May 4, 2010

Pagan Parenting Intro

Parents who practice the Craft are free to choose whether they share their spirituality and beliefs with their children, and to what degree. I believe, however, that it's wrong to insist, coerce, or force a child (or anyone) to follow ANY religion or spiritual path.

Those who seek the path of the Pagan do so of their own free will - never out of fear of retribution, never because someone "enlisted" them... and they will never hear that the Pagan path is the "one and only true way".

As parents, we can nurture our children's curiosities with honest facts, being careful not to degrade the belief structures or origins of alternate religious paths in the process.

Children who grow up in a Craft-oriented environment not only have continual exposure to common moral and ethical values, but also may attain a deeper level of understanding of the cycles of life, death, and rebirth.

Pagan children learn to maintain a great reverence for the Earth, its' inhabitants, and the environment. They may also enjoy a more stable foundation in regard to how they fit into the world around them and why they are here.

A Pagan-raised child may have a stronger comprehension for how their actions or in-actions have a ripple effect upon themselves and others, and are freer to fully explore and enjoy the magic, wonder, and fantasy of childhood while expressing their creativity.

I personally believe that children raised in the Pagan environment are less inclined toward materialism, and more apt to practice self-discipline along with building inner strength and striving toward personal balance.


tjchase said...

As a 7th generation Wiccan parent and having been raised Wiccan all of my life I have to disagree with your idea of leaving the choice to the child. Religious training starts the moment they can walk. Teaching them about the world around them and how their choices affect those around us. Keeping the planet green is a responsibility that we all must accept if we wish to live here. Life is a series of choices for which we must accept the responsibility for. There is a vast difference between traditional and neo-pagan.

Polly Taskey said...

As I was writing that first paragraph, I was recalling how one of my childhood friends would pass out little booklets to the rest of the kids on the school bus. She and I were both eleven years old, and her father was a Baptist Minister. The booklets contained very gory drawings of the grim reaper, people suffering in the eternal depths of 'hell', and were designed to scare and threaten children (people in general) into submission and compliance. Perhaps I should have worded the sentence differently in my entry. Thank you for sharing your comments.

Steven said...

I'm a polytheist, and I'll likely raise my daughter with some polytheist ideas. (My wife isn't really a polytheist or pagan.)

That being said, I'll also be taking her to a Unitarian Universalist church. It'll be much easier for her to be in the broom closet about exactly what she (or her father) believes if she can answer "Yes" when someone asks if she goes to church.

When you add to it the fact that the area I live isn't really a haven for people publicly declaring themselves pagans or witches and the fact that a UU parent wouldn't mind if their kid came over to play at another UU kid's house, it makes a lot of sense for me, personally.

The fact that UU folks are all about providing ways for their children to explore their own spirituality and views about the divine is an added benefit. If she decides to be a polytheist or not no one will complain. More than that, no one will be on her back about her father being a polytheist.

Sure, it may be playing to the norm in that I will be taking her to a church, but at least with a UU church none of us needs to lie about what we believe.

Plus, in some parts of the country you need all the support you can get.

Timothy Chase said...

although your idea is safe, it sends the wrong message to your child. Perhaps home schooling is better.

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