If you were to foster a child or befriend them, should you the agnostic/atheist, avoid ingraining your ideas-like buddhism (peaceful meditation practice) in the adopted child-who is practicing an abrahamic (Christianity/Islam) faith?
Would such an attempt have a backfiring effect on the child/teen who is sad/hopeless about family?
I was a foster child and I felt extremely awkward having others beliefs pushed on me. Foster situations are difficult enough on children. I would try to be supportive of children continuing their beliefs but I wouldn't hide mine either. I would, however, try to teach them critical thinking skills and challenge them to question things so they could make their own choices.
I wouldn't want to push any religion or non-religion on them. Let them come to their own conclusions and beliefs. I've fostered kids and adopted two. I'll certainly give my opinion when asked but I make sure that to say that It's my opinion. If they can think for themselves I've done good, IMO.
I'm not going to actively try to convert anyone, but I will encourage critical thinking skills and ask lots of hard questions on faith related manners. I don't expect to ever foster a child, but I do have grandchildren, and one of them has a catholic daddy. Well, mom is a non believer so he is going to have a broad view, but I will encourage allllll sorts of questions. And if he is ever an altar boy, he will get lots of questions from Grammy. No funny priests around my boy.
My daughter (step) is Thai and went to a Catholic school in Aust. They had meditation class and were told to have hands upraised on knees. She refused and folded hands in her lap as they do in Buddhist Thailand. Teacher rang me up.
Very proud of her that day as she stood up for herself against her peers. Told the teacher to get over it.
My first move would be to lobby the state legislature that's paying for-profit foster care placement agencies and foster parents, instead of funding services and support for families whose kids are being stolen from them. Kansas is notorious for it, but not alone. The U.S. government is paying companies to remove immigrant children from families and funneling them into foster care, where foster parents are paid as well. Foster care as a for-profit industry needs to be challenged at every turn by everyone who says they care about humanity.
Sorry but I cannot bear any discussion of foster care without calling out the inherent evil of removing children from parents in a society that shames and blames poor, addicted, abusive parents for lack of decent wages, housing, health care, education, et. al. America sucks and we're all part of the problem if we defend the status quo instead of challenging it from the depth of our beings.
Their beliefs are their own business and we should respect that. Foster parents should not be trying change or alter an already established belief system, however if the child wishes to initiate a conversation about faith or belief then the foster carer should be candid about their own views. It would be totally out of order for a foster parent to try to “ingrain” their own viewpoint or practices on any child, regardless of whether the child was practicing a religion or not. What would be beneficial, would be to encourage the child to ask questions, read, and be curious about everything.
I was a foster child. I bounced from home to home for years through seven homes from 11-18. Each home was Christian, and each home was a different denomination, and each one asserted their idea was right and the last family was mistaken.
Each family in a desire to make you feel included, includes you in their life (Duh, your in their fucking family!), and this includes religion. I was never "forced" to believe but I was obligated to attend and "be nice, polite, and observant of the way they did things. Not to do so would cost you in some way, chores, groundation, or even horror as might well be behind that door.
So you don't open that.
I never saw this as an attempt by a foster family to indoctrinate me into their religion, but an attempt to make me feel like a part of their family.
In the end the effect was to show me there is no "Christian" religion, rather there are dozens of competing religious ideologies under the umbrella of "Christianity", but they do not believe the same things about core issues like salvation.
I would say you can present it as who you are, what your family does, but not expect the child to participate in it. Meditation without any religious overtones could be presented to the child as a way of managing stress and might be an extremely useful tool for a child experiencing difficult personal situations. Non-religious meditation has even been taught in public schools, so I don't see it as a controversial teaching in today's day and age.
I'm of the philosophy that people all should indulge themselves in their own beliefs, and that I ought not have a say in it at all. What one should demonstrate to any and all children is honesty, rationality, and a sense of independence, among other things. I don't think that can be done through any kind of "conversion" attempt, whether that's to atheism, Christianity, Buddhism, or Flying-Spaghetti-Monsterism (aka Pastafarianism).
We're moving accross the street from some JW's and will be hiring thier 15 y/o son to do yardwork/gruntwork we don't want to do. If he tries to convert or witness he'll be informed that I'll be willing to listen to him as long as I get equal time for him to listen to me - length not importaint, just equal.
But I in no way want to do this. We'll live life the best way we can and if he sees we're not some raging monsters that deserve to be condemned to hell for all eternity itd have much more of a lasting impact than me forcing him to convert - thats how he became a JW to begin with, after all.
Teaching critical thinking is a constant activity.... there is no such thing as "converting" anyone to Atheism .....I would never adopt a brainwashed child.... as for this weekend observing believers celebrating an alleged temporary torture death of an alleged hybrid human crossed with an alleged gawd ..... I compare that xian lunacy to killing a chicken and reading the future staring at the bloody internal organs ...both santeria & xian practice is insane animal sacrifice ....only geebush jeehobah ghostholes is not a real animal to ever exist