My wife and I are both atheists. We would prefer both our children and grandchildren to also be atheists, and not be twisted and convoluted by religion. But you can't force your children to not believe, anymore than they should have belief forced upon them. It should always be an individual's choice.
One of the things I find disgusting about organized religion is that followers aren't given a choice. I'm not going to be the same way with my children. I'm not going to force them to think the way I want them to think. Not only would that be hypocritical of me, it would probably be counterproductive.
I remember what it was like to be young. Okay, it was a while ago, but I do remember the last thing I wanted was to be told what to do, how to act, or what to think. 
My mother made sure I was introduced to the art of belief, but she let me make my own decision as to what to do with it. Aside from the things I don't appreciate my mother for, I do appreciate her for that.

My children know their parents don't believe. All we can do is hope that our opinions carry enough weight that they will take them into consideration when they make their own choices. Children are going to do what children will do, especially once they're out from under your care and influence. You have to let them grow and see how they turn out. Dare I say it, "You have to have faith!"




Tags: atheism, belief, choice, freedom, of, parenting, religion

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Hi rick, it sounds like your idea of leading by example is a good one. The major problem faced by your children is that they may become religiously indoctrinated, not at home, but within the education system. This is the power base of religion - the use of authority figures to manipulate and pervert malleable young minds. Give me the boy and I will give you the man, chilling. I don't know where you are but I hope you have secular schooling options available. If not, then the challenge for you as parents will be to engage with your kids and bring the reality of evolution to the discussion inevitably arising from what they're told at school. Helping them to make rational decisions based on evidence rather than the supernatural is probably the best thing you can do to ease them through their vulnerable journey.

our son, when very young, told us he wanted to believe in god and go to church with his grandma.  This lasted for about three weeks.  He never brought it up again and is now, at 23, a total atheist.

Doug- if given a chance, and left to happen naturally, somethings will simply work themselves out. It's tough to try to count on, but it's better than forcing the issue. Well done.

I failed to mention that he did indeed go with his granny, I guess church services had the same effect on him as it did on me.

I take my hat off to you sir, This was very much the ways i was raised,  and its worked out well for me!

The only difference was my mother didn't let me know what her views were for many years, Though encouraged me to think for myself.  I see the reason for this, though if i have children I don't think I'l keep my beliefs a secret.

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