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Author Topic: Raising Kids Pagan: Are my fears normal?  (Read 6712 times)

delaineyrae

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Raising Kids Pagan: Are my fears normal?
« on: August 26, 2012, 06:56:18 pm »
I want to raise my kids pagan, open-minded, accepting, and caring.
The exact opposite of my upbringing.
I have worked hard on not threatening them with spankings, because I would never do that to my kids after what happened to me, and I never followed up on them anyways.
I also don't want my kids to be made fun of for voicing the beliefs I hope to instill, since my town is overwhelmingly Catholic. I also don't want my kids to swing the other way and become uppity brutes who fester ill will toward kids who don't believe the way we do. I was guilty of this as a kid.
Has anyone else worried about this? How did you overcome the fear of not knowing how it all works out in the future?
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 08:04:05 am by RandallS »

wadjet

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Re: Are my fears normal?
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2012, 08:24:39 pm »
Quote from: delaineyrae;70810
How did you overcome the fear of not knowing how it all works out in the future?


I didn't. I am completely neurotic about this all the time in all things. In my personal case, that's what therapy is for. :o

BUT...as far as kids go. It's totally normal to worry about it, especially in the case of kids, because of course you want them to be happy. I am a firm believer that in cases like this, less parenting is more. You've explained your beliefs to them, and are hopefully showing them with your actions, but trying to force them or worrying too much about it will actually have the opposite effect.

It actually reminded me of this quote:
Quote
An environment that supports autonomy, quoth the shrinks, will foster a greater sense of self-esteem, of self-determination, of separateness from other people-in short, if your family assumes that you are capable of doing things yourself, you will internalize that assumption and act accordingly. You will develop a firm sense of self, a belief in your own capability. Whereas if you grow up in a controlling environment, where your ability to make decisions and act independently is constantly being undermined, you are likely to internalize a deep level of self-doubt and "develop a sense of self-worth contingent upon extrinsic rewards and the evaluation of others."


Am I right to assume your Catholic upbringing was also rigid, strict, controlled? It might be why you're so worried. (I can relate.)

As far as kids being made fun of - there is no way to protect against that. It is guaranteed to happen eventually about something. Rather than trying to protect them from it, try to teach them to handle it gracefully, is my suggestion. (At least if its their beliefs being insulted, they can learn a valuable lesson about standing up for what's right, rather than something petty and banal....silver lining?)

delaineyrae

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Re: Are my fears normal?
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2012, 07:56:26 am »
Quote from: wadjet;70815




Am I right to assume your Catholic upbringing was also rigid, strict, controlled? It might be why you're so worried. (I can relate.)

 
I wasn't actually raised Catholic. I was raised Independent Baptist. Some know of them as Calvinists, and they are kinda the current focus of allot of cult hysteria, like the Fundy Mormons were in Spring 2008.
Anyway, thanks for the input. I understand the quote and agree with it.

wadjet

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Re: Are my fears normal?
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2012, 02:23:16 pm »
Quote from: delaineyrae;70888
I wasn't actually raised Catholic. I was raised Independent Baptist. Some know of them as Calvinists, and they are kinda the current focus of allot of cult hysteria, like the Fundy Mormons were in Spring 2008.
Anyway, thanks for the input. I understand the quote and agree with it.

 
Sorry, I must have misread you (or was thinking about my own family, lol).

I hope I didn't come across too harsh. I live in terror that every little thing I do will screw up my kids, ha. The fact that you care so much about your children says to me you're already doing the right thing.

(Actually, I have some extended family that are Independent Baptist. One of them recently started sending me random pokes on Facebook, and I couldn't figure out why, because I haven't spoken to them in a decade....and then I realized it's because I post stuff about Gay Rights and Pro-Choice and Paganism every day, ahah.)

delaineyrae

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Re: Are my fears normal?
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2012, 06:30:40 pm »
Quote from: wadjet;70934
One of them recently started sending me random pokes on Facebook, and I couldn't figure out why, because I haven't spoken to them in a decade....and then I realized it's because I post stuff about Gay Rights and Pro-Choice and Paganism every day, ahah.)

 
Not to sound super paranoid, but my family won't allow themselves to be friends with me on fb, but patrol a IFB Cult Survivor Support Group that I was quite active in awhile back. I put my dad's church on a list of churches that have problems with allowing known sex offenders participate with kids, and I got calls and hate mail out of the blue. My dad demanded a retraction, as if I'm a newspaper lol. I said no, people need to know what they might be walking into. Years later, the guy my dad defended over abused kids gets life in prison for raping kids under the age of 12 and making and distributing child porn. Am I glad I spoke up? Definitely. My experiences with churches of many faiths is they tend to want everything kept quiet, and say "Let God handle it" or call sex abuse a mistake. But only if the abuser gives money regularly or participates in the church.

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Re: Are my fears normal?
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2012, 06:44:17 pm »
Quote from: wadjet;70815
It actually reminded me of this quote:

 
I like that.  What is it from?

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Re: Are my fears normal?
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2012, 07:09:44 pm »
Quote from: delaineyrae;71008
Am I glad I spoke up? Definitely. My experiences with churches of many faiths is they tend to want everything kept quiet, and say "Let God handle it" or call sex abuse a mistake. But only if the abuser gives money regularly or participates in the church.


Sweet Idunn's apples. Let me just extend some gladness that you made it out of there, and some thanks that you are trying to help others by reporting them. It is so sad when religions use "forgiveness" as a coverup for their horrible acts. Ugh.

 
Quote from: SunflowerP;71010
I like that.  What is it from?

 
That is from Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia by Marya Hornbacher.  One of the most gripping books I ever read, although I've heard conflicting opinions so YMMV. She cross-references the memoir with studies on psychology and sociology, so it gives a lot of different perspectives on her own story.

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Re: Raising Kids Pagan: Are my fears normal?
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2012, 10:05:53 am »
Quote from: delaineyrae;70810
I want to raise my kids pagan, open-minded, accepting, and caring.
The exact opposite of my upbringing.
I have worked hard on not threatening them with spankings, because I would never do that to my kids after what happened to me, and I never followed up on them anyways.
I also don't want my kids to be made fun of for voicing the beliefs I hope to instill, since my town is overwhelmingly Catholic. I also don't want my kids to swing the other way and become uppity brutes who fester ill will toward kids who don't believe the way we do. I was guilty of this as a kid.
Has anyone else worried about this? How did you overcome the fear of not knowing how it all works out in the future?

 
As a parent?  If you're not worrying, you're not doing it right.

Parenting is TERRIFYING.

I try to go with the "everyone'll be in therapy anyway, might as well make it entertaining" rule.  But .. I'm a bit odd myself.

LadyoftheLake

Re: Raising Kids Pagan: Are my fears normal?
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2012, 12:34:26 pm »
Quote from: HeartShadow;71125
As a parent?  If you're not worrying, you're not doing it right.

Parenting is TERRIFYING.

I try to go with the "everyone'll be in therapy anyway, might as well make it entertaining" rule.  But .. I'm a bit odd myself.

 

Ha ha.  Being a parent is the scariest and most important thing you do.

 I live in a super conservative region of the country where there is a presumption that you are Christian.  And I don't live in the South.  I worry people will be mean to my kids because we aren't mormon, let alone knowing that we are pagan.

 I think as long as my kids know what we believe in, they will grow up normal and well adjusted.

Gilbride

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Re: Raising Kids Pagan: Are my fears normal?
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2012, 12:50:24 pm »
Quote from: HeartShadow;71125
Parenting is TERRIFYING.


Yup. Have kids, say goodbye to peace of mind.

My wife was raised Catholic and actually still has some loyalty to the tradition even though we're a pagan family, so it's important to her that we raise our daughters to see a Mass as being just as sacred as what we do. It makes for some complicated theological discussions with the four-year-old.

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Re: Raising Kids Pagan: Are my fears normal?
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2012, 09:58:02 am »
Quote from: delaineyrae;70810

Has anyone else worried about this? How did you overcome the fear of not knowing how it all works out in the future?

 

My husband is a pretty solid athiest, so we didn't raise our son religious.  I do work very hard, whenever it comes up in conversation (especially when things come up on tv) to explain about different religions and why they believe certain ways.  My son sees me doing some things (although I do a lot when he's not around), and I figure if he want's to know what I am doing he will ask.

I do worry about people teasing him for things I do and believe, and when he was younger that was one factor in why I didn't teach him more (the other was my husband not sharing my beliefs).  I also worried that he might grow up to have different beliefs than me and feel like I would disapprove (which as long as he was happy and not hurting anyone including himself, whatever worked for him would be fine with me).

He's in middle school now, so almost grown.  I don't think I'll stop worrying until he's out of the house on his own and probably not even then.
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Gilbride

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Re: Raising Kids Pagan: Are my fears normal?
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2012, 12:30:18 pm »
Quote from: delaineyrae;70810
I want to raise my kids pagan


This is my daughter's spontaneous Samhain prayer:

"Dear gods, I believe to you. Please stay over there. I'm happy just talking to the dead. Thank you."

Ana

Re: Raising Kids Pagan: Are my fears normal?
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2012, 10:34:29 am »
Quote from: delaineyrae;70810
I want to raise my kids pagan, open-minded, accepting, and caring.


If you add onto that "without Christian guilt and fear of hell" that's about how I feel about raising my kids.

Quote

I have worked hard on not threatening them with spankings, because I would never do that to my kids after what happened to me, and I never followed up on them anyways.


I didn't want to spank either, but sometimes that's really just the only thing that works.  We just do our best to follow it up with communications about why punishments need to happen in order for kids to learn right and wrong.  Sometimes, you just have to do what works for your child, unfortunately, even if it means spanking is the only thing that works at the time.

Quote

I also don't want my kids to be made fun of for voicing the beliefs I hope to instill, since my town is overwhelmingly Catholic. I also don't want my kids to swing the other way and become uppity brutes who fester ill will toward kids who don't believe the way we do. I was guilty of this as a kid.


I have fears about the town that we currently live in because I honestly worry about torches and pitchforks if people really knew what my beliefs were.  They're very overwhelmingly Ultra-Conservative, anti-choice, Bible-beating, non-denominational born-again Christians here, and when things are expressed differently the reactions can go anywhere from confusion to distancing, and that's just on a very very mild basis.  My oldest son is almost 7 and he's in 1st grade.  He recently told kids in his class that he doesn't celebrate Christmas in his family, but instead we celebrate Yule.  He said the kids laughed at him because they didn't know what it was.

Quote

Has anyone else worried about this? How did you overcome the fear of not knowing how it all works out in the future?


The fears and anxieties you're feeling I think are completely normal.  I don't know how people will treat my kids for not having the majority belief system.  I was extremely surprised, pleasantly so, to learn yesterday that the nurse at my new OB was also pagan and raising pagan children.  She's not in my town, but that alone gave me a little bit of hope in the sea of conservatism that I feel like I live in.  Trust your instincts.  I don't want my children to be or feel ashamed of the spiritual teachings that I'm raising them in, but I also worry about the backlash that they'll get if they're completely open.  I think it's a gradual learning process, and you just have to trust your instincts, and if you're lucky, find a sympathetic ear if you can.

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Re: Raising Kids Pagan: Are my fears normal?
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2013, 05:00:52 pm »
Quote from: Ana;82970

 
When we continue to live in a society where the parents of pagan children can be fired for the negative publicity it can bring a business.. we still have a long way to go.  I do say, if you want to raise your children, to teach them about other faiths so they have answers when they are challenged by adherents of say Christianity so your child is not caught off guard.

To have patience with those who do not understand them but to never be ashamed or feel fear to speak up when it comes to it.

It is my hope, that these new generation of pagan children can be the next cycle of open minded employers who would not permit a fellow pagan to be harassed or fired just on the count of their faith.
I live.  I love.  I possess.  I am content.

RedHawk

Re: Are my fears normal?
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2013, 12:58:52 am »
Quote from: delaineyrae;71008
Not to sound super paranoid, but my family won't allow themselves to be friends with me on fb, but patrol a IFB Cult Survivor Support Group that I was quite active in awhile back. I put my dad's church on a list of churches that have problems with allowing known sex offenders participate with kids, and I got calls and hate mail out of the blue. My dad demanded a retraction, as if I'm a newspaper lol. I said no, people need to know what they might be walking into. Years later, the guy my dad defended over abused kids gets life in prison for raping kids under the age of 12 and making and distributing child porn. Am I glad I spoke up? Definitely. My experiences with churches of many faiths is they tend to want everything kept quiet, and say "Let God handle it" or call sex abuse a mistake. But only if the abuser gives money regularly or participates in the church.

 
I'm not exactly sure if I understand the part about your dad's church on a list of churches that have a problem with allowing known sex offenders participate with kids. The city doesn't allow these people near children because they raped, molested, or even touched children. So I think that if your dad's church has a problem with them being around children then that's their right.

They can also get into trouble for allowing them as there are rules. If I'm reading you wrong then forgive me but I would never allow these people near my kids.

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