What would you do if one day your unreligious kid asked you (also non-religious) about religion? You would probably give out a shady description of religion or avoid the topic altogether. If you are curious about how you can handle the topic or religion, the first thing you need to understand is that everyone should be given the freedom to choose their religion.
It is important for teachers and parents to teach kids about skepticism, science and how to reason. It is also important for your kids to be able to see the world from their own point of view. This will help them choose a belief system they find appropriate for them.
When it comes to religion, there is a disconnect between doing and wanting. When you do something thinking that you are protecting your child, you actually end up scaring him. In an effort to be a good teacher, you only manage to confuse the child. When you try to be honest, you only manage to indoctrinate them.
Parents are really not to blame for these missteps. Many parents are 1st generation secularists living in a society that is still religious. There are very few role models and no absolute teachings that will keep you steady in your journey of faith. It can be compared to taking some scotch whiskey and then trying to walk in a straight line.
There is no one list that can balance many people’s desires with their many concerns. For this reason, the following points are not written with the intention of giving true answers, but instead to begin a point.
Exposure to the Various Religions is Important for Kids
Good religious education is the type that will cover the fundamentals of various religions from a historical and cultural perspective. For example, how did religion come about? What is it? And why do so many people find it to be important? Take a book or two and get some education about the different religions out there then tell your children what it is you are learning. You can also incorporate the various holidays in your calendar where you can talk about tradition and history. Show them religious clothing like those found at TheChristianBaby.com, symbols and signs.
Do not Burden the Kids over the name “God’
The motto in American money, the Girl Scout Promise and the Pledge of Allegiance – no matter where you look, religion is all over the place including schools. Tell your kids that God is part of your culture’s language, its monuments, its poetry, its songs and its language. God is part of the human history, and it is a good thing. Do not try to make sense out of everything. Your children might agree to “pledge their allegiance under God” mostly because of tradition and not religion. Let your kids draw their battle lines when it comes to such matters just to avoid nudging them towards a certain direction in the battle.
Remember that it is Okay to believe in a Higher Power
Believing in a higher power is only as bad or good as those who possess the person who believes it. People do great things because of a higher power or despite their lack of belief in a higher power. As such, be as neutral as you possibly can be whenever the topic of religion is being discussed.
It is important for kids to learn about the many religions out there to be able to choose which one they want. It is important that kids find religion as it has been seen to be somewhat comforting to kids. Religion also provides some kind of stability welcomed by kids in a world filled with changes.