Steadfast Madcap

"Not in My House" -- How far are you willing to let your kid diverge from your moral beliefs?

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This thread is inspired by the "sex is disrespectful to parents" topic, but it seemed different enough to warrant its own thread.

 

How far are you willing to let your kid go in terms of deviating from your own morals/beliefs while they are still in your home, or financially dependent on you? The topic of premarital sex seems to have been pretty thoroughly discussed (with most people coming down on the side of it not being allowed), but there are plenty of other ways your teenager/young adult could want to do things differently from you while living in your home. A few I was wondering about in particular, but feel free to contribute your own scenarios:

 

What if they want to paint their room a color you think is ugly? What if they wanted to date someone of the same sex (date, not sleep with), or even just come out as gay or bi? What if they came out as trans* and wanted to go on hormone therapy and be called by a different name? What if they feel they need to take ADD medication or antidepressants, but you aren't convinced it's necessary? What if they wanted to switch to a different religion, or declare themselves an atheist?

 

Personally I'd be more freaked out by them wanting to convert to an organized religion than anything else on that list. But I still would never tell them they weren't allowed to have a cross or a bible in their room, or that they couldn't pray while in the house, or that they couldn't use the car to drive to church on Sundays.

 

If they were under 18, I feel like my limits would involve things I felt posed a serious risk to them, such as smoking, using illegal drugs, dating someone inappropriately older or who is known to be dangerous, undergoing a pointless surgery, or joining a cult-like branch of any given religion. Once they're over 18, I feel like even those decisions are up to them, though it would break my heart if they did get involved in those types of situations. I'd still have to draw the line at say, smoking indoors, bringing drugs into the home, or bringing a convicted felon around (as I would for anyone coming into my house), because those situations don't only jeopardize them, but the people around them as well.

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This is a very interesting topic. I will first talk about how I would react to the situations discussed in Steadfast's post.

If my child wanted to paint their room an ugly colour: go for it. Its their personal space and should be able to decorate it to their taste.

If they came out as gay: I would appreciate that they felt comfortable enough to tell me and I would carry on our relationship as normal. I would give them my love and support.

If they came out as trans: it would be a shock at first but I would discuss options with them and take them to see a specialist in this area to get advice. I would support my child no matter what but would feel sad that they had to deal with such a situation.

ADD medication: I remain to be convinced that the majority of children with ADD require medication so would be wary of going down this route with my child.

Changing religion: slightly disappointed but it wouldn't be the end of the world.

I grew up with very liberal parents (no grounding, no curfew, allowed me to make my own decisions, lots of trust) and I would like to raise my children the same way. There is not a lot of things that would make me put my foot down and forbid my child from doing, but if they were dating a total idiot or wanted to get a tattoo in a conspicuous place then I'd make my feelings known! If I was to catch them smoking or taking drugs I would go mental.

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I grew up exactly the same way, 29k! As a result I didn't have a rebellious phase at all, because there was nothing to rebel against. My friends who grew up in strict households all ended up being rather wild, and they lie to their parents on a routine basis with no guilt whatsoever.

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Interesting. I had a fairly strict upbringing, but didn't really rebel, as I guess I saw the reasons behind why my family was that way, and I appreciated the sacrifices my dad made to provide for me. (My parents had pretty chaotic upbringings, so I guess my dad felt the need to "protect" me from some of the stuff he went through as a kid.) However, I don't think it's necessary in every case to be strict to "protect" your kids. They need space to decide for themselves who they are. (Still my house, my rules though.)

 

Anyway, going down the list:

1.They can paint their room whatever color they want.

2. If they were gay or trans, I hope that we would be close enough that I'd already know, so that when they came out, I could just be like, "Yeah, I know. Still love ya. It's fine."

3. Meds: It depends on the situation. I truly believe some of those "medications" cause more harm than good, so it really would depend. 

4. Changing religion: I might be disappointed at first, but in terms of religion or lack of, that's something they need to decide for themselves. 

 

 

 

If they were under 18, I feel like my limits would involve things I felt posed a serious risk to them, such as smoking, using illegal drugs, dating someone inappropriately older or who is known to be dangerous, undergoing a pointless surgery, or joining a cult-like branch of any given religion. Once they're over 18, I feel like even those decisions are up to them, though it would break my heart if they did get involved in those types of situations. I'd still have to draw the line at say, smoking indoors, bringing drugs into the home, or bringing a convicted felon around (as I would for anyone coming into my house), because those situations don't only jeopardize them, but the people around them as well.

 

Ditto. 

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What if they want to paint their room a color you think is ugly?

I wouldn't care. They have to sleep there.

What if they wanted to date someone of the same sex (date, not sleep with), or even just come out as gay or bi?

They were born that way. I would accept my child if they were gay. It's not a choice.

What if they came out as trans* and wanted to go on hormone therapy and be called by a different name?

Then they would have to pay for it.

What if they feel they need to take ADD medication or antidepressants, but you aren't convinced it's necessary?

Maybe encourage some therapy. There might be other things going on. But if they're adults and want to do it I can't do anything.

What if they wanted to switch to a different religion, or declare themselves an atheist?

I wouldn't care, if they're adults. If they're children then they would still have to follow my beliefs.

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What if they want to paint their room a color you think is ugly?

 

They can do that, but they have to provide the labor and the materials. If they do a poor job of protecting their belongings from paint, I'm not paying to replace them. Privilege and responsibility go hand in hand.

 

 

What if they wanted to date someone of the same sex (date, not sleep with), or even just come out as gay or bi?

 

I'm bisexual. I'd have no problem with my child being gay or bisexual.

 

 

What if they came out as trans* and wanted to go on hormone therapy and be called by a different name?

 

Before going on hormone therapy, I'd want them to see a therapist who specializes in transgender issues. I would be accepting, but I'd also want them to have time to explore that with a professional before altering their body. It would be difficult for me to call them by a different name, primarily because habits are hard to change and because future children with all family names, but I would try really really hard to respect their wishes.

 

What if they feel they need to take ADD medication or antidepressants, but you aren't convinced it's necessary?

 

Ha, having an ADD child is my worst nightmare. I don't have it, but I'm sure I carry the gene. My mom, twin brother, and younger brother all have it. My younger brother doesn't take meds for it anymore, but I think he did all through school. I can't stand being around my twin brother for more than an hour or two if he hasn't taken his meds. He lacks all impulse control. My mom is easier to be around without her meds, but she's also hilariously obviously off them.

 

What if they wanted to switch to a different religion, or declare themselves an atheist?

 

I'm Christian, and my husband is atheist. My children will be required to attend church with me probably until they're in high school. My husband and I have already decided that in addition to attending one church regularly for community and fellowship, we'll also take our kids to other religious places of worship. We want them to have as much age-appropriate information as possible on all the religious faiths so they can make their own informed decision as they get older.

 

In regards to other things, certain activities will never be tolerated at my house. Aka ones that negatively affect other people. So media has to be played at reasonable volumes so as not to disturb everyone else. Smoking is NOT ALLOWED EVER on my property, inside or outside. Or in any of our cars. Same with drugs.

 

I do plan on teaching my kids how to drink responsibly, and hopefully get them interested in expensive wine/beer so they prefer to spend money on a small amount of good alcohol instead of a binge amount of cheap alcohol.

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Kind of off-topic, but people talking about whether their parents were strict or not got me thinking of my parents. They weren't strict at all, but it wasn't intentionally. They just weren't. I think they would have been completely lost if I had been a difficult teenager. Luckily for them, I never had an interest in doing anything "bad." I was never interested in drinking or doing drugs or partying or having sex or anything.

 

Anyway, a bit more on topic, I think it's hard to find a universal answer. Quite frankly, some kids respond well to having strict parents and some will rebel, as has been said. Let's face it, if the kid responds well, there are a lot of potential advantages to being strict (assuming the parents have good advice and a good path to set them on, which isn't necessarily the case). If you don't allow your child to drink and they never drink until they are 21, most likely alcohol will never be a problem for them. If you make them study, do extracurricular activites, volunteer, ect....you will have given you're kid a leg-up on getting into a good college and on getting a scholarship. Assuming your kid does obey you and listens to you, this isn't a bad way to go (of course, keep in mind that if the kid wants to do these things anyway and you're "making" them they might resent being treated like a child when they already mature enough to do these things on their own. Once again, depends on the kid and how mature they are.)

 

But, then there's the reverse. Some kids will not respond well to being strict. They'll rebel. The strict parent might respond, "I'll ground them if I find out they had sex, drank, are doing poorly in school, ect...." Well, guess what? That's not exactly going to stop a truly rebellious teenager. They'll sneak out. They'll have sex somewhere else. Well, then maybe you kick them out. I suppose you could do that. Maybe. I mean, legally the law won't let you if they're under 18. Plus, even if you could, you probably run the risk of pushing them away to make even worse decisions. If you're kid is more prone to rebellion, it might make sense to take a different approach. Maybe more of a give-and-take approach. Have rules, but not as many and not as strict. Repsond to the situation at hand. Don't encourage the same regimented life like you might with a more obedient kid.

 

Just some thoughts from someone who doesn't even want kids, haha.

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I do think a drawback to having extremely strict parents, even if your kid is naturally obedient, is that if you regiment their lives too much when they're living with you, they might have difficulty making independent choices for themselves once they're out of the home. I see the rebellion problem way more than I see the difficulty making choices problem, though.

 

If you have a child who has a natural tendency to rebel, forcing them to do pretty much anything will likely backfire extraordinarily.

 

I'd still resort to force in extreme cases (like if they were using drugs, or had developed an eating disorder), but overall, if my kids are remotely like me, they will respond to logic and freedom much better than the threat of force. My mother is actually much like me in that respect too. She had very traditional 1950s parents. Being forced to go to church made her shun it for the rest of her life, being told there was something wrong with her for being a woman and wanting a career made her even more determined to get her MBA from an Ivy League school. I think she even threatened to run away because her father wouldn't let her take a trip to Mexico (they caved and she got to go to Mexico). Luckily, I never had to have any of that kind of strife in our home, because she gave me the huge amounts of autonomy she wished she had been given. To borrow an example from wny, alcohol has never been a problem for me, even though it is a huge problem for a ton of people on my campus. I credit this to the fact that my mother let me start having wine with special dinners once I was 13. Alcohol has therefore never seemed mysterious, bad, or forbidden to me, like it does to many kids in high school and college whose parents forbade them from drinking until age 21.

 

It probably helps a lot if kids are on the same mental 'wavelength' as their parents in regard to their natural disposition and needs.

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1. Painting their room an ugly color:

I have no problem with that, even if u have a little girl or boy who loves pink :P I would let her paint it, or I would even paint it.

2. I would love and support my child no matter what gender they decide to date or be. If they decided they wanted to switch genders, I think we would have to discuss the situations, the cost, the surgeries, and etc. If at eighteen they still want to go through all of that, then they are free to do so. I just wouldn't want anything done to a still developing body and mind.

3. We would discuss different alternatives for add medicine, but if that's what ends up working in the end, then I would support it. But if they end up being like their uncle, my brother, we would just have to keep them active.

4. I would be devastated if my child decided to change religions, but they will still be my child. This would still be something we would discuss and if they still want to when they are older, I wouldn't disown them.

I think anything that could involve harm to them physically, emotionally, mentally and/or spiritually would involve serious discussion, or if they are to young to really grasp a convo, a firm no until they are older.

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1.Painting their room: Depends on age, but if they are mature enough to make a reasoned choice and it isn't black or some harsh color because they want to identify as goth or something like that, it would be OK. Might be fun to do together.

2. Trying to identify as gay or trans: Not in my house. I believe those are lusts, not lifestyles.

3. Meds for ADD or Depression, etc.: With a doctor's input, I would be most willing to consider them, but with care. However I have known people before and after going onto prescribed pills for depression, bipolar, etc., and their daily lives are so much better for it, that I am convinced that 'mental' illness is very often physically induced, and should in many cases be treated like any other disease.

4. Changing religion: Not in my house. There's a lot one could say, but in a nutshell - John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

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Great topic, and it's really interesting to see how similar - and how different - some of the answers are! Here are mine:

 

What if they want to paint their room a color you think is ugly?

 

 

I wouldn't really mind. It's their choice, and their room. However, like any decision that would involve a certain amount of time and money, I would give my child the time to think about it and make sure it's what they want. If it's a well thought-out decision, sure, they can paint their room whatever colour they want.

 

What if they wanted to date someone of the same sex (date, not sleep with), or even just come out as gay or bi?

 

Not a problem. I intend to raise my children knowing that doesn't matter what sex they prefer, and that they can date anyone (well, anyone their age) so long as their relationship is healthy and based on love. I'd rather my future daughter dated a sweet, intelligent, caring girl than an abusive, drug-addicted boy.

 

What if they came out as trans* and wanted to go on hormone therapy and be called by a different name?

 

First, I would make sure that they know I love them, that I will always support them, and that they can talk to me about anything. I would start an open dialogue and have them explain what's going on in their body, and I would try to help them the best I can. I would also send them to a therapist so they could discuss it further. Then, if they're 18 or older, they could go on hormone therapy. If they're not, I would let them dress in their preferred gender's clothes and act as that gender if that made them more comfortable (and though it would be weird, I'd call them by a different name if they insisted). Once they turned 18 we would discuss it again and then, if they wanted to, start hormone therapy.

 

What if they feel they need to take ADD medication or antidepressants, but you aren't convinced it's necessary?

 

Similar to above, I would discuss it with them about make sure I will always be there for them if they need to talk. I'm not that big on medication so I would suggest alternatives, such as natural remedies, as well as seeing a therapist. I believe many problems are easier to manage if you know you're being heard. So I would let them know they can talk to me as well as to a professional. By this point, it should have become clear whether or not they need the medication - if they don't, they'll be feeling better and not wanting it anymore, whereas if they do, I will have seen it for myself. If they did really need it, then I'd let them have it.

 

What if they wanted to switch to a different religion, or declare themselves an atheist?

 

It depends. I intend to raise my children with a spiritual background and expose them to my beliefs, as well as to others', from a young age. While I would love to see them follow the same religion as me, I would also want them to know that any faith or non-faith is okay so long as it's a genuine and informed choice. If my child told me they wanted to become a Christian because "the lady next door said I'll go to Hell if I don't convert", then we'd have a serious discussion on fear-mongering and brainwashing. But if their reason was "I love Jesus with all my heart, and I read the Bible and believe it to be true", then I would accept it and be happy they had found the path they needed.

 

This goes the other way too, by the way - if, by the time my children are teenagers, I notice that they call themselves Pagan but don't act as such, and their faith seems hollow, then I would encourage them to explore it further and find their own connection with the Gods instead of just doing what I do. I want them to be part of Hellenismos because they love it and believe it to be true, not because I said so.

 

In general, I'm a pretty lax person, so I can see myself being a lax parent too. Ideally, I would want to give my children a reasonable amount of freedom, and set boundaries based on mutual trust. However, there are four things that I feel strongly about and that I will not tolerate in my house: smoking, taking drugs, binge drinking, and promiscuous behaviour. If they are under 18, they will. not. do. any of those under my roof, period. If, once they're over 18 and have left home, they decide to do one of those, I would talk to them about it and make sure they are doing it responsibly. I would still be very disappointed and still not allow such behaviour on my property, but I would at least make sure they're not endangering themselves or other people.

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I figured I should probably answer the questions I asked of everyone else, since I really only answered one of them above.  :)

 

What if they want to paint their room a color you think is ugly?

  • Their room, their space. If they were still say, elementary school aged, I'd probably want to wait a few months to be sure it is something they really want, rather than a passing whim. Maybe do it as a birthday present or something. And I'd only be willing to assist them with a paint change every few years, so if they decided right after getting the new color that they hated it, they'd have to take care of fixing it themselves.

What if they wanted to date someone of the same sex (date, not sleep with), or even just come out as gay or bi?

  • I'm bisexual, and my older brother is gay, so I'd have no problem with my kid identifying as gay and/or wanting to date someone of the same sex (or identifying as bisexual while dating someone of the opposite sex).

What if they came out as trans* and wanted to go on hormone therapy and be called by a different name?

  • If they were under 16 or so, I'd want to see if I could have them put on puberty blockers. That way, my trans son wouldn't have to experience growing breasts, or my trans daughter wouldn't have to experience voice deepening, and any other secondary sex developments that are difficult if not impossible to undo later. Once they're 16-18 (really depends on the maturity of the kid, I think), I think they'd be ready to start hormonal treatments if they so desired. I want to say that I'd probably hold off on anything surgical until they're 18, but I would be open to my teen persuading me they're ready for surgery at an earlier age than that. Regardless of age, I'd encourage my child to live as the gender that feels right to them, and dressing as that gender/being called a name that is appropriate for that gender is a huge part of that.

What if they feel they need to take ADD medication or antidepressants, but you aren't convinced it's necessary?

  • The side effects of antidepressants scare me, and I think ADD meds are pushed way too heavily on little kids. If they were so depressed they were feeling suicidal, or so ADD they were failing classes, I'd immediately put aside my concerns and put them on medication. But if things weren't that bad, I'd want them to explore those issues through therapy, and see if they can solve things that way, before taking the step of putting them on medication.

What if they wanted to switch to a different religion, or declare themselves an atheist?

  • I answered this one above, a little bit. I'm an atheist, and intend to raise my kids in a very secular environment, so this is probably the thing that would scare me the most out of any of the questions I asked. Like Crystal said, if they were a child and wanted to convert because the neighbor next door said they were a sinner, I would talk to them about it rather than take their fear and confusion as a sincere desire to convert. But if they were say, 10+, and based their conversion on sincere desire rather than any passing whim, I would not stand in their way. I wouldn't go to church with them, but I would allow them to accompany a trusted Christian friend to church, and, once they were old enough to drive, I'd let them pick their own church and go there by themselves. The same applies to any non-culty religion. My boyfriend's family is Jewish, so I would be open to them exploring Judaism at an even younger age, but I'd also make it clear that, while I think those things are beautiful and valuable from a cultural standpoint, I do not believe the Torah is any more historical than The Little Mermaid is.

Basically, if a teenager has a sincere conviction about their identity, or about their religious beliefs, simply saying "You aren't allowed to believe that in my house," seems rather fruitless. All it serves is to create further strife between parent and child, and delay their eventual self-expression by a few years at most. You might keep a gay teen from having a prom date, but they will still be gay in their own mind and soul. You might keep your trans daughter from wearing a ball gown, but she will still be a woman internally. You might keep a Christian teen from receiving the Eucharist, but they will still be able to pray and worship in the privacy of their own mind. You might force an atheist teen to go through the motions of Christianity, but they will effectively be acting in a performance for your benefit. You can't force someone to feel or believe something, or to not feel or believe something.

 

With that said, why would I even want to keep myself from actually knowing my kids as the unique individuals they truly are, and keep my kid from the joys of living an honest life, simply because they are a little bit different from me?

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No, I wouldn't let them paint the room an ugly color, but becides that, I'll pretty much let my children grow and develop as I did. In a household where you give your child trust and freedom (but not too much, and not freedom to do dangerous things) they often skip right over the rebellious phase.

My children will be raised knowing that in my house, it's okay to come out as gay, bi, trans, etc. I will not run a judgemental household, they were born that way and no one can change it.

I'll also let my children celebrate whatever religion they choose when they grow older, I won't be raising them religious, but rather to accept other religions as being okay to exist, with no right or wrong one.

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Painting the room - Is this a serious question? OF COURSE NOT! It's my house so my color! :lol:

 

Gay/bi - It's alright so long as they don't engage in anything sexual.

 

Trans - If that's how they feel then that's that & I'm ok with transgender people in general but I'm not sure I'd react very positively if it was my child. Well, I'd get them to a professional who specializes in trans issues & if they were sure that that's what they wanted then I'd probably pay for it since whatever little I know about the whole thing is that the earlier the "transformation" begins the more "real" the results will be. BUT I think I might have trouble identifying them as my child, I mean I don't know how it'd be like to raise a little girl & then, she turns into a guy......or vice versa. Well, it might be that they are still my child but you know, sexual hormones are very poiwerful things, most of the sex-specific behavioral patterns amongst all of us are set by them so not only do they bring about drastic changes in physical appearance but likely strongly affect a person's behavior & personality so it could be like they're a totally different person to the one I'd known & loved......

Maybe I just don't know enough about the whole trans thing at this moment so I could've just been politically correct & said I'll still love them just as much as & so on but I honestly don't know if I could/would be able to do that so I hope I'll never have to deal that situation.

 

ADD - I don't know. It really depends on if I feel they really need it or not & how it affects them. I probably don't know enough so I guess I'll have to consult my wife :lol:

 

Religion - I'd be disappointed if they chose to join a religion but I'd be ok with it so long as they've really thought about it & are sure that that's what they want & it's not like a fad or something but still, some religions have some weird things going on so if there was something that I &/or my wife thought was really bad for them then that won't be allowed though.

 

Kind of off-topic, but people talking about whether their parents were strict or not got me thinking of my parents. They weren't strict at all, but it wasn't intentionally. They just weren't. I think they would have been completely lost if I had been a difficult teenager. Luckily for them, I never had an interest in doing anything "bad." I was never interested in drinking or doing drugs or partying or having sex or anything.

 

Anyway, a bit more on topic, I think it's hard to find a universal answer. Quite frankly, some kids respond well to having strict parents and some will rebel, as has been said. Let's face it, if the kid responds well, there are a lot of potential advantages to being strict (assuming the parents have good advice and a good path to set them on, which isn't necessarily the case). If you don't allow your child to drink and they never drink until they are 21, most likely alcohol will never be a problem for them. If you make them study, do extracurricular activites, volunteer, ect....you will have given you're kid a leg-up on getting into a good college and on getting a scholarship. Assuming your kid does obey you and listens to you, this isn't a bad way to go (of course, keep in mind that if the kid wants to do these things anyway and you're "making" them they might resent being treated like a child when they already mature enough to do these things on their own. Once again, depends on the kid and how mature they are.)

 

But, then there's the reverse. Some kids will not respond well to being strict. They'll rebel. The strict parent might respond, "I'll ground them if I find out they had sex, drank, are doing poorly in school, ect...." Well, guess what? That's not exactly going to stop a truly rebellious teenager. They'll sneak out. They'll have sex somewhere else. Well, then maybe you kick them out. I suppose you could do that. Maybe. I mean, legally the law won't let you if they're under 18. Plus, even if you could, you probably run the risk of pushing them away to make even worse decisions. If you're kid is more prone to rebellion, it might make sense to take a different approach. Maybe more of a give-and-take approach. Have rules, but not as many and not as strict. Repsond to the situation at hand. Don't encourage the same regimented life like you might with a more obedient kid.

 

Just some thoughts from someone who doesn't even want kids, haha.

 

Ditto. My parents would also have been kind of lost if I'd been a difficult teenager but thankfully for them, I didn't wish to engage in anything bad.

 

I agree with your overall sentiment that there's no one perfect way to go about raising children, strictness might help with some while allowing more freedom (& earning their trust) might be the way to go with those who are extremely rebellious. I think it will require some experimentation to see how a particular child reacts to a certain parenting style & see what works best. So, one might end up having a slightly different parenting style for each child.

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My parents were strict and I think I'll be the same way to my kids to a point. 

 

They can paint waterer they like, I don't care whoever they date, still my child regardless, as for being transgender thats a tough one, I honestly don't know how I would react.I would be okay with exploring other religions if they wanted but not atheism.

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My parents were strict and I think I'll be the same way to my kids to a point. 

 

They can paint waterer they like, I don't care whoever they date, still my child regardless, as for being transgender thats a tough one, I honestly don't know how I would react.I would be okay with exploring other religions if they wanted but not atheism.

I'm curious, why are other religions okay but not atheism? What is the difference between not believing that God or Gods exist and believing in them? Is it because you think they'll be lacking due to a lack of spirituality?

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I don't believe one religion to be greater or better than the other which is why I might not have a problem with exploring other religions but going full out to not believing in any deity would leave me feeling as a failure as a parent because I would like to make sure I pass on my values and beliefs to my kids. I think thats what every parent wants.

 

I'm curious, why are other religions okay but not atheism? What is the difference between not believing that God or Gods exist and believing in them? Is it because you think they'll be lacking due to a lack of spirituality?

 

And no, it's not because of that. I don't believe one has to believe in a supernatural entity in order a fulfilling life or be content but (and I know this will sound a little harsh) I have a certain dislike to atheists. 9 out of 10 times, I find them condescending and the mocking of religion or religious people,the snarky remarks(imaginary friends and all ) it's that attitude that gets to me  so that may partially have something to do with it. I understand that's how, many feel towards religion but I wouldn't want my kids feeling that way especially about something that important to me.

 

 

*I really tried to edit myself so as to not offend anyone, so I'm sorry if I did and please feel free to correct me if am wrong...

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I don't believe one religion to be greater or better than the other which is why I might not have a problem with exploring other religions but going full out to not believing in any deity would leave me feeling as a failure as a parent because I would like to make sure I pass on my values and beliefs to my kids. I think thats what every parent wants.

 

 

And no, it's not because of that. I don't believe one has to believe in a supernatural entity in order a fulfilling life or be content but (and I know this will sound a little harsh) I have a certain dislike to atheists. 9 out of 10 times, I find them condescending and the mocking of religion or religious people,the snarky remarks(imaginary friends and all ) it's that attitude that gets to me  so that may partially have something to do with it. I understand that's how, many feel towards religion but I wouldn't want my kids feeling that way especially about something that important to me.

I feel this is a terrible idea. Even if you haven't met many atheists you get along with that doesn't mean that those atheists represent all atheists. Just like all groups, the most vocal are those that people encounter the most, even if they represent a small portion of the group. Imagine if the rest of the world thought most Christians were like the followers of the Westboro Baptist Church?

Doing something simply because your parents want you to almost always leads to halfheartedness or even hatred of whatever it is you're doing. If you really want your kids to be religious then unfortunately the best way to do this is to demonstrate how important YOUR religion is to you, and force them to join you in worship. This is known in other words as "indoctrination".

By forbidding your children atheism as a path, you are creating a forbidden fruit. If they become rebellious at a later age, this forbidden fruit will become a very attractive prospect for them. Instead of being just another religious viewpoint they're allowed to hold.

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I don't believe one religion to be greater or better than the other which is why I might not have a problem with exploring other religions but going full out to not believing in any deity would leave me feeling as a failure as a parent because I would like to make sure I pass on my values and beliefs to my kids. I think thats what every parent wants.

And no, it's not because of that. I don't believe one has to believe in a supernatural entity in order a fulfilling life or be content but (and I know this will sound a little harsh) I have a certain dislike to atheists. 9 out of 10 times, I find them condescending and the mocking of religion or religious people,the snarky remarks(imaginary friends and all ) it's that attitude that gets to me so that may partially have something to do with it. I understand that's how, many feel towards religion but I wouldn't want my kids feeling that way especially about something that important to me.

*I really tried to edit myself so as to not offend anyone, so I'm sorry if I did and please feel free to correct me if am wrong...

I could say the same for "christians"

And everyone is born an atheist

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And everyone is born an atheist

 

That's not technically true. There's a big difference between not believing in something, and not understanding the concept of something. If we're defining an atheist as someone who answers no to the question "Is there a God?", then babies don't qualify, because (were it physically possible) they wouldn't answer 'no', but rather 'what's a god?'. It'd be like if you asked a baby's opinion on, "Is evolution true?" or "Do you believe in capitalism?" or "Does Richard Dawkins exist?" Unless you ask them, "Does milk taste good?" then they're not going to have an answer one way or the other, because they don't understand the concepts being described.

 

xxx

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That's not technically true. There's a big difference between not believing in something, and not understanding the concept of something. If we're defining an atheist as someone who answers no to the question "Is there a God?", then babies don't qualify, because (were it physically possible) they wouldn't answer 'no', but rather 'what's a god?'. It'd be like if you asked a baby's opinion on, "Is evolution true?" or "Do you believe in capitalism?" or "Does Richard Dawkins exist?" Unless you ask them, "Does milk taste good?" then they're not going to have an answer one way or the other, because they don't understand the concepts being described.

xxx

But parents choose their children's religion. A baby can't decide for themselves what or who to follow and believe in. They're born with a "blank" state about the world.

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And everyone is born an atheist

 

Not so.

 

ATHEISM noun 

1.rejection of belief in God or gods
 

Rejection is a conscious and willful decision. You cannot reject (or believe) in something when you're in a stage of life in which you are not capable of doing so in the first place. Infants are simply living in ignorance. It would be more accurate (though not completely so) to argue that everyone is born agnostic.

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Dictionary on google says "Disbelief or lack of belief in god or gods"

I'd say were born with a lack of belief.

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Dictionary on google says "Disbelief or lack of belief in god or gods"

I'd say were born with a lack of belief.

 

My definition comes from dictionary.com. Clearly all the dictionaries are in "disbelief" with one another. AHAHAHA!!! Such a knee slapper, :D :D :D

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