[BCHA-Parenting] new to this

Darryl G. Wright darryl at seriousbusiness.ca
Wed Oct 3 13:50:02 CDT 2012

One other thing I wanted to mention in a very general sense --
although I am not 'there yet'. It's always been my plan to try to
inoculate my daughter against the "What?! You're not religious?!"
reaction by explaining to her that some people believe stories to be
true even when they're not necessarily true -- and they're perfectly
free to do so. I would tell her not to be surprised if other people
act shocked or even hostile when she doesn't share those beliefs --
because those beliefs are important and meaningful to them.

I may be naive but it's my hope that I can instil in her the
confidence, understanding and value for critical thinking before she
gets trapped on a road trip with a school friend who's parents are
hymn-singing, sinner-bashing Baptists. (And make no mistake, this
happened to a friend of mine and it will happen to us). From what I
hear, it's never the kids you need to worry about - it's always the
parents who believe they're "doing the right thing" in spite of you.

Another option is to give her something to say like "I'm Humanist".
When you say "I'm atheist" or "I'm not religious" they tend to look at
you like an unpicked fruit - a clean slate on which to scribble the
scriptures. But if you say "I'm Humanist" it will often be viewed as a
"something" they can at least back off from.

I remember when I was about 8 years old there was a girl in my
classroom who told me she was "non-denominational" which was what she
said her other had told her to tell people. I was a raised a
protestant and so at the time I misunderstood her to be saying "Nom
Demonal" which sounded very scary. I never mentioned her (or my)
religion to her again. ;)


 Wed, Oct 3, 2012 at 11:31 AM, Darryl G. Wright
<darryl at seriousbusiness.ca> wrote:
> Hi Lori,
> My wife and I are also fairly new at this - we're non-religious
> parents of a 3 year old who has just started daycare. Unfortunately
> for us the only daycare we could find on short notice was not just
> Church-sponsored but an active Church out-reach, aiming to teach the
> toddlers about how they are "expected to love Jesus" etc. So we're not
> just talking about 'learning about religion' - which most Humanists
> advocate, this is a very straight-forward mission of indoctrination.
> It's causing us some stress but we are searching for alternatives.
> This is really the first time in our daughters life that we've
> experienced such a blatant disregard for secular values and I expect
> it won't be the last. I'd love to swap notes at a meetup for parents.
> Like Ian said, I'd also recommend "Parenting Beyond Belief". It's a
> collection of essays from various secular viewpoints ranging from the
> softer Humanist view to the more hardline atheist perspective (to a
> lesser extent). So far it's pretty good as an insight into how some
> other families work but I haven't found it very practical. I'd
> question the degree to which the editor pushes religious education by
> sending your children to Unitarian Sunday School but that's more of a
> personal preference.
> I'd also recommend this:
> http://www.amazon.ca/Atheists-Guide-Christmas-Ariane-Sherine/dp/0007322615
> It's stories focused on handling the holidays but it's also a very
> positive and encouraging series of perspectives on how 'normal'
> parenting without religion really is.
> In terms of "secular childrens books" I'm now part of the camp that
> says "Every other book!". That is to say - the entire world of
> Childrens books teach values and morals without religion. In fact it's
> rare to see any mention of any religion in a childrens book. I am not
> sure how old your kids are but I recently read a novel intended for
> pre-teen boys called "The Sledding Hill" which has an undeniable
> anti-authority / freethinking message. It was pretty good.
> http://books.google.ca/books/about/The_Sledding_Hill.html?id=diPhAAAAMAAJ&redir_esc=y
> Hope that helps,
> Darryl
> On Wed, Oct 3, 2012 at 10:41 AM, Ian Bushfield <ian at bushfield.ca> wrote:
>> Thanks for posing the question Lori, and welcome to this small, but growing
>> group.
>> I don't have kids yet myself, but the concerns you outline sound quite
>> common. I'd recommend taking a look at Dave McGowan's websites and books
>> Parenting Beyond Belief and Raising Freethinkers.
>> I'm going to try to set up a more regular MeetUp for the parents in our
>> group, so you can help share tips and tricks.
>> Let me know if you have any thoughts or suggestions, because we're fairly
>> new at this.
>> Ian Bushfield
>> Executive Director
>> BC Humanists
>> http://bchumanist.ca
>> Cell: 778-848-0656
>> On 2012-09-30, at 8:36 AM, Lori baker <bradloribaker at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I just wanted to send an email with a slight introduction and question.
>> I am fairly new to the idea of actually coming out and seeking
>> humanist/atheist websites, groups etc but have been more active in my search
>> lately as I want to prepare myself with some knowledge that is accurate to
>> pass to my children in the hopes that they will come to a self awareness of
>> their own beliefs of this world.
>> We've have recently moved into a new neighbourhood and many neighbours are
>> religious and church going while we are very much not. Also, my son has
>> recently started school (kindergarten!) and my daughter will do so next year
>> so I want to prepare them with some response to the question, "do you go to
>> church?" other than just no. Most parents don't seem to just accept a no
>> answer, unfortunately. My hopes are to explain things as an on going process
>> that is leveled to their age which is currently only  4 and 5. What I am
>> seeking is some books that cater to this age group with content that
>> explains that there is other beliefs/religions and perhaps some books about
>> basic morals. We have started a dialogue about feelings and taking
>> accountability for the way we treat others but every parent knows that this
>> is an on going process! Upon searching the web, there are too many choices
>> for such content to narrow down to just a few so I am asking if there is any
>> "favs" out there that I can review.
>> Thank for taking my question.
>> Lori Baker
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