(Closed) Agnostic/Atheist bees: Do you find it difficult to raise agnostic children?

posted 5 years ago in Parenting
Post # 3
Member
508 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

FI and I are Atheists and I’m currently pregnant with our first child.  FI’s parents are Catholic, mine are Old Regular Southern Baptists (except my agnostic dad, everyone in my family is and my grandfather and my uncles are all preachers).

So I’m interested in hearing responses.  We plan on raising our child to question things, ultimately to decide what his beliefs are for himself, but I don’t want any indoctrination, either.  I imagine it’s going to be an issue.

Post # 4
Member
4583 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Posting because I’m curious about this, though I’m in perhaps an even trickier situation. I’m Agnostic but DH is Christian. So I have to accept the fact that my children will attend church at least sometimes, say grace before meals, etc. because it’s important to DH. But I hope to teach them, as they get older, to be open-minded and aware that there are many different belief systems. This will likely be difficult with DH and his family “against” me.

Post # 5
Member
623 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Parents shouldn’t be raising their children to follow in their beliefs.

They should provide an environment which allows for enough discovery and experiences about the world, different cultures and religions so that they can make their own informed decisions.

Post # 7
Member
280 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Ouch. That’s a tough one. I’m a devout athiest and my FI is agnostic/leaning athiest. For us it won’t be a huge problem because his parents and fam are also agnostic. His grandmother and aunt are practicing Catholics, but won’t have much interaction or influence. My fam is also agnostic or athiest, but live across the country.

Personally, I think that religion or lack thereof, similar to general parenting style, is a very personal thing. I would have a very frank talk with your families and let them know that this is YOUR child who will follow your rules and style and decisions about everything, including religion. Your family should in no way be allowed (or feel so presumptuous) to try to influence your child in something so personal. I do think that as long as you and your hubs are open enough in your conversations with your child and explain to him/her/them that your parents believe in one thing, which is different (but in no way better or worse) from what someone else believes, which is different from what someone else believes, etc., etc., your parents’ religiosity won’t affect your child so much. I certainly can’t tell you how to handle family relationships beyond that, but if it was me and my parents were trying to influence my child when it comes to religion or anything else that goes completely against my and my partner’s values, I would not allow my child to be around them alone and would find alternate child care arrangements.

Post # 8
Member
948 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

My parents did not seem to have any issues with raising me and my brothers without religion. My mom did tell me that my gma (her MIL) begged her to baptize us for fear we would go to hell if we weren’t. My mom never baptized any of us and she got along just fine with my grandparents. I think they eventually just got over it. 

Post # 9
Member
313 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2005

I would have to agree with another post, I would recommend exposing your child to a multitude of beliefs and allowing them to make up their own mind.  What’s most important to to respect others beliefs.  Agnostic, Atheist, Religious….we are all entitled to believe in what we want without being mocked for it and unfortunatly some parts of both sides are pretty well known for being close minded.

Post # 10
Member
8042 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@RahlyRah:  I think I’d just let the kid make his/her own mind up. I’m agnostic, my SO is non-practicing but Catholic and believes in God.

I think you’ll find that your child will have a mind of his/her own and a lot of your worries will end up looking after themselves.

Post # 12
Member
3453 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

No, I don’t find it difficult.  My children have had questions about religion and god.  We’ve been open and honest about what we believe, as well as what others believe.  It’s never been a problem for us.

Post # 13
Member
313 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2005

@RahlyRah:  Yeah…I got that… I was agreeing and making my own comment.  Nothing meant to insult you.

Post # 14
Member
4275 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I don’t have experience with this yet, but in my case I was raised in a religious family but I formed my own beliefs or lack thereof on my own.

Post # 15
Member
2849 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I’m going to be in a similar situation as you. My DH’s parents live 10 minutes from us, so they will want to visit often and will also babysit if we need a night to ourselves. The problem is that DH and I consider ourselves spiritual but not overly religious. His parents are practicing Catholics who are very strong in their faith. His father constantly talks about our lack of religion even now, and I’m just 16 weeks pregnant. I’ll be following this thread for advice. 

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