Teaching Vs. Indoctrination

Sara - posted on 04/25/2011 ( 18 moms have responded )

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Is there a difference or are these the same?



Is taking your child to church indoctrination?



Is taking your child to a political event indoctrinating or teaching how the political system works?



Is only allowing your child a vegan diet because that is your belief indoctrination?

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Johnny - posted on 04/25/2011

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To me, sharing information and personal opinion (expressed as such) is teaching one's children. Telling a child that something is the absolute truth and not giving them the opportunity or skills to question for themselves is indoctrination.

Taking a child to a political rally, church event, etc. is not in and of itself a form of indoctrination. Not allowing a child to ask questions and not informing them that there are other ways of thinking is indoctrination.

Rosie - posted on 04/25/2011

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you can take your kid to church and have them learn about religion, you can also take them to church and indoctrinate them. it's all in how you do it, and what you teach them afterwards.

Tracey - posted on 05/06/2011

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Parenting is giving your child information.

Indoctrinating is telling them this is the only information.

Teaching is telling them to investigate the information and make their own minds up based on all the information available.

JuLeah - posted on 04/25/2011

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Indoctrination happens when the child thinks they have no option but yours or when they are never told about other options. A vegan diet is healthy, but not the only way to be healthy. To raise a child in this fashion is fine. When the kid is grown, they will make their own choice. This is teaching.

Taking them to church is teaching. Teaching them God only likes your church and all others will go to hell is indoctrination. Telling a child God will hate them if they go to the church down the street or make effort to think for themselves, or that the world will end if they miss a sunday service ... (and yes, I know folks raised like that) that is indoctination and brainwashing .... it never ends well, and on bad days ends will spiked kool-aide in a basement.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/25/2011

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Ok, I am gonna address all of these things as a whole. What you do as a family, from concerts, church, theme parks, political events, even school is all about raising them. If church is part of your weekly agenda, and prayers before meals, you are raising your child with the beliefs that you want to instill. So is bringing them to school.

I don't feel that raising your child with your beliefs is indoctrination...otherwise what the hell is the point of parenting?

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Sal - posted on 05/06/2011

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i thought i posted this earlier but can't find it, i was watching father bob the other night (aussie girls might know him, he is on jjj with jon saffran) he likened religon to chook, free range is the way to go, scratch around, see whats out in the sunshine have a little taste of anything they fancy and you get a great egg, lock them up, only let the farmer in to feed them the same shit everyday and the eggs will be a very poor example, he says the same is true for religion, (it also makes the easter egg make more sence)

Desiree - posted on 05/06/2011

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"To teach ; allows one to reach an informed decision based on historical proven facts . Indoctrination is the process of inculcating ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies or a professional methodology . It is often distinguished from education by the fact that the indoctrinated person is expected not to question or critically examine the doctrine they have learned.[ As such it is used pejoratively, often in the context of political opinions, theology or religious dogma.]"

On a personal level even though my children go with me to church I hope I have taught them to ask questions and be critical or evrything and not to take everything at face value.

Sarah - posted on 05/05/2011

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Hmmmm... this is something I've never really thought of before. I am Christian and believe that I attend a very open-minded church that understands that people interpret the bible in different ways, and that there isn't just one way to be Christian. I disagree with some of the things our pastor says many Sundays, but with the important stuff, the real principals of the Christian faith, I believe in wholeheartedly, agreeing with pastor and church. When I think of how to teach my daughter about religion, I've always assumed I will tell her what I believe and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Will I not allow her to question what I tell her? Absolutely not. Will I refuse to teach her about other religions? No. But, will I tell her that Jesus is her savior and present it as the truth? Yes, absolutely. As a mother who follows Christ, how could I not present that as truth? My life has been better, fuller, more meaningful since I found Christ. Thats what I want for my daughter. Will I love her any less if she decides she can't believe how I do? Of course not. To me, this is not indoctrination, this is wanting for my child the happiness that I know.

Sal - posted on 04/29/2011

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they are vastly different....teaching is giving the information and allowing the child to reach their own conclusions, and then allowing them to have this is their truth wether it is your view or not, indoctrination is not giving any choice, (either by keeping them away from any aternate views or making it clear that the only real truth is yours) of what they are allowed to believe, and when or if they reach a conculsion that you don;t agree with you tell them they are wrong, that not following your way is the wrong way...
going to church is not indoctrination when it is a part of a full and open life, the same for a rally or political event, and the vegan thing is more difficult to me, for me if you want to be vegan that is a personal choice, and when the child is under your roof they eat what you make for them, so not indoctrination in that respect, if you then start telling them that anyone who eats animals are evil, or if you child isn;t allowed to go to birthday parties, sleep over incase a non vegan mosal might slip into their mouths, or if the child wants to eat meat and you stop them then that is different, i can see that you might not want it in your house, or to cook it, but not allow it at all, ever even if you aren't there is a little too controlling

Johnny - posted on 04/26/2011

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The problem with that is, facts are open to interpretation. Most of us put a little spin or editorialize the "facts". Not to mention, I've noticed that my "facts" may be very different from your "facts".

I agree that unless people are welcome to question vigorously what they are being told and form their own opinions, it is indoctrination. But although I am always right ;-) I would be indoctrinating my child if I told her that my beliefs are the truth. Regardless of whether or not those beliefs were "facts" or "opinions". When asked a question by a child, I usually tend to preface my response with, "I believe that...." and end it with "but not everyone agrees with me."

Emily - posted on 04/25/2011

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I didn't read all of the replies, but I agree with Johnny. The way I see it, is if the beliefs or knowledge that you wish to teach your child cannot stand up to any and every question a child could muster... you probably need to reconsider it yourself. Questions are an important part of life. We should all be asking them constantly, of ourselves and others.

That said, I see nothing wrong with presenting your beliefs as truth, however. (That is, when you are dealing with facts, not opinions - there is no "true" opinion.) If it is the truth, then it will withstand the test of time, and the battery of questions and doubts. If it proves (in your child's eyes) to be not true, well, then your child learns another valuable lesson - parents can be mistaken.

Krista - posted on 04/25/2011

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To me, teaching is giving them the information.
Indoctrinating them is telling them how to interpret the information.


Bango. That's it in a nutshell.

Charlie - posted on 04/25/2011

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Johnny said : To me, sharing information and personal opinion (expressed as such) is teaching one's children. Telling a child that something is the absolute truth and not giving them the opportunity or skills to question for themselves is indoctrination.



Taking a child to a political rally, church event, etc. is not in and of itself a form of indoctrination. Not allowing a child to ask questions and not informing them that there are other ways of thinking is indoctrination.





I totally agree , if your opinion is to be considered truth and your child has no chance to explore other options then they are being indoctrinated .

Minnie - posted on 04/25/2011

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We are Christian- so we do tell our children about God- but considering our history with church and how we are still healing we fully admit that we are not sure what is truth. And we plan on telling our girls that- what we believe, why we believe it and then owning up the possibility that we might be wrong. That's teaching to me.

Indoctrination was what I experienced every day for the five years we attended our IFB church. KJV only inspired version of the Bible, don't interpret it your way or else, get saved our way or burn in hell, hit children with implements to turn them to God and submit to authority...

Amber - posted on 04/25/2011

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I'm with Johnny. It's not necessarily what you expose them to; it's whether or not you allow them to follow a path that you haven't laid out step by step.

To me, teaching is giving them the information.
Indoctrinating them is telling them how to interpret the information.

Sara - posted on 04/25/2011

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I agree with Johnny. To me, the difference is the lack of questioning. If you take your kids to things, but allow them to ask questions that may or may not challenge your belief system, that is teaching. Making your opinon the only option and not allowing questions or critical thinking is indoctrination, IMO.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/25/2011

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Well said Kati, but just bringing them to church doesn't immediately mean they are indoctrinated.

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