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Raising children with/without religion

I have a 4 year old daughter and I don't want to expose her to too much religion/God at such a young age as young children are prone to automatically believe everything they are told. But, I also do want her to be informed to the extent to eventually make her own decisions about belief/nonbelief. Any suggestions or advice on how to do this or how you as a non-believer have raised your children? Thanks!

kittieblue13 4 Sep 2

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34 comments (26 - 34)

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I don't know if there is a perfect way, because I never found it. For awhile I did Sunday school but we talked about all religion. We would compare and learn about the stories of the religions. It bored them to death and I lost interest too.


I tried to teach her the truth as I know them, as in all other matters. And tell her that she will have to make certain choices on her own, and the choices comes with consequences. And I also tried to give her my moral values: that we should avoid making choices whose consequences hurt people.


Both my daughters were brought up with no religion and they were told gradually at the right time all they needed to know until they knew all the why's, what and what not. Both adults that have choosed by their own power to be free thinkers and they perfectly understand they can change their mind any given day and that's ok
. They both appreciate to have the option to do as they please.


Christmas I told my son that his mum and I bought him presents no mention of santa . His nan passed away and we told him she was on her way to becoming stardust . Otherwise god doesn't come up he's 3 so still early days . When his mum split from me her brother in law kept bringing up Santa and using the usual threats with behaviour and presents crap but I'm sticking to my guns and he realises I tell him the truth

I don't buy the stardust thing either. Your young child might need to have some type of softening for death. Heaven is death because you no longer hurt or have any problems. The difference between heaven and hell is how people remember you. If they are glad you are dead that is hell. If they miss you and maybe sad that is Heaven because they remember you in a good light.

@benhmiller what do you mean you don't buy the stardust thing either ? Heaven and hell are vile thngS to say to a child


As a young mom I didn't know any better and my children went to church and Sunday school but we were not glued to the seats even then. We adopted 6 other children and I home schooled. We learned about the religons of the world in our studies, we also attended various churches in our area of different denominations, and that was all it took. The kids got it with no problem. I didn't want my children mentally and emotionally handicapped either by some fool religion. They are all grown now and gone and doing fine - none are fanatics. Not sure if they go to any church or not but either way - fine.


I didn't become a Agnostic until after my kids were grown. Damn, I wish I could turn the time back.


As long as she knows you love her it will suffice. My family started attending church when I was 6 1/2. I was impressed by the maturity and sincerity of the congregation but it did eventually get under my skin. I believed cave men died out millions of years ago. Finding out they were still among us was a huge betrayal. Took decades of study to understand why I didn't fit in. When she asks about the big picture, maybe just tell her even you are still figuring it out. By that, I mean old stories in old books can still serve a purpose. As grusome as it is, if a person actually reads the bible and learns to interpret recurring dreams it simplifies the entire bible down to making your own rules and living and dieing by them.


We read and continue to read books.

Older than The Stars []

Little Changes []

This one is more 5-6 year old, depending on interest and maturity:

What Do You Believe? []


When I was raising my children I was still under the clutches of organized religion so yes I did involve them but I did not force them. And I just explained to them that religion or faith or spiritual things were a very private thing and something that only they could decide.
And that their was nothing wrong with exploring all views and ideas and faiths.
Now that I’m raising grandchildren I have somewhat changed my thoughts.
I pretty much tell them how I feel about organized religion and why. And how I came to believe the way I do.
I do try and stray them away from church stuff of any faith.
I just try and keep them away from the Bible beaters of the world as much as possible. I tell them to use their own minds and talk about all aspects of belief systems.
I answer questions as they come up.
I try and not influence them but leave things open for discussion.

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