teaching my dd to pray or not to pray

Maxima Fleurdelis - posted on 05/31/2011 ( 18 moms have responded )




my partner and i are not on the same page when it comes to God, we're not religious or anything but i do believe that there is God and i have my faith in Him. ive been teaching my dd to put her hands together when praying but thats about it, partner thinks that i should conside freedom of choice and its kind of brainwashing if i teach her about God at this young age(2yrs old). any thoughts???


[deleted account]

But why is the father's wishes being dismissed? Doesn;t he also have a right to instill a sense of faith, or non-faith, into his child? Honestly, if the tables were turned and my husband started to teach my son about a specific faith against my wishes, I'd be damned pissed off! The father has every right to this parenting decision-not jsut the mother!

Krista - posted on 06/01/2011




There is a difference between telling your children ABOUT your faith, and teaching them to PRACTICE your faith.

One is information, the other is indoctrination.

I see nothing wrong with providing information, but think that age 2 is too young for this. Once she's older, you can each talk about your belief systems, answer her questions, and if she wishes to join you in prayer, then so be it.

But what you're doing right now DOES smack of a deliberate effort to mold and shape her young, impressionable mind towards your way of thinking.

Jenny - posted on 06/01/2011




At 2? Leave him alone. I'm sure you pray in front of him. If he wants to try when he's older then let him. At 2, it is indeed indoctrination. I think you should respect your husband's wishes at this point.

Dana - posted on 06/01/2011




Freedom of choice means giving them the choice to pray or not to pray. If you're forcing them to pray then that is bad but, I think your husband needs to reconsider his stance if he thinks that he's giving them choice by not showing any choices...

Brandee - posted on 06/03/2011




My son attends a Christian daycare where they learn Bible versus and pray before they eat. At home we pray, with our hands together, before bed each night. He already knows the Lords Prayer and now we are working on the Glory Be (we are Catholic).. Pray has just become part of our daily routine and I don't think it is ever to early to introduce God to a child.. Our son will begin K-3 this August at a Catholic school where he will continue to learn about God and even attend weekly mass.. When he gets older it will be his decision to believe in God or not.. Either way I will love him and always pray for him.


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Danielle - posted on 06/03/2011




My son's dad is jewish, I was raised catholic, but don't go to church, nor believe that those who don't accept jesus as saviour, will be "damned" & many other seemingly superstitious & nonsensical nonsense the church has created to keep the masses in a state of fear of "hell", but that's neither here nor there; a common thread exists in all the religions of the world, no matter what one chooses to call "god". I taught my kids to say prayers at bedtime to thank "the creator" for the day, the food they ate, the flowers they smelled, the animals they love.... & to have "someone" to talk to when they're sad or hurting, scared or angry about something. They both liked the shortened, less scarey version of the 23rd psalm ( "...tho I walk thru the valley of death, I fear no evil...") but instead teaching them the parts that create feelings of thankfulness like "...he leadeth me beside the still waters, he restores my soul & he maketh me to lay down in green pastures..." After brushing teeth & reading the bedtime stories they'd say their prayers; it was a nice way to close the day & kids like routines, but my kids are 12 & 19 now & don't say bedtime prayers. They "know" prayers & are free to choose to pray or not. A parent's job is to teach their children things to help them in life & if you feel that praying & your faith has helped you get thru your own life then it's only natural for you to want to instill that in your kids. I usually think that if it feels "right" do it, but in your case, your husband is obviously of the "doesn't feel right" opinion & has equal rights in this regard, therein lies the challenge. Sorry I'm rambling now. Good luck. I just wanted to give you one scenario of how my story winded up...

Maxima Fleurdelis - posted on 06/02/2011




thanks for all the replies ladies. appreciate it.

just want to make it clear though, my daughter sees me when i pray and she's trying to copy the hand gesture, thats why i taught her to do the hand not actually teaching her how to pray. for example, it wud be like asking them how to clap, and they'll do the clapping, get it??

also, i ddnt say i was dismissing my partner's opinion, if i was, i wudnt even bother putting this post up here. as ive said we're not on the same page, but we're having a healthy discussion about it not arguing at all. and yes, my partner has a valid opinion, everyone has.

so again, thanks for the replies.

Rosie - posted on 06/01/2011




i'm of the belief that a child should be able to choose their own faith. i certainly expose my children to my family's religion (christianity) but i don't want my children growing up thinking that christianity is the only way. i want them to discover that (or not discover that, lol) on their own. have them make up their own minds on what THEY want, not what i want them to want.

Jaime - posted on 06/01/2011




I agree with Dana, there has to be a choice on either spectrum. You shouldn't ever force your personal beliefs onto another person, be them child or adult. And that goes for both religious and non-religious. Some children will grow up exposed to the facets of one religion over others, and some will grow up with no exposure to religion (save for what they learn in school). But there should always be a choice when it comes to personal belief.

Naomi - posted on 06/01/2011




This is a hard one. I have two perspectives...I am agnostic but my family is catholic. My mom takes care of my children and she has taught them about Jesus. I on the other hand tell them what I believe. I told them in the long run they will chose what to believe or not believe. I don't think it harms them and I tell them that we respect other peoples beliefs.

Lisa - posted on 05/31/2011




It's a question to ask God, really. He is the one to give the right answers. The most important thing the mom here can do is pray for her husband so they can be on the same page in these parenting concerns. I can say that I'd certainly not like it if my children's father taught contrary to my faith, but I would not stop teaching them what I believe is true about God. Thankfully, my husband and I made sure we were on the same page in our views prior to marriage or children so we've never had to face the tough situation.

Lisa - posted on 05/31/2011




I believe that teaching our children to pray and talk to God about the good and the bad in their lives is something you cannot start too early (it is just as important to thank God for the good in our lives as it is to seek guidance and help in the difficult times). We pray together as a family regularly and I encourage my children to pray on their own. Teaching your child about God, prayer, and the Bible is not brainwashing. All believers have to come to the point of belief on their own at some point in life.

[deleted account]

Even though I am a non-practicing person in my faith, I do believe it is very important for parents to be on the same page in regard to parenting. So while most people are reading this as "Teach about God/Prayer, Yes or No" I am seeing a completly different point: a huge difference in parenting styles. You want to expose your daughter to religion, your partner does not. It does not matter the faith- God, Allah, or the sun & moon gods, the bigger issue is that you and your partner need to get to the root of this issue. Perhaps beginng a prayer session is something you and your 2 year old do together, excluding her father. Or perhaps your partner has valid reasons, and he should not be dismissed either as a parent. It's a communication issue, IMO. Best of luck in sitting down with your partner to discuss how to incorporate religion, if any, into your daughter's life.

Sherri - posted on 05/31/2011




IMHO and what I believe is that it is super important for kids to believe in something. She won't need it for the good things but when things are tough and she needs support.

[deleted account]

Teaching your child about your beliefs is fine. Since you do believe in God I think there is nothing wrong w/ teaching your daughter to pray.

I haven't actively taught my son to pray, but he's been hearing it his whole life and now at 3, comes up w/ his own random prayers. Soooo sweet. :)

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 05/31/2011




I think if it upsets him, you should wait until she is old enough to start to understand both of your points of views which would be a good middle ground between you and your hubby. I would choose around age 5 when they start school.. or maybe 6 to 7 when they can understand more. School is when they start to hear other views anyway, so probably then?

I wouldn't go as far as to call it brain washing, as that is just what you believe being passed down to your kids (like your views on germs, society and drugs.. it's all the same).

And it's not like waiting will be any different. Think of people who were raised devout Christian or Catholic and then don't believe. Also, the people who were raised Athiest who now do believe. Therefore, it leaves me to conclude that it's all a matter of personal belief and opinion so waiting a few years will not harm her and in the end she will decide what she wants to believe in.. period lol

It just has to make sense to her and you cannot control it.

I think you two have a good balance in the house hold, as both of you can teach her about a God or not believing in a God.

Christy - posted on 05/31/2011




I feel that you should teach her everything you can about God and how to worship, etc. Age two is the perfect time to start. When she is in her later teenage years she can choose to believe or not to believe. But if she hasn't been taught, then she doesn't have the opportunity to have the freedom of choice because she doesn't know.

Laura - posted on 05/31/2011




Personally, I believe that teaching your children about God or whatever faith is practiced in your home, is not 'brainwashing'. Really, by not teaching your child anything, you are doing the same thing. Either way, your child will do what you do. If you don't practice any faith in your home, neither will your child. No matter what you teach them, they will still have the choice to stick with it, or go thier own way when they are older.

My husband and I are both Christians and are raising our kids that way. I guess you and your partner will just have to come to an agreement on what to teach your child.

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