PBP: Children and religion

23 Aug


“Children and religion can be a touchy and sensitive topic. Some people believe in raising their kids in their own personal faiths since birth…others think waiting until the children are old enough to decide for themselves is best. This topic doesn’t have to specifically be about Paganism or Wicca…it could be about Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism, etc.
Do you believe children should be raised in the faith of their parents or allowed to wait and decide on their own? Were you raised in a religion that you are no longer part of? Has that changed or shaped the path you’re on today?”

Actually this topic has been on my mind quite a lot these past few days. See, a colleague is bringing her daughter to work because she simply has no one to take care of her during the day. A sweet six-year-old girl who loves spending time at the translators’ office because we are so coooool. (And probably because we have chocolate and a doll where you can remove the internal organs.) Anyway, this girl is from a rather conservative Muslim family. I like her mother, we have occasionally met outside of work as well. But of course every now and then the daughter asks questions or tells something where I have to take my own convictions out of the equation because she is not my child to parent. So instead of doing hour-long age-appropriate rants on tolerance, feminism, religion and general stupidity, I find myself saying things such as, “I bet you know Christian children who are nice, and Muslim children who are mean, right?” or (as reply to her leafing through a medical dictionary and going, “Ewwwww, that woman is naked, how gross!”), “But I bet you are naked as well when you change your clothes, and that is not gross at all, right?”

(And all the things I could say instead! I feared my head might explode.)

I think it is next to impossible not to raise your child according to your spiritual and ethic believes, but I also think you should not force it into a religion it does not want. If your son or daughter wants to participate, that’s fine, and especially for the everyday flavors of Paganism it should be impossible to seperate family and religion/spiritiality, but I think they should also learn more about other religions, besides, “They are different, so they must be mean!”

FYI, I was raised by holiday Christians, my first book was a children’s bible, and look what good that did me. ^^

(Oh, and if you were wondering, we were in Prague, Czech Republic. And this weekend another friend and I are heading to Luxembourg! Yeehaw!)


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