Religious education

Nicole - posted on 12/27/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )

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How young is too young to teach children about the religion practiced by their family?

Does it depend on the religion being practiced?

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Rosie - posted on 12/27/2010

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i don't think there is ever too young of an age. it's wonderful to bring your kids up with your own beliefs, however i feel other peoples beliefs should be taught, and respected as well. i feel that's very important also.

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It depends on your take on your faith, I'm currently dealing with this dilemma right now actually. I wasn't brought up with a specific faith my mother found hers on her own and wanted to give me the chance to decide for myself when I was older. There are benefits and drawbacks to each side though I missed out on having the unity that comes from being apart of something like that and a solid knowledge of my own faith as a child, I did have a very open mind and was raised to be tolerant of others' religions (something that can be difficult to teach a child when they are brought up believing one thing) I was given the opportunity to discover what rang true to me personally and I am very grateful my mother gave me that. Now that I have chosen my personal belief system I face the dilemma of whether or not to raise my children with what I believe or to let them find their own way. I want to give them the structure, guidance and lessons I hold in high regard but I don't want to have them become biased or narrow minded so I'm treading on thin ice with this subject. Another factor in our situation is that my hunni practices a different religion than I do which works fine for us but then how do we teach our children? With his religion it is not something that can be passed down to children it is meant to be studied first and chosen as an adult. As it stands we have decided to bring our children up with the basic principles of my chosen faith but sprinkle in some of his almost as something to compare by. We plan on teaching them that not one religion is comletely right and they need to choose for themselves later but the basic principles are present in almost every faith so those are what they should focus on. Our kids may decide to come to church with me or practice with their father, take bits and pieces of both or even say no to both of them and become little buddists lol but either way one main rule I want followed is just that they have respect for what others choose to believe in and not sign up to any one belief that they don't feel comfortable in. So long as the religion's teachings will benefit the child and you're willing to answer some tough questions it's never too early to introduce a child to faith.

[deleted account]

I didn't think there was an age limitation on teaching your cild the family's faith! IMO, it's never too young and should be exposed from as young as possible. And I say this as a sort-of-not-really-religiousy-person. I remember being exposed and involved to my family's faith from very early on. Why should a child be shielded? Now, I also throw out the possibility that even if you go to great lengths to involve and create a religious home, and include religious education, once your child is an adult, he/she is able to make his or her own decisions regarding religion. Good luck!

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Sherri - posted on 12/27/2010

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We began at birth they started attending religious education classes at around 5 but before that they still attended church from birth and were explained what we believed in.

Stifler's - posted on 12/27/2010

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I agree with Kati, you should definitely teach tolerance to your children as well as the family religion.

Desiree - posted on 12/27/2010

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Its never too young to teach what the family practices from morals to religion. If that is what you believe then why would it be wrong for your kids to learn it from you. Actually rather from you than some one with a weird take on life teaching your child something you don't want them to learn yet. It helps to give your child a firm footing in this very messed up world of ours. for instance I would hate my kids to be learning about our religion which is Catholic from My Sister in Law as she is not Catholic and has more than one voiced her opinion in front of my kids about our beliefs that I have had to tell her to keep her mouth shut. Until the kids are out of earshot as they are too young to understand her side and besides she should have enough respect for me not to critise my beliefs.

I do however believe in teaching my children a little about the different belief systems so that when they are old enough and that is at the age of 18, they can make a sensible and informed desiscion as to whether they will carry on in the my religion.

Lucy - posted on 12/27/2010

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I think it is impossible not to teach your kids indirectly about your religion as you raise them, as it informs your parenting to a great extent. They are also going to be involved in religious festivals from pretty much day one, unless you leave them with a sitter whilst you celebrate, which seems pretty weird! In our religion we have 8 important festivals each year, and we celebrate them very much as a family.

Having said that, I also think that it is important for kids to learn about the religions of others, and have respect for them so they can eventually make decisions about their own religious path. I don't think teaching your children about your own religious beliefs means presenting them as the only way to go.

Stifler's - posted on 12/27/2010

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Never too young. If you practice a religion why shouldn't your kids be exposed to it?

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