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Old 01-12-2013, 06:54 AM
PDD
 
Location: The Sand Hills of NC
8,774 posts, read 14,867,158 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RebelYell14 View Post
How do you deal with a spouse that is religious but you aren't? My problem is. I am in North Carolina right now until next month. My wife is in West Va with our kids and she has started taking them to church. I don't like it and I have told her that I told her before we had kids I wanted our kids to make their own minds up regarding religion and told her when I get there she can attend church but I will keep the kids at home. She doesn't think they are being brainwashed into believing christianity but I know better. I was forced to go to church until I was 14. She says they are just drawing pictures etc....and the kids can make their minds up later in life....how do I deal with this? I don't want to start a fight and I respect her views on religion and I thought we were at agreement the kids would not be forced to go to church but would be allowed to make their own minds up when they were old enough. She says she gets tired of staying in the house all day so she goes to church.
This is easy, let your wife take the kids to church as long as the kids want to attend. After a while the ones who are not interested will balk about having to attend and that's when you let them stay home.

If you force the brainwashing on the kids they will be forever be mad at what you did.

If they enjoy the church let them attend because they will be much happier.

I see nothing wrong with exposing kids to religion but let them make the decision to worship, their decision.
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Deep Dirty South
5,192 posts, read 4,388,436 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
I would suggest you ease up and insist only that the kids go to church voluntarily. This doesn't mean your wife can't make the offer, only that there is no judgment or other manipulation if they don't...
This.
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,609 posts, read 4,113,595 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDD View Post
This is easy, let your wife take the kids to church as long as the kids want to attend. After a while the ones who are not interested will balk about having to attend and that's when you let them stay home.
That's what happened to me.

When I was about 6, my mother took me to Sunday school a few times. However, it got out 10 minutes late, so I said I didn't want to go back.

Thus ended my religious upbringing.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:07 AM
 
16,094 posts, read 17,892,708 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmills View Post
You say that you want your children to make their own choice, but it seems like you also want to limit their exposure to Christianity. I think you're being a bit disingenuous. It sounds like you're actually attempting to stack the deck in your favor. Allow your kids to learn about Christianity, while you also teach them about alternative views. Then, when they're older they can truly make informed decisions.
Learning *about* Christianity is generally not what happens in Church because in Church things are presented to children as true. That said, his children are 6,4 and 9 months. The 9 month old would probably not learn much. The 6 year old and 4 year old can be taught about Christianity through reading books and having things explained, but they need exposure to other religions as well and to science.

I suggest Sacred Myths: Stories of World Religions
Sacred Myths: Stories of World Religions: Marilyn McFarlane, Design Studio Selby: 9780963832771: Amazon.com: Books

It's intended for 9 and up, but you may want to have it on hand to read.

Also for younger kids, to introduce them to many world religions
Amazon.com: Books for Introducing Young Children to World Religions
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:00 PM
 
Location: The Pacific Northwest
283 posts, read 434,443 times
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You're contradicting yourself.

First you said that you and your wife had an agreement when you married that your kids "would make up their own minds" regarding religion.
Then you go on to state that you told her she could attend church but you will keep the kids at home.
That doesn't sound to me like they are being allowed to "make-up their own minds."
Sounds like you think you should call the shots.

Stick to your initial deal: ask the kids what they want to do and then let them follow-through with it. And don't worry, a church--or Sunday School, or Bible Study Groups--are not some sort of big bad Evil brain-washing factory. Most of what the kids are doing there is recreational and they are being exposed, on a very limited basis, to just one of the philosophies of Man. Also, even if you are not a believer in the particular dogma of a given church, you must admit that the philosophies they espouse in regards to living one's life and getting along with others is a sound one.
Especially when you get into the teachings of Jesus.
Just look at the kids' church as a part of their educationm which they may or may not use later in life. I myself can see several ways in which their attendance with their Mom could help them, but can fathom no scenario in which it would be detrimental to them ion the long run.
Peace.
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:11 PM
 
1,825 posts, read 2,480,084 times
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I don't think it is realistic to say, we'll "allow kids to make their own decisions." A five year old quite simply does not have the maturity nor the intellectual capacity to objectively make such a complicated analysis. It would be akin to asking him or her if they want to eat vegetables. Typically, parents do what they think is best, and kids sort it out when they are older. Sometimes kids who were raised by well meaning Christian parents become athiests, agnostic. Buddhist, etc. and vice versa. In a case like yours, where parents have differing worldviews, it's incumbent on the adults to figure out a way to reconcile their differences, and not place that on the children.
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,082,614 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmills View Post
I don't think it is realistic to say, we'll "allow kids to make their own decisions." A five year old quite simply does not have the maturity nor the intellectual capacity to objectively make such a complicated analysis.
On the other hand it's fine to allow a child to explore things of interest in a safe way. There is some threshold of what I would consider "unsafe", some level of mindless indoctrination or fear-mongering where I would say no to it. As with anything, I'd monitor it and have my input. As for decisions about beliefs ... that's a gradual thing and that probably gels in their late teens. I'd just let it evolve organically.
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:38 PM
 
1,825 posts, read 2,480,084 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
On the other hand it's fine to allow a child to explore things of interest in a safe way. There is some threshold of what I would consider "unsafe", some level of mindless indoctrination or fear-mongering where I would say no to it. As with anything, I'd monitor it and have my input. As for decisions about beliefs ... that's a gradual thing and that probably gels in their late teens. I'd just let it evolve organically.

Agreed. I'm not suggesting that the "non believing" parent should not have input. In fact, I think his kids have the best of both worlds. They truley are being exposed to differing belief systems, and therefore have a more solid basis for evaluation later. Most kids are simply indoctrinated, and it can take years (like it did for me) for them to give themselves permission to consider that there could be a valid basis for alternate views.
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:47 PM
 
Location: Murfreesboro (nearer Smyrna), TN
694 posts, read 646,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RebelYell14 View Post
How do you deal with a spouse that is religious but you aren't? My problem is. I am in North Carolina right now until next month. My wife is in West Va with our kids and she has started taking them to church. I don't like it and I have told her that I told her before we had kids I wanted our kids to make their own minds up regarding religion and told her when I get there she can attend church but I will keep the kids at home. She doesn't think they are being brainwashed into believing christianity but I know better. I was forced to go to church until I was 14. She says they are just drawing pictures etc....and the kids can make their minds up later in life....how do I deal with this? I don't want to start a fight and I respect her views on religion and I thought we were at agreement the kids would not be forced to go to church but would be allowed to make their own minds up when they were old enough. She says she gets tired of staying in the house all day so she goes to church.
Was any of this discussed before you were married?

Charles Sands
37129
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:20 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
2,080 posts, read 1,443,401 times
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Not really...I knew she has grown up in church I had not. I wasn't an Atheist then either.
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