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SalemWitchChild

Pagan Parenting

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I have raised my daughter in a secular way so that when she's old enough she can research and choose for herself. Howe I've come to somewhat regret my choice. She is 10 now and does like to learn some about Wicca. but I think she's more confused than anything and not quite sure if she wants to learn. Perhaps she's too young still. But I definitely believe religion is a choice and children shouldn't be "indoctrinated" at a very young age. I just wish I'd have exposed her to my beliefs more instead of keeping her seperate from it.

Of course with Wyatt I have a new beginning! Joella, you haven't "met" Wyatt yet. I had him last May.

So how do you include a young toddler in your beliefs? Well for me, when I'm setting up an altar I allow him to touch some items, play with things (within reason) and just generally add his own energy to my altar. A special toy of his can be included in the altar as well.

With Sierra she loves to set up the altar and fetch what I need plus of course add her own things. And I've begun teaching her how to write a ritual. She wrote a portion of the last ritual we did. :)

How do you involve your kids?

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If I have a heartfelt belief that something is true, then I would consider it my duty to try to pass that along to my child. If I am just playing at having a belief system then my children would be welcome to play whatever games they wish.

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If I ever adopt children in the future, I plan to raise them in my religion until they are old enough to choose for themselves. I would observe various rites of passage with them as they relate to family and the Hellenic household practice, such as the Amphidromia, when new children are formally welcomed into the household and presented before the household deities.

I can't see how it's possible to separate my religious practice from my secular life, and anyone who shares my household with me would be exposed to my practice. I pray and make offerings throughout the day, particularly at meal times. I keep a shrine and agalmata of the Gods. My religion isn't just something I do now and then, but a ritual way of life for me. It just wouldn't be possible to hide that from my children.

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If I ever adopt children in the future, I plan to raise them in my religion until they are old enough to choose for themselves. I would observe various rites of passage with them as they relate to family and the Hellenic household practice, such as the Amphidromia, when new children are formally welcomed into the household and presented before the household deities.

I can't see how it's possible to separate my religious practice from my secular life, and anyone who shares my household with me would be exposed to my practice. I pray and make offerings throughout the day, particularly at meal times. I keep a shrine and agalmata of the Gods. My religion isn't just something I do now and then, but a ritual way of life for me. It just wouldn't be possible to hide that from my children.

What I meant by that is that she didn't attend ritual with me. She was and is exposed to the little things throughout daily life that is spiritual in nature.

If I have a heartfelt belief that something is true, then I would consider it my duty to try to pass that along to my child. If I am just playing at having a belief system then my children would be welcome to play whatever games they wish.

You can teach morals without indoctrinating the child. I consider it MY DUTY to allow my child the choice.

Edited by SalemWitchChild

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You can teach morals without indoctrinating the child. I consider it MY DUTY to allow my child the choice.

You consider it your duty to indoctrinate your child as to your position on morals. As parents, we always try to instill (indoctrinate) in our children what is right and best for them.

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If I have a heartfelt belief that something is true, then I would consider it my duty to try to pass that along to my child. If I am just playing at having a belief system then my children would be welcome to play whatever games they wish.

I agree with you Bro K. And while I don't know helpful this is in the pagan context, I remember having this same conversation with an older relative (back in my pre-parent, free wheeling hippy days) and she just laughed at me. She asked if I planned on making my kids eat right or brush their teeth the right way or just let them choose to do it whenever or however they felt like it. I said of course I'd make them eat right and brush their teeth. She said, as I recall, that I'm an idiot then, because a persons immortal soul is way more important than their teeth or bellies. Being a parent means always being a parent in the big ways and the small ones. Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." A parent who thinks they've found the truth has a duty to share it and not let their children have to stumble around with no direction. But then, like I said, I don't know how applicable this is to a pagan parent. Free advice...free for a reason. ;)

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I've been pondering this a bit, because it's been a while since I've really identified as "Pagan", and I was thinking that while my own sense of spirituality is earth-based and pantheistic, I don't really do any rituals, per se.

The more I thought about it, though, I think I just don't think about it, because the "rituals" I do are just a normal part of life for me. Things like blessing the seeds we plant and talking to my daughter about "sprinkling them with love". Thanking the plants in our garden for the vegetables they provide us. Harvesting herbs, the process of drying them, bundling sage for smudging, and explaining to my daughter the spiritual aspects of each of the herbs.

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If I have a heartfelt belief that something is true, then I would consider it my duty to try to pass that along to my child. If I am just playing at having a belief system then my children would be welcome to play whatever games they wish.

understandable, assuming that you believe that the thing you believe is true is the only thing that is true.. A number of faiths hold this position. But if one believes that many paths can be true, it is less important which path is chosen.

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I agree with you Bro K. And while I don't know helpful this is in the pagan context, I remember having this same conversation with an older relative (back in my pre-parent, free wheeling hippy days) and she just laughed at me. She asked if I planned on making my kids eat right or brush their teeth the right way or just let them choose to do it whenever or however they felt like it. I said of course I'd make them eat right and brush their teeth. She said, as I recall, that I'm an idiot then, because a persons immortal soul is way more important than their teeth or bellies. Being a parent means always being a parent in the big ways and the small ones. Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." A parent who thinks they've found the truth has a duty to share it and not let their children have to stumble around with no direction. But then, like I said, I don't know how applicable this is to a pagan parent. Free advice...free for a reason. ;)

See, there is the bugaboo, ain't it. (bolding mine.. ^^) Of course, if you are wrong, you could be damaging their immortal soul with that logic.. I mean, we have pretty good evidence about the impact of dental care on teeth, but we hold religious beliefs without much actual supporting evidence. People who believe as THE TRUTH that their race is inherently superior to others wil teach their children the same, and probably they will "not depart from it". But it really isn't doing them any favors..

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See, there is the bugaboo, ain't it. (bolding mine.. ^^) Of course, if you are wrong, you could be damaging their immortal soul with that logic.. I mean, we have pretty good evidence about the impact of dental care on teeth, but we hold religious beliefs without much actual supporting evidence. People who believe as THE TRUTH that their race is inherently superior to others wil teach their children the same, and probably they will "not depart from it". But it really isn't doing them any favors..

So we should take no stand, teach and believe nothing for fear that we may be wrong?

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While raising my kids, and especially during the years when I had them full time, they were exposed to many things inside and outside the home. What I taught them was to respect wherever they were. My son had many friends at the Assembly of God Church, my daughter at Cross Roads Covenant and both attended summer VBS and even an occasional Sunday school.

They also knew the importance to me of the then rigorous schedule of my various rites, rituals and Pagan holidays. What they got out of it was simply to respect whatever choice others made about what was right for themselves and to make what choice made the best sense to each of my kids. Long story short, they have a well rounded education in all beliefs and have grown up deciding for themselves with zero animosity for those who think/feel different.

Blessings of Peace,

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So we should take no stand, teach and believe nothing for fear that we may be wrong?

I don't think we have a choice, actually.. we will do as we will do.. but recognizing that we are not certain on things of which we are not certain, seems important.

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I teach my kids to live life well, be nice to other folks, and be happy. If they get those things right, the rest will fall into place.

Of course, as an atheist that fits my (lack of) "religious" views perfectly. I think that what you want to teach them will always be overshadowed by what they learn from watching what you do. If you live your religion well they will pick up on it without any extra effort from you. If you don't really follow your religion and just attempt to make your kids follow it, it won't work.

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I teach my children all subjects in pretty much the same manner.

As little-bitties I just ramble & fill their heads with everything as it comes along. :crazyeyes:

I find that they reach an age/a point - where stuff sort of falls into place (an epiphany... an "ah-ha" moment, if you will)

Religion gets treated pretty much the same way.

I treat all paths as "mythology" (which I do not mean in a demeaning way, by any means.)

I try to let them know about all the religions around us, and answer all questions the best I can.

My personal belief is that God, Magic and Science are all the same thing.

I tell them to collect as much data as they can and to think for themselves.

I was raised "Protestant" and have evolved to an eclectic state that is ever changing. :holloween:

but... I believe that there are 7,000,000,000 different religions on Gaia, but you get more out of it if you have some kind of starting point.

Teach them with love..... it's hard to go wrong that way.

Answer all questions at their level of understanding, but as if they are peers.

And as for the confusion.... tell her WHY you love a particular God or Goddess... and HOW you like to express that.

Kids are really flexible and can be very open minded.

And whichever way they turn, let them know you will always love them. ....parents are some of lifes best anchors.

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I have included my son in all areas of our spiritual journey but have also made sure he knew that when he was old enough to understand he was free to explore on his own ... right now he loves his Tarot cards and he has other pagan kids in his class at school and he really likes that. But he is not really interested in rituals for the Sabbats but he is learning personal use. At 11 I think this is a good place to be. He is also very curious about how all the religions are alike ... such as the similarities of the Christ story with so many other stories. He currently calls himself an ancient alien pagan. It is so fun to watch him learn and stretch and question. I simply enjoy his spirit . But of course we do teach right from wrong, and we emphasize the Rule of Three.

Edited by RevDea

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I was very fortunate to have been exposed to a great number of differing viewpoints as a child. (I got kicked out of 6 churches for being a witch.) I even attended a Catholic church and an Episcopal church. But the one unifying thing was that they all claimed to be the one true church. All basically Christian, of course. I read the Letters of Mark Twain, and realized that if I really wanted to fully understand and complete my journey as a Christain-raised child, I had to read the Bible. Now, many people may ask how Mark Twain can lead me to that conclusion, so here's your answer:

The best cure for Christianity is reading the Bible. -Mark Twain

I began my own path at the ripe old age of 16 and have been a devout Wiccan since the age of 20.

Go ahead and let your child be part of your rituals, whatever your religious base is. When they reach an age of maturity, let the child read the religious books with which you define your faith. As I said, in my case, it was the Bible. But give the child a good base, teach them faith and loyalty, and open-mindedness. Teach them how to love and be loved, teach them they are awesome because they were made that way, and when they ask questions you don't know how to answer, show them how to Google it.

Remember that your child is going to hear some Christian teachings throughout his/her life, due exclusively to the overwhelming preponderance of Christians in this world who believe they should "Go forth & teach the Gospel" and those who can't, for whatever reason, prevent themselves from spouting religified propaganda every few minutes. Teach your child to forgive these people for their excesses, just as we are supposed to forgive those who harm us without intent.

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