Thursday, 13 March 2014

Raising a child religiously..... or not

I get this Question a lot from complete strangers who feel that they need to have some sort of say no matter how small in your child's spiritual journey...

What religion are you..... do you attend church ..... what faith system are you raising your child in

I am a proud Pagan, so is my husband and my ex husband is atheist while his fiance is Christian, my family is Christian and Atheist my exes is Jewish and Catholic it makes for quite a jumble of confusion and its a decision I'm glad I faced with my ex a long time ago...

Simply put I do not think we have the right to dictate our children's beliefs I am not talking about moral standards or values purely their spiritual path, I believe that we are here to guide our children as best we can but it grinds my grate when kids are forced into a belief system whatever it may be through fear or just plain stubborn force.

My eldest attends a Christian school, its a good school and he is happy so I am happy, on many occasion he at the tender age of 6 has argued with me about religion, he has sung his songs and dictated stories up to ying yang anf that is fine by me, as he grows older I believe that he will mould that path, whether he chooses to stay on the path he is following right now I don't know,only time will tell.

Having a religious argument with a child is very entertaining because they don't hold back they voice their little opinions and its great, however I want to teach my children to be understanding of all beliefs and this has proved to be a most difficult challenge,in my sons mind he has a picture of heaven and hell and he obviously wants all his loved ones to go to heaven but the one day he happened to tell me oh so politely that if I did not believe in Jesus then he teacher said that I would go to a very bad place called hell.... um ok gotta say I was speechless for one of the few times in my life not because of what he said to me but the thought of him saying that to someone else, it is so important to me that my children carry with them a love and understanding for all beliefs and cultures because ever faith has their beauty withing their roots put aside the religious wars and the ugliness that time has bought with it and you have a beautiful thing so my reaction was to explain this to my son, some people would say he is only 6 and that I cannot possibly expect him to understand my response to that is that children are amazing beings they carry with them a purity and understanding that with time loses itself it is so important to plant these roots with understanding while they are still young enough to hold onto them.

As a Pagan I have had to deal with a lot of ugliness from all sides people I know complete strangers and I can never understand why a person would want to that to another person it is not your life just as it is not your child, I hope that one day my children will be understanding of other peoples belief system the other day my husband and I re watching a doccie on the Catholic church and he turned to me and said I love the fact that we can watch this that we can watch doccies or read books about every spiritual path and appreciate it for its essence and not what it has become due to hate or greed, most religions or beliefs don't allow people the space to do this they make it a sin to question their beliefs when it is healthy, if you question something it is not because you doubt it, it is natural as a human being to be curious to want to break down something and understand it as a whole and no one should feel bad for doing so I wish more people would understand this maybe the world would be a bit better off for it......

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