I know to this point I’ve short of steered clear about talking specifically on my own faith and some of my own choices as a parent. Something has happened has inspired me to write this post.
Warning: for those who follow on G+ some of this will be a repeat but not all so keep reading.
Friday Morning I had a series of tweets back and forth with someone that has gotten me thinking.
The idea was put forth that raising children in the Pagan faith is wrong because it is forcing faith on them. I disagree with this completely.
First because I’ve never said it a bit of background on me. Though I am fine with the umbrella Pagan term, especially as a family label because my Husband is an Eclectic Pagan and my shop is focused to encompass all Pagans. I do not follow a Wicca based tradition. I self identify as Heathen and though I may not be the best of Heathens, that is what shapes my world view.
To me my faith is entirely about community and to isolate my children from this is completely wrong. Heathenry is a pretty down earth practice, it’s a faith of community, family and relationships at it’s heart. There is a hell of a lot more to it then that but this isn’t a post about Heathenry this is a post about Faith and Parenting decisions.
First in regards to raising children in a faith as forcing it on them. I don’t think it’s wrong for parents of any faith to raise their children in that faith. I feel children need a strong foundation on which to make their own choices. If as they age and mature they wish to explore other faiths and choice to follow a different path I’ll 100% be behind them. What is forcing them is once they reach that more mature state insisting they continue to participate even if they express the desire to not do so. As young children though it is my duty as their parent to teach them from my life experiences and well my faith is a part of that.
Our parenting decisions are touché subjects. As parents we all want what is best for our children and don’t want to think any of our actions are harming them. Honestly I’ve seriously edited myself in this post. Since I first started discussing this on Google + to writing this blog I’ve gone through a whirlwind of emotions.
At first I was pissed off to think someone was saying something I so strongly believe is harming Lil’ R and Wee Rose. Then for that same reason I got a bit depressed questioning my decisions. After speaking with a few people I came back around to normal me and decided this was a very important thing to talk about.
On a different line of thought as a parent of very young children it could be said that I force my will of many things on them. For the longest time, and still with Wee Rose I pick entirely what they eat. Once Lil ‘R started expressing an opinion he now has some options though. I still enforce my will when he asks to eat ice cream at lunch. I’m his parent though and that’s my duty to him.
In this case I feel they need to be exposed to some faith and community, and once they can express their own opinions well they can make some choices and as they get older they can make even more. Here also it is my duty as a parent to teach them as best I can in all ways. If I didn’t do so, then I would be failing them.
This is a very difficult subject to discuss but what are your views? Will you teach them your faith, many faiths or just wait until they are older?
Leave a comment and I’d love to see the discussion that comes out of it.