“Pagan parents’ emphasis on freedom of religious choice for their children means that some parents are reluctant to consider their children ‘Pagan’ until (and unless) the children themselves decide to follow Pagan paths.” – S. Zohreh Kermani, Pagan Family Values: Childhood And The Religious Imagination In Contemporary American Paganism
In August Patheos hosted a site-wide conversation about Passing On the Faith to children. Since Pagans often struggle over whether, when, and how to best pass on the faith to their children (not to mention whether “faith” is a relevant term!), this is a great topic for us.
I asked Wiccan and Unitarian Universalist Director of Religious Education Michelle Mueller to weigh in and she shared thoughts on what Pagan parents can learn from UUs. Niki Whiting shared her own family’s approach to raising kids in a Pagan household.
A bunch of other Patheos Pagan bloggers also wrote their perspectives on sharing Paganism with children. Plus, over at the Divine Feminine blog on the Spirituality channel there have been several Passing On the Faith Posts that I’ve appreciated.
Then someone raised a related question on the Pagan Families Facebook page that led to a big discussion with lots of perspectives. Here are a few diverse morsels from that conversation:
- ” I’m going to raise her like my parents did with me. I had no religion shoved down my throat. So I am having my daughter choose her own path.”
- “I have also made a point of making sure she knows that there are lots of beliefs and that no one has a right to judge anyone else about them!”
- “I see nothing wrong with wanting to share the joy of the seasons, sabbats, deities, spirits, and rituals with them.”
- “I think its almost naive to think you can be of a religion, and a parent, and not teach them some aspects of your religion.”
What’s your perspective? What’s the right way to share Paganism with our children?