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Advise on Children

Merricles

Registered Member
Alright, so I am looking for advise with something. My wife is a non-practicing Catholic and I am athiest. This has never been a problem for either of us. I accept her choice as she does mine. I encourage her to go to church more and even offer to go with her. However, our oldest son is almost 2 now and religion is something that is taught. I don't want to lead him in any direction though, I want him to choose and be aware of all his options and what his choices mean when it comes to this. I know some out there are probably thinking 'He's Two, he is still too young' and yeah, he is little and all that. It is never a bad idea to plan ahead though. This has been something that my wife and I have talked about a few times, and we just aren't sure how to handle it. Any advise or suggestions would be great. Maybe someone out there has faced this before and could give some pointers. Thanks.
 

Starfire86

Registered Member
My plan is to teach my children about all of the options out there, as well as what I believe in. It's not up to me to decide what their faith is, but it is up to me to make sure they're educated. I'm not sure what you can do with a young child, I mean, I guess every religion has a way to teach toddlers, you'll just have to do the research.
 

SlowburnDarkly

Registered Member
First of all, I just want to say that I wish more parents had the same viewpoint as you-- not many would leave it up to a child. I'm not a father myself but I have several nieces and nephews. All of my step-nieces and nephews are in very heavy Christian homes, while my blood is in a home with no religion involved (their mother is actually bi and is living with her girlfriend, who is also atheist). I've seen both sides of it.

But yeah, to answer your question, I would suggest waiting a few more years. Then when he's old enough to make a conscious decision, give him the opportunity to take him to church a time or two. If he likes it, allow him to continue going. If he doesn't, then he shouldn't have to.
 

EllyDicious

made of AMBIGUITY
V.I.P.
Family plays an important part on child's upbringing. If none of you is into religion all that much, then I hardly think your child will choose any religion and commit to it.
So I think you don't have to worry that much. As long as you/anybody don't pressure him into any religion, he'll be free to chose what's more convincing/comfortable to him.
 

shelgarr

Registered Member
If he shows interest in going to church with mom, than support it. If he shows interest in your views about atheism, than have discussions. At some point he'll probably have lots of questions about Judism, and Islam because the schools introduce them. His friends will also have church related activities and he'll want to join in. At Christmas and Easter, he'll want to know what those holidays are all about, and you can teach him. In other words, it's all a dialogue and he will eventually make his own choice. He may or may not be influenced by the beliefs you have or his mom has. My kids are surrounded by those that believe in God. However I would not be surprised if it had no affect on their final decision.​
 

Ilus_Unistus

Registered Member
I have had this same thought of my future. If I do make my way to USA and maybe am married to American who will maybe be Christian, then I think I would allow, even go with my children to Christian church, but also I would want to share my views, not force them and when I feel they were old enough, let them choose what it is they want to believe.
 

Merricles

Registered Member
Thanks everyone for the help. I'm not sure what I will do. I think, for now since he is 2 and his brother is 3 months, I have time. His mom wants to start going to church again, and for now he can go there. I think once he gets to be 8 or so, I will take him to different practices (like 1 a month) and teach him what it means to believe that each one. Guess I will have to learn too haha. I just want to do everything I can to ensure my kids have 100% choice over their own beliefs.
 

ysabel

/ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5
Alright, so I am looking for advise with something. My wife is a non-practicing Catholic and I am athiest. This has never been a problem for either of us. I accept her choice as she does mine. I encourage her to go to church more and even offer to go with her. However, our oldest son is almost 2 now and religion is something that is taught. I don't want to lead him in any direction though, I want him to choose and be aware of all his options and what his choices mean when it comes to this. I know some out there are probably thinking 'He's Two, he is still too young' and yeah, he is little and all that. It is never a bad idea to plan ahead though. This has been something that my wife and I have talked about a few times, and we just aren't sure how to handle it. Any advise or suggestions would be great. Maybe someone out there has faced this before and could give some pointers. Thanks.
Religion is taught where? Did you put him in a private school?

My kids have been baptised. I am Christian and I was happy they were baptised mostly out of tradition though. And it doesn't take anything away from them. They're not condemned to follow the Christian ways should they grow up thinking it's not what they want. You mentioned that you want your kids to have 100percent choice over their beliefs. The reality is, we do influence them in their youth. They don't make choices out of nothing.

For what you want to achieve, I guess it would help exposing them to different beliefs (so your plan is good). As they grow older, they would probably pick what they think makes more sense for them and it won't be because that's the only thing they knew from the beginning (some didn't even know there are options because they've been too sheltered to only believe in one truth as the absolute).
 

Diederick

Registered Member
I would, if one of mine would ever come home with a story about Jesus, tell him about why people believe and how many different faiths there are. I would also tell him of my own lack of faith, and why I don't think I need it.

As there are no Christian children, there aren't any atheist children either.
 

Doc

Trust me, I'm The Doctor.
V.I.P.
I'm going through this with my daughter. Her mother's family is teaching her about the Christian god and, as most of you know, I don't believe in god.

When a question of faith comes up I try my best to explain both sides. I tell her that some people believe in a god but I don't. She's too young to understand my reasoning behind not believing.

I also let my (former) wife take her to her church a bunch of times when she was three.
 
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