Friday, August 10, 2012

Pagan Blog Project: Pagan Parenting


AltarI think it’s pretty well known that Pagan Parenting is a subject I am passionate about. Though it’s been awhile since I’ve directly written on it,  the first entitled; Parenting: Making Faith Based Choices for our Children.
In that year through talking with many different Pagan Parents both in person, the Pagan Parenting Facebook Page, and other blogs I’ve learned that there seems to be a definite increase in interest on the subject. I think one reason is because more and more people who came into Paganism when they were teens, especially in the 90s to early 2000s are now having children. I’ll admit I was one of those.
In all of these discussions I’ve learned there are many common views held by Pagan Parents and some views where there are large disagreements.

Common Views

  • IMG_1317Taught that all religions are sacred.
  • Encouraged to visit and learn about a multitude of faiths.
  • A reverence for the Earth, and nature.
  • A reverence for human, animals and all spirits.
  • A focus on the seasons.
  • Encouragement in reading especially lore and myths.

Contented Views

  • At what age to introduce particular faith based tenets to children.
  • At what age to include children in rituals.
  • Whether to actually “raise” your child in paganism.

We all know raising children isn’t simple and there are often many issues that  influence a parents decision on why they chose one way or another. Maybe the child comes from a family of mixed faiths, so parents decide to introduce faith later. Maybe the family lives in a place where fear of persecution exists, children do not they shouldn’t speak of certain things. Whatever the reason doesn’t really matter because it’s a parents choice.

Getting a Bit Personal Here

IMG_1663I can’t bring up this subject and just talk about parenting from a 3rd party stand point. I have two small children of my own, currently 2 and 4. My Hubby is an Eclectic Pagan and well the best label for myself I think is Humanist Heathen/Pagan. Even with both of us being “Pagan” we have our own decisions and compromises we must make.
  • Hubby believes in Supernatural and in the God and Goddess as Supernatural Deities.
  • I do not believe in the Supernatural, I believe deity is a social construct amongst people to join us together.

That’s a huge issue and as a result we’ve decided to leave Deity out of our children’s lives until they are older. Collectively we have decided that what we will do with our children is:
  • Focus on seasonal cycle of the year and the importance of nature.
  • About the importance of community and social involvement.
  • Ethics routed in the lessons of our ancestors.
  • Importance of traditions (disclaimer: with use of judgment)
  • General readings of myths and lore.

Back in March I talked about this, on how we decided about what to teach and share with our children. Not too much has changed since then but honestly I expect it to in the future. I’m at a point where I’m questioning my own beliefs at times.

I want to Pose a Question

How do you handle teaching your children about faith If your own beliefs change?
How do you explain that to them and is it a reason to possibly keep them slightly removed from your faith if you are still searching?

This post has been a part of the Pagan Blog Project. The letter of the week is P and you can find the rest of the entries for this week here.

8 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing abour your beliefs and how they impact your parenting. I found it really interesting to read, and also found that although I wouldn't consider myself to be pagan, I agreed with each of the common views you listed. These are all aspects that I love about Waldorf education - nice to learn about similarities like this.

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    1. There are a lot of similarities, I've also known many pagans who followed Waldorf education. Thank you for commenting. :)

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  2. As I am rather settled in my path (over 20 years) I can't answer the questions above but something I have been thinking a lot about teaching children religion lately. I am torn about it. I am hoping that I can teach our child that everyone has their own path that calls to them. I love my faith but just because it is right for me doesn't mean it has to be right for her. I don't want to teach her I'm right and others are therefor wrong.

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    1. Though it may not be right for her I don't think teaching children about a faith if done in an open manner will tell them "I'm right everyone else is wrong." We aren't a faith that says their is only one way, one of largest "tenets" is that their is no one true way and if you were to teach that along side with what you believe, and allow for her own freedom to search it wouldn't be an issue. My kids may be young so I'm not at this point but I've talked with many parents who have now adult children who were raised pagan. Some of those children are still pagan, some are other faiths or no faith.

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  3. So teach your kids to explore the possibilities and discover truth for themselves. You don't have to have all the answers here, any more than you have to have all the answers in any other aspect of life.

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  4. I think this is why I'm working so hard to nail down my spiritual beliefs again. Things have changed so much for me and I started when I found out was pregnant and realized questions will probably come sooner than I'd be ready for, haha. My main problem is that my family has no idea I'm pagan so it's what should I tell him that won't out me but will let him know what I believe. I guess at that point it boils down to the respect of nature and such but the Gods are so important it feels terrible to leave them out of it. I'm all for him learning about all religions and making his own decision though, not teaching him that my way is THE way, ya know? Hopefully I'll get a grip on all this before he starts asking questions. :P

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  5. Since one of the things I am trying to teach my kids is that what they believe will never be exactly the same as what I believe, and that we are constantly learning and evolving on our paths, it will (hopefully) be natural to them to see my, and their own, beliefs adjust over time. I am trying to instill the idea that nothing should remain stagnant; that they should always search for their own truth and become stuck in a rut. It doesn't mean necessarily that any of us will experience drastic changes in our personal gnosis, but I know my views/beliefs have "matured" over the last dozen or so years, and I expect it will continue to do so as I gain knowledge & experience on my journey.

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  6. My spiritual system is in a constant state of flux. As I grow and learn my system changes and adapts. So yeah, it can make it hard to teach any one specific thing to my girls. So I don't. We have a diverse family, we have atheists, agnostics, Episcopalians, Buddhists, Catholics, Pagans, Mormons and Jewish family members... and I'm sure I can find a few more too. So I really try to keep it light and open. Allowing them to absorb everything they are exposed to, in the hopes that they will have a good base to start their own spiritual journey later in life.

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