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Hearthcraft and Hedgewitchery Working with the magic and spirit of hearth, home, kith and kin..creating a magical sanctuary, including kitchenwitchery and garden magic

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Old 10-30-09   #1
Nesta
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Default Explaining Beliefs to Children

I'm posting this here because, well, kids are the heart of the home aren't they? (If you have any).

Are any of you raising your kids Pagan? (Or whatever believe system you have). Do any of you deliberatley raise your kids without religion?

What kinds of things do you teach them and how do you go about it?

My step-kids are christian but, being a witch, I naturally impart my beliefs to them in everyday life as a matter of course. All of us agree (2 parents & 2 step-parents) that we should teach them as much as possible about different belief systems and let them do as they wish. They are under no pressure to be religious. Their mum and step-dad are among the very few people who don't know that I'm a witch and we've agreed it's best to keep it that way. The kids don't know exactly what I am either but they see my altars and we discuss them, they know that I meditate and we talk about religion (at their instigation) whenever they want. They know that Freyja and Odin are very important to me. They are fascinated that I don't have one god, that there are many gods, many religions and that I also have a goddess. They particularly like that.

I think it's good for the girls to learn about different religions, it's also good for me to work out ways to talk to them about it and try to answer their questions without using any labels. My step-daughters are highly intelligent and they ask very precocious questions about religion so they keep J and I on our toes.
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Old 10-30-09   #2
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I think you are handling it very well. It will do the girls very good to learn about others and the differences of others at such a young age. It will keep them open and not breed intolerance or fear.
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Old 10-30-09   #3
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Religion is very important in my household, but not as you think. If someone came in they'd see icons and items of the Christian faith, the Buddhist faith, Thelema, the Muslim faith, the Hindu faith and even a Psychic Cross and "Bob". We're religious, there is a diversity in it. There are books available to the children, anything they could care to learn about, including Athiestic philosophy and even books on traditional witchcraft. We don't push anything on the children. We encourage a diversity of understanding because we feel that unless presented with the majority of the picture any belief structure is myopic.
In the household we celebrate many holidays, the core of which for us is Thelemic. We celebrate Christmas and talk about the traditions behind that, we celebrate Samhain and talk about the traditions attached to that.
Just like you said before, we want to present them with a variety and we want them to choose for themselves.

Now, Kaylan is our Secular Humanist. She's as agnostic as it gets, although she'll profess to be an athiest. She got in trouble once at school for professing athiesm, so we defended her. Kelci will occasionally go to Christian church with her aunt, but I really don't see a hint of her beliefs yet. Tirzah is interested in magick, as are Sarah and Simone. This was magnified when one day the three of them and a cousin were having some fun chanting "red, red, blood will be shed", and then the next day Simone accidentally cut her face so bad that blood ended up even splashed on the walls. We told the kids that next time they want to practice magick they need to know how to do so correctly. I think they're naturally able to pick this up.
The younger kids participate in saying Will at meals, a Thelemic custom. Sarah has attended a gnostic mass. We're not going to push it. We want them to decide for themselves.
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Old 10-30-09   #4
Nesta
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Default Re: Explaining Beliefs to Children

Thanks DL.

aedria that sounds like the perfect way. Your kids will be very well-rounded and open-minded.

J and I were both raised Catholic and his main interest is now Buddhism so we can talk to the kids about all that, as well as Paganism and Heathenry of course. For anything we don't know about we go and do some research with the girls so that we can all find out. I think that as long as kids have enquiring minds and are comfortable asking questions they'll be ok, J and I have enquiring minds so between us all we should be fine.

The girls actually teach us quite a lot with regard to their approach to religion and the kinds of questions they ask. I like that a lot.
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Old 10-30-09   #5
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There is something quite delightful in seeing a child unfold into a belief structure. My husband reminded me that Kaylan has decided (after reading Morals and Dogma) that she's a Deist.

We also do not discourage children with their visions, fancies, seeing things that "aren't there" (a few are very psychically sensitive) and any sensitivities that they have. We do not encourage them to "see" things, but if they pick up on something we don't act like it's anything special.
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Old 10-30-09   #6
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Default Re: Explaining Beliefs to Children

Children are very good at playing games!
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Old 10-30-09   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyarlatbrotep View Post
Children are very good at playing games!
Especially the "I saw a ghost Mommy, I can't go to sleep" game.
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Old 10-30-09   #8
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Default Re: Explaining Beliefs to Children

I think exposing children to many different expressions of the universe is the way to go. The thing is, being innocent and not quite tainted by culture they, imo, are more in touch with that part of existence that is pure. By pure i mean no symbolic system to get in the way of their OWN divine expression.

When symbols begin to become interesting, then it's a matter of showing them that many different people have many different names for the same thing or same experience. At that point its only a matter for the child to pick a religion (if at all) that suits their style just like picking your favorite pair of pants to wear for the day.
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Old 10-30-09   #9
Nesta
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Default Re: Explaining Beliefs to Children

I've just remembered a call I got from my friend's six year old daughter. She was very excited and wanted to ask me if I was a 'real' witch. I had to explain that I'm not like the witches she's seen in movies. LOL I felt like a cruel lady.
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Old 10-31-09   #10
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I am with Burns on the label's thing.....I can't talk to Gregor about anything other than he is a 4 year old,loving it,& can't wait until he is 5.

Ross believes in God(whatever the hell he mean's by this I do not know) I asked if he had met him & he said no,then started going on about his own astral adventures.

He also likes the Egyptian Pantheon,and as such will fit in with every other pantheon of every other label(s) of all places & time.

They do not lose any sleep over it,and all I can do is *advise* if they explain any familiar energy sig's.
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