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Author Topic: Bringing up Pagan kids  (Read 7584 times)

Valdi

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Bringing up Pagan kids
« on: October 03, 2011, 06:59:17 am »
How many of you here have brought, are bringing up, or will bring up your kids up as Pagans?

What have been the issues in day to day life? Were they ostracised or accepting?
What literature did you read to them? When did you take up reading things to them, and when did they start actively performing in worship with you? Did you take your children to any place of worship, even if it's not your own, for the children to make more friends outside of school?

If they are older now, did they stick with Paganism, or change to another/no religion?

Miss

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Re: Bringing up Pagan kids
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2011, 12:42:31 pm »
Quote from: Valdi;23675
How many of you here have brought, are bringing up, or will bring up your kids up as Pagans?

What have been the issues in day to day life? Were they ostracised or accepting?
What literature did you read to them? When did you take up reading things to them, and when did they start actively performing in worship with you? Did you take your children to any place of worship, even if it's not your own, for the children to make more friends outside of school?

If they are older now, did they stick with Paganism, or change to another/no religion?

 
It will still be quite a few years before my husband and I feel ready to have children, but I always think about about our future parenting style.

I know I definitely want my children to be educated about culture, and all that entails. When I was growing up there was a lot of cultural misconceptions told to me because of my parents bigotry.

I'm not sure if I want to raise them in any particular spirituality at all, but I want to tell them about the possibilities they can choose. Obviously I always want them to be aware of how other people may perceive certain lifestyles,and why they do. I want them to know that people are often judgmental, because of the cycle of hatred that repeats itself through families and other sources and to try and not hate them in return for it. Lashing out at those people doesn't change their minds about you.

But, these are only what I hope for. Parenting as an idea versus reality is often different. In the end, you can only do the best you're able to.

GreentreeTarot

Re: Bringing up Pagan kids
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2011, 01:38:30 pm »
Quote from: Valdi;23675
How many of you here have brought, are bringing up, or will bring up your kids up as Pagans?

What have been the issues in day to day life? Were they ostracised or accepting?
What literature did you read to them? When did you take up reading things to them, and when did they start actively performing in worship with you? Did you take your children to any place of worship, even if it's not your own, for the children to make more friends outside of school?

If they are older now, did they stick with Paganism, or change to another/no religion?

 
I'm currently bringing up two children - three year old and nine month old girls, so the little one can't do much but crawl around in the grass :).  I'm not bringing them up 'as pagan', but I'm not trying to hide religion from them, either.  I'm working to introduce my daughters to my mother's religion (Christianity), my in-laws' religion (Islam) and my own (Taoist nature-worship); and as they get older we'll incorporate more that we're currently unfamiliar with.  My husband and I are dedicated to not labeling our children, but they take part in all sorts of religious traditions.  We celebrate Christmas and Easter and attend church on holidays with my mother, we celebrate Ramadan and Eid and attend prayers at the masjid during that time.  We also celebrate the eight Wiccan holidays, and discuss the god/goddess cyclical mythos.  As for everyday things: we pray a thank-you to the earth before meals, my eldest does sun salutations with me in the morning, the Muslim prayers when she spends time at one grandma's, and Christian prayers at the other's.

I can't yet say whether they'll be ostracized or accepted on the whole - we live in a relatively small sized midwestern town, so I do have some worries - as they haven't been to daycare or school yet.  But within our family, their diverse upbringing seems to be going quite well.

We've always read to our children from the time each of them was born, a mix of picture books and children-friendly chapter books.  The youngest still doesn't understand much, but she likes to sit with us at story time.  My three year old loves books of all kinds, but right now she's really into mythology - we've gone through big books of Egyptian, Norse, and Greek mythology already; and have some Roman, Hindu and Chinese on hold at the library.  We also read a lot of nature-focused, seasonally-related books, as my path is largely nature-based.

As for worship, it's a bit complicated as I'm more of an agnostic pagan; I certainly haven't been called to worship any gods or goddesses.  I also don't have any local pagan resources, so there's not any gatherings I could take my children to, either.  As I mentioned before, my eldest and I do sun salutations together every morning; and sometimes we sit and try to meditate together (of course, she's three, so it never lasts long!).  I do include both children in other things that I suppose I consider my 'worship' - we take a lot of long walks, feeling the wind, talking about the plants and occasional animals, stopping to contemplate nature's interesting peculiarities.  

I realize it wasn't exactly what you were looking for; but I hope my perspective was helpful :).

corvid04

Re: Bringing up Pagan kids
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2012, 05:52:28 pm »
Quote from: Valdi;23675
How many of you here have brought, are bringing up, or will bring up your kids up as Pagans?

What have been the issues in day to day life? Were they ostracised or accepting?
What literature did you read to them? When did you take up reading things to them, and when did they start actively performing in worship with you? Did you take your children to any place of worship, even if it's not your own, for the children to make more friends outside of school?

If they are older now, did they stick with Paganism, or change to another/no religion?

 
My daughter is four and IMHO about as pagan as can be. I my self follow no particular dogma and as such could not impart any on her, but i am always open to her with what knowledge I do have. She calls her self a Heathen, so most people think it is a cute joke(though her shouts of Hail Freya draw odd looks...) I think the only real problem I've had is dispelling main stream views on what a witch is ( Yes dear, your daddy is a witch, even though he is a boy...)

Nyktelios

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Re: Bringing up Pagan kids
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2012, 07:03:08 pm »
Quote from: Miss;23879
I'm not sure if I want to raise them in any particular spirituality at all, but I want to tell them about the possibilities they can choose.


People say that a lot, but I don't think that raising your kids in a particular tradition takes away the choice. It isn't so much about indoctrinating them and instructing them in what they believe, except in the case of Abrahamic orthodoxies. It's about the holidays the family celebrates, the values they learn from their parents, and observing the religious activities of their parents. It's like language or culture, they soak it in and pick it up by being immersed in it at home, not just by being taught.

I'm sure very few pagan parents would forbid their kids from following a different religion if they feel so inclined in the future when they are old enough to know what works for them, as I doubt very many of us believe our way is the only way into Heaven or whatever. It's good to expose children to different religious ideas and cultures, but I don't think raising them in a religion is such a bad thing, or that the two methods are mutually exclusive.

Dark Midnight

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Re: Bringing up Pagan kids
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2012, 04:08:40 am »
Quote from: Carnelian;38263
People say that a lot, but I don't think that raising your kids in a particular tradition takes away the choice. It isn't so much about indoctrinating them and instructing them in what they believe, except in the case of Abrahamic orthodoxies. It's about the holidays the family celebrates, the values they learn from their parents, and observing the religious activities of their parents. It's like language or culture, they soak it in and pick it up by being immersed in it at home, not just by being taught.

I'm sure very few pagan parents would forbid their kids from following a different religion if they feel so inclined in the future when they are old enough to know what works for them, as I doubt very many of us believe our way is the only way into Heaven or whatever. It's good to expose children to different religious ideas and cultures, but I don't think raising them in a religion is such a bad thing, or that the two methods are mutually exclusive.

 
I agree. I am trying to raise my daughter to have an informed choice when she decides she is old enough to want to follow any religion/faith/belief system that she chooses. She sees me following my faith at home, she knows that her dad is agnostic, she goes to a Catholic primary school (they have the best academic results in the area) and she goes to all the usual family church trips (hatchings, joinings and buryings) that we do. We, as a large family, celebrate Christmas (I celebrate Yule, so we have 2 celebrations, which she loves), and she gets to enjoy our Samhain festivities, which is my main holiday.

We also try to answer any questions she has about any religion as best that we can, without bias where possible (depending on the question). I want her to make her own choice, not the one that we'd rather she make.
"No matter how dark the fur, the bunny is still fluffy." (Melamphoros)
AKA Thundercougarfalconbird..... (Thanks Nyktipolos!)

Dragonfly68

Re: Bringing up Pagan kids
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2012, 12:15:40 pm »
Quote from: Valdi;23675
How many of you here have brought, are bringing up, or will bring up your kids up as Pagans?

What have been the issues in day to day life? Were they ostracised or accepting?
What literature did you read to them? When did you take up reading things to them, and when did they start actively performing in worship with you? Did you take your children to any place of worship, even if it's not your own, for the children to make more friends outside of school?

If they are older now, did they stick with Paganism, or change to another/no religion?

My daughter was introduce to my religion soon after I stopped "dabbling" and became serious about it, she was about 10 or 11.  I've sat with her and explored myths from different cultures along with their everyday traditions, we looked at gemstones, herbs, nature.  She saw me do candle magic, use herbs and oils.  I started taking her with me to meet-ups and open circles when she was 12.  

Yes, ever since she was about 4 till she was in 5th grade and no longer wanted to go, she would be sent to the church around the corner's summer (weeklong) camp.  She went to several friends churches, even up to her latish teens.  I sent her to the churches so she would have that experience and be able to decide later in life what her spiritual beliefs are.

But for the last 6 yrs, we have been very much part of ADF.  Yes, she is still, very much a pagan.  She loves ADFs beliefs, but is also branching out and including some of her own stuff, which includes Hindu deities.  Btw, my daughter is 20 now. :)
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 12:16:42 pm by Dragonfly68 »

Dragonfly68

Re: Bringing up Pagan kids
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2012, 12:22:41 pm »
Quote from: Valdi;23675

What have been the issues in day to day life? Were they ostracised or accepting?

 
Forgot this part.

Day to day issues was explaining that not everyone saw the world the way she did, that didn't make it wrong, just not the same.  For the most part, she was accepted.  Yeah, there were a few kids that were mean, but that's life, some just look for a reason to be mean.  We did have a few run-ins at school, nothing major, though one counselor either came close or did lose her job, I don't remember right off hand.  She found out my daughter was pagan and started preaching to her and telling her she was going to hell.  I didn't find out until a while after about it, but I guess one of the Asst. Principals heard and reamed that counselor a new a$$.  She wasn't at the school long after that either.

Ashlei

Re: Bringing up Pagan kids
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2012, 01:21:10 am »
Quote from: Valdi;23675
How many of you here have brought, are bringing up, or will bring up your kids up as Pagans?

 
My daughter is almost 4 years old (in april). As of right now, my family has had plenty of misfortunes, so we are not in the place to be able to start being as "serious" as id like to be with my path. As we are getting closer and closer to things coming closer to how we should be, i think about this subject ALOT! I would like to introduce her into what i do, but i'm not completely sure HOW to! Does anyone have any tips for how they showed their child(ren) what they believe. I'm not even sure how to EXPLAIN religion in general :confused: :o .

Thank you everyone in advanced!!
~ash

Meritmut

Re: Bringing up Pagan kids
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2012, 10:27:57 pm »
Quote from: Ashlei;42281
My daughter is almost 4 years old (in april). As of right now, my family has had plenty of misfortunes, so we are not in the place to be able to start being as "serious" as id like to be with my path. As we are getting closer and closer to things coming closer to how we should be, i think about this subject ALOT! I would like to introduce her into what i do, but i'm not completely sure HOW to! Does anyone have any tips for how they showed their child(ren) what they believe. I'm not even sure how to EXPLAIN religion in general :confused: :o .

Thank you everyone in advanced!!
~ash

 
Hi I know this is a late post but I wanted to answer :)
I am not a parent yet but I often think how I will raise them. I think what's important is to find fun things to slowly introduce the idea. I know that children books are a particular interest of mine (I can give you a list if you would like on Norse and Egyptian children's books). Also coloring books are a great introduction to a lot of different Gods and Goddesses from different cultures. Another thing I already look at is arts and crafts we can do for holidays that we observe and that tie into my Gods. It's important I think to keep things simple, I am not sure what your path or philosophy is but I have heard from other parents that they explain there are forces of nature in the world that Gods control and different cultures represent the Gods in their own unique way. Hope this helps!

garlicandmint

Re: Bringing up Pagan kids
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2012, 11:30:50 pm »
Quote from: Valdi;23675
How many of you here have brought, are bringing up, or will bring up your kids up as Pagans?

 
I plan to bring my future kids up as Pagans! Mostly in a Wheel of the Year, Earth-honoring sense, because my personal practice is just that: personal, but I will obviously be open about it. I have and really enjoy "Circle Round" and can see myself using a lot of the celebrations and stories from there.

There's also that my partner was raised Catholic, but vacillates between agnostic and atheist depending on the day, so it weirds her out to get any more specific than the above.

I plan to celebrate the Wheel as our family's holidays, but to allow them to celebrate Christian holidays with their grandparents as well. My partner was kind of resistant about us not doing Christmas (I think it's weird when neither she or I believe in it) until I pointed out that celebrating the solstice instead frees up Christmas for visiting the relatives! :D:

MoonCrone

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Re: Bringing up Pagan kids
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2012, 05:49:50 am »
Quote from: Valdi;23675
How many of you here have brought, are bringing up, or will bring up your kids up as Pagans?

What have been the issues in day to day life? Were they ostracised or accepting?
What literature did you read to them? When did you take up reading things to them, and when did they start actively performing in worship with you? Did you take your children to any place of worship, even if it's not your own, for the children to make more friends outside of school?

If they are older now, did they stick with Paganism, or change to another/no religion?


I didn't attempt to bring my children up to be Pagan at all, the plan was to let them decide for themselves once they were old enough to choose, and whatever they chose (within reason) I would support. (The "within reason" meaning no going off to live in dodgy communes or no taking up with dangerous cults of course!)
I am quite open about my beliefs but I didn't expect them to follow, unless they really wanted to.  I did spend a lot of their younger years teaching them about the world about us, just as any good Parent would... the seasons, the weather, the garden and how to grow things in it, and how herbs and good organic nutrition can help us, the night sky, how to be sociable and civic-minded, about animals and pet care, how to swim, how to enjoy camping and all those kinds of nature-based things,  but I kept a lot of the arcane side of my life less obvious until I felt such time that their minds could cope with what they could see their Mother doing.  
I had lots of Pagan books (Buckland, Leek, Cunningham, etc) and Pagan stuff around the home (especially Pentacles and other protection charms, Divinity tributes, Tarot cards and crystals etc) and of course I celebrated the Sabbats, but we also celebrated Easter and Christmas too - not in any Christian sense, more that it was "the English thing to do" and excuses to party.  If they picked up the books to look at them I would answer questions but otherwize leave them to it, although I did used to read other books (mostly fiction) to them, some of which might have been considered loose Pagan themes - not delberately, they just seemed to pick them out from the library and I cannot deny it pleased me, but equally I wasn't displeased when they also chose books clearly not of a Pagan nature.  I wanted them to become "well rounded" not just little Pagan clones of me.

The eldest has been enchanted by the Eddas for 22 of his 26 years, (which was nothing to do with me, but I support his interest) while the youngest says he's agnostic (but I can see him getting drawn to Conjure & Voodoo, even though he hasn't realized it for himself yet!!!)

They did come across situations where the other kids in the school would taunt them because as I've said, I am open about my beliefs and practices and I was in a minority.  That used to make me feel quite uncomfortable at times I cannot deny it.  The irony was some of their parents would ask my advice about things, and a few even came for card readings and asked me to do pathwork on their behalves... so I just used to ask them to explain to their children it was rude to be nasty to my kids just because their Mother was Pagan...  I found it better to explain than complain...  mostly the taunting stopped.  I can't say it all did, some of the other Parents didn't tell their children it was rude to be nasty unfortunately... that's life, and we can't win them all ;)
It\'s all about the Ebb and Flow...

greywolfe

Re: Bringing up Pagan kids
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2012, 06:05:32 pm »
Quote from: Valdi;23675
How many of you here have brought, are bringing up, or will bring up your kids up as Pagans?

What have been the issues in day to day life? Were they ostracised or accepting?
What literature did you read to them? When did you take up reading things to them, and when did they start actively performing in worship with you? Did you take your children to any place of worship, even if it's not your own, for the children to make more friends outside of school?

If they are older now, did they stick with Paganism, or change to another/no religion?

 
I didn't need to. They found it on their own. So much of our Pagan beliefs are family values. Today at the science museum my son mused that it would be neat to remember past lives.
As my oldest turns 13 I'm going to get him a piece of real jewelery which will be a pentagram.

DeletedUser

Re: Bringing up Pagan kids
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2012, 07:36:49 am »
Quote from: Valdi;23675
How many of you here have brought, are bringing up, or will bring up your kids up as Pagans?

Moin.

I don´t have own children.

But I think it´s very important, not to teach them, that only our own opinion is the right one. I think they will have a much better way, if they can choose themselve.

It´s important, that they know all kind of religions and ways. Show them! So they can make the best decision for their own life.

I had a really good life in a parish of Evangelical Lutheran Church from 5 years to 19. But then I began to ask more and more. And find, that I will not find the answers there. I didn´t knew much about other religions and ways, so that I started to learn at the age of 19. So I had to be over 30 years old to find the right way for my life. A bit too late I think after all...

School and teachers should be more "allrounder" than only fixed to one religion.
There, where they are not, the parents should complete what the children not know.

There is no "right" or "wrong" way to bring up children. I would wish to every children, that it can be just what it is: a child.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2012, 07:38:11 am by Nymeria »
Yours
Nymeria

chworkman

Re: Bringing up Pagan kids
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2013, 11:33:24 am »
Quote from: garlicandmint;62567
I plan to bring my future kids up as Pagans! Mostly in a Wheel of the Year, Earth-honoring sense, because my personal practice is just that: personal, but I will obviously be open about it. I have and really enjoy "Circle Round" and can see myself using a lot of the celebrations and stories from there.

There's also that my partner was raised Catholic, but vacillates between agnostic and atheist depending on the day, so it weirds her out to get any more specific than the above.

I plan to celebrate the Wheel as our family's holidays, but to allow them to celebrate Christian holidays with their grandparents as well. My partner was kind of resistant about us not doing Christmas (I think it's weird when neither she or I believe in it) until I pointed out that celebrating the solstice instead frees up Christmas for visiting the relatives! :D:

 
This is just about a year later in coming but hey, I was searching for a thread like this one before starting a new one like it myself and I found it!  First off, KUDOS to you garlicandmint, for wanting to lead your kids down a wonderful path from the get go!!  

I really wanted to start this because I am curious for some input from everyone on what they are doing with/for their children.  We have the problem of our oldest being almost 11 and raised just like me in a strict Catholic manner with everything engraved into you.  It took me 31 years to get over it but once I did, boy I am happy now!  My son, well, not so much.  He's so confused now that we have gone away from Christianity, he's been given the choice to do as he pleases, and he will be supported no matter what, but man he sure has been twisted!  I wish I would've left years ago, for his sake, not just my own.  My two youngest thankfully are all for paganism, as they don't understand a whole lot about it.  And, they can learn as they grow, hence value it even more!  To them it's just sticking a strawberry under a jar for a Sprite when you loose something and learn about the 5 elements you need to survive while singing around a campfire.  

I'm thinking this one just might need a new start, only a different title on ideas for how to help my son through our change! :confused::D:

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