...told ya. (said to the neighbor boy that I"m guessing was standing there with her.)


so, I guess she is figuring things out for herself. I am expecting a call from the neighbor boys mom soon. Confused

I hope other parents will share how these conversations go with your kids.

Lol!

I'll be proud of my child coming has those kind of conversations with the neighborhood kids.
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07-05-2014, 01:11 PM (This post was last modified: 07-05-2014 01:16 PM by Charis.)
RE: kids & atheism, etc
I'd probably just remain as neutral with the neighbor kid as possible, and let your own child do the talking. You might get a call, but there's nothing the parents can really say against you for your child holding a certain view and her and the boy having discussions over it.

I suspect my martial arts instructor is agnostic. We live in a heavily Christian area. He was teaching some of the really little kiddos about safety yesterday in the Lil Dragons class. One of them said,"and, and, but... Jesus is in the sky... and he's in the sky and won't let it happen. He's in the sky and will make it stop." Our instructor just said,"Well, no matter who's in the sky, we need to be safe, alright?" I think he played that very well. He stayed very neutral and even in a room full of Christians, there's not anything they could say against him, and yet he didn't affirm anything except logical precautions.

If it was a child of his expressing their views, he could use the same freedom of speech and expression argument that the Christians claim for their own kids, and say that his child isn't harming anyone, and the other kids are free to disagree with his kid, but he will let his child choose his own faith in his own way at his own time... and part of this includes discussing things with other people.

You might choose to do that. Donno. I'm kinda just typing as I think here, because I'm still trying to figure this one out. It's a touchy situation. But I thought I'd share what my instructor said, because it demonstrated a good safe strategy as far as our interactions with the children of others. Our own kids are a different matter, of course. I mean, what would your neighbors expect if you were Muslims? Would they expect your daughter to talk like a Christian? No! Tongue so of COURSE she's going to reflect non-religious thoughts if she herself is non-religious. It's only logical, appropriate and expected.

A person very dear to me was badly hurt through a misunderstanding and miscommunication. For this, I am sorry, and he knows it. That said, any blaming me for malicious intent is for the birds. I will not wear some scarlet letter, I will not be anybody's whipping girl, and I will not lurk in silence.
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07-05-2014, 04:07 PM
RE: kids & atheism, etc
I just wanted to say it sounds like you are doing an excellent job. Thumbsup

I hope that the world turns, and things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that, even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you, I love you. With all my heart, I love you. - V for Vendetta
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07-05-2014, 07:57 PM
RE: kids & atheism, etc
I agree with Smurcury44. I think your kids are lucky! Thumbsup
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08-05-2014, 06:53 PM
RE: kids & atheism, etc
What's interesting to me is that kids seem to gravitate toward reason when presented with the alternatives. It would be interesting to see a study of mixed families like yours to see where the kids end up in their belief.

Since we live in a very religious place my kids are quiet about it. It's too bad that we still have such a long way to go to make reason socially acceptable.
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