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Do you raise your kids atheist?

Do you teach your children that there is no god? Or do you encourage them to keep an open mind and figure out what works for them?

By msar04146
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59 comments

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7

As two atheists, we raised our daughter without religion or attending a church. "How can you be a moral person and be an atheist?" Christians ask. Being a good person is a daily, moment-by-moment decision.

We taught our daughter:

  1. Social skills- conversational skills, good manners, confidence, kindness, honesty, humor and fair play. To value diversity and respect others, regardless of skin color, religion, national origin, disabilities or sexual orientation.
  2. Self-responsibility.
  3. To value education, art and music.
  4. A healthy lifestyle including exercise and eating healthy food.
  5. Music- piano and violin lessons.
  6. Athletics- tennis, gymnastics, karate, swiming, hiking, basketball, downhill skiing, weightlifting, stretching and more. One sport at at time, although tennis and swimming lessons were continued. When Claire was four, she began horse-riding lessons to build confidence.

    Although she tried different sports, tennis was her passion. Like her dad, Claire was a varsity doubles tennis player during all four years of high school.

  7. Volunteering to help others in need.
  8. Love of the outdoors.
  9. The importance of protecting the environment.
  10. Love of reading.
7

When my son was 10 years old, I had read a children's bible, and I asked him what he believed and what he didn't believe. He picked up on 2 things that were impossible:

The Universe, Earth, Man, and all animals were not created the same week.
No Star of Bethlehem could ever lead wise men to a single house.

He's been an atheist ever since.
He's a very bright boy, he had me boxed into a logical corner on Santa Claus when he was only 6 so I had to come clean on that one.

BD66 Level 7 Apr 8, 2018
5

I don't have kids, but I'm for sure raising an atheist dog.

5

A child is not going to believe in a god or be a theist unless that poison is crammed into their brain.

Atheist or in language no deity is the normal state.

5

I was once talking to a Christian friend about my grandson being atheist, and he said, "Ya'll don't teach them that do you?" I pointed out that he's a Christian because his parents taught him that. He had no choice but to concede my point!

5

I raised several, and I told them to expand their minds and to make sure to decide for themselves.

4

While I was a Christian the first 16 years of my daughter's life, I raised and encouraged her to find her own path. She's an atheist.

3

I raised my children to make their own decisions. All three chose to be an atheist.

kiramea Level 7 Apr 8, 2018
3

I wasn't hard core about it but my girl needed defense against the indoctrinated brats in school so there was indeed some guidance... I never wanted her to feel like "god" was picking on her so felt I'd no choice but to step in and let her know that the other kids were raised being told that crap and didn't know any better. That just because someone believes in god doesn't mean they're a good person.

Qualia Level 8 Apr 8, 2018
3

I raised my twins to question everything, they believe in fact over fiction

Woodron Level 7 Apr 8, 2018
3

Mine grew up going to church because of their mom. They became atheists because we both taught them to think for themselves.

jjhagen Level 6 Apr 8, 2018
3

Mine grew up with rational explanations for natural events and no indoctrination.

3

My kids decided for themselves. My only guidance was don't be assholes.

JimG Level 8 Apr 8, 2018
3

If I were a parent, I would raise them to choose to believe whatever they want. I would teach them about all the religions.

2

I don't like telling anyone how to raise their kids but if someone were to ask me I would say:

>If you teach a child no faith, they default to the majority. If you teach them one faith you indoctrinate them, if you teach them many faiths you innoculate them.

Which is why I raised my children in the Unitarian Universalist Church so they would be taught about all faiths.

“The Principles are not dogma or doctrine, but rather a guide for those of us who choose to join and participate in Unitarian Universalist religious communities."
1.1st Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
2.2nd Principle: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
3.3rd Principle: Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
4.4th Principle: A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
5.5th Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
6.6th Principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
7.7th Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

The six sources that UU congregations affirm and promote:
•Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
•Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
•Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
•Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
•Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit;
•Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

2

No, I raised them how to think and told them my beliefs and they happen to be none believers

2

I raised my daughters without religion and knowing that I was an atheist. Still, I let them make their own choices. Both are agnostics today.

2

Before our sons were born my husband and I decided that we would not raise our children with any religion. We taught them to question everyone and everything, because we wanted them to make a decision as to whether or not they believed. One is now an atheist and the other is an agnostic.

2

I did rise mine as freethinkers so they can decide for themselves what they want to believe. They are adults now and haven't pick anything yet, they are doing ok as plain freethinkers

2

No. I raise my daughter to think for herself.

2

So long as you don’t indoctronate children, their default position is atheism, whether they know it or not. It wouldn’t be their identity, but their beliefs would align. The only sense in which one should “raise them” to be atheists is just to teach them to question things. If they ask you what you believe, tell them in a way that acknowledges that other people believe other things. As long as you love them no matter what, I wouldn’t stress about it.

2

If I had children, I would definitely be raising them as atheists.
Keeping an "open mind" has nothing to do with religion.

KKGator Level 9 Apr 8, 2018
2

I gave my daughter a new option as I met her at age 14. She'd grown up with all kinds of religion force upon her and none of those family members stepped in to foster her when she needed placement. I spoke openly about my Catholic upbringing, searching, joining a cult at 19, and getting myself out 2.5 years later after I broke up with Jesus for good. She is very inquisitive re: astral projection and energy, but no gods to speak of.

Helga Level 4 Apr 8, 2018
2

I did-my kids are 35 and 22, both are not religious.

1

No. I’m agnostic. I didn’t talk to them about religion until they heard about it from friends and family. I explain my beliefs and other beliefs and encourage them to explore and think for themselves. But I can’t help being happy when they point out negatives to religion that they picked up on their own. smile001.gif

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