when should I tell my kid religion is BS. she goes to a catholic school :(

This is a really weird situation to explain. I live in the city, like downtown in the city. Public schools here are awful. I live in a nice neighborhood, but the school my daughter would have to go to is so ghetto. I made the decision to send her to a …..catholic school. It went against every fiber of my being. I even lied to a nun and said I was catholic. (That’s what us atheists do right? We lie, cheat, steal, murder). I live here because its very close to school for me and makes my life oh so much easier. When I move to and area with decent schools this WILL NOT continue. There aren’t other private schools that aren’t religious anywhere close. Not even new charter schools. I wouldn’t home school her, if I wasn’t so busy with school myself.

Whenever she speaks about god I always tell her other options. I have talked to her about so many different religions and taught her that its fine and people can believe whatever they want. That there is no right and wrong (yes there is). She is 6 ½, but I think she is pretty bright (yes everyone thinks their child is). I have told her about gay people. I pretty much told her there are some boys that like to kiss boys and girls that kiss girls, and they even get married. She said “that’s gross” and I told her “yeah well then don’t kiss girls, but there isn’t anything wrong with people who do.” I really want her to be a well rounded decent little person.  

She is really my mini me. She loves science so much its makes me so proud. We go to the book store and instead of getting books with stickers and shiny covers she opts for books about space and insects. I really have gotten to the point where I want to tell her what I believe and why. When I explain anything to her she is so interested in it. She is so inquisitive I feel like this is holding her back in a way. I think she has the mental capacity to understand it. I don’t want my daughter to be some brainwashed Christian. I feel like I’m harming her in some weird way by not telling her. I really just want to know what other people think about what I should do. I can’t exactly ask anyone I know they all think I’m an abomination. Is there any harm in waiting? I don’t think my daughter would say anything in school. I guess I think if she knew, when she was learning about religion in school it would really make her understand better. The more you learn about religion the more it sounds like crap if you listen in the right way ya know? Ughhh perplexed

Views: 122

Comment by AKICKTOTHEEYE on July 12, 2011 at 12:04am

First off, don't feel bad for sending your child to a school that you feel provides a better education than your other options. Half the clergy probably are atheists too. It sucks that atheists must lie about who they are but minorities have had to do this for ages and rational thought has slowly prevailed.  I look forward to the day when everyone can honestly be who they are.

As for your daughter, I feel your stress. As a father I'm often concerned about such things.

Perhaps your wanting to tell her what you believe (or don't) isn't as important as it seems. Kid's love magic & make believe (they need it)  & will learn (as we did) the difference between real and pretend.  You sound like a loving mom, and a decent, thinking person so your daughter is already better off.  Let her figure things out for herself while providing guidance, that's what the best teachers do.  In the end it's about teaching our kids how to think (critically & rationally) rather than what to think.

Comment by Derek on July 12, 2011 at 12:13am

She loves science so much its makes me so proud.


If she loves science that much then she should be ok.

Comment by Misty: Baytheist Living! on July 12, 2011 at 12:46am
Same time you tell her about the Easter Bunny.
Comment by Daniel Clear on July 12, 2011 at 7:43am

I expect she'll tell you before long anyway


maybe a trickier question is why do schools run by people who subscribe to a delusion that's best cured with education offer the best educations?


good luck with that!

Comment by Robert Karp on July 12, 2011 at 8:36am

Interesting predicament and thank you for sharing it.


Hopefully you are setting her up so she will be a critical thinker and not believe everything she hears.  My son is also six and the questions of death and life are surfacing so I'm looking forward to those conversations. My only concern in your situation would be the reaction by the classmates and or teachers if she did mention my parents don't believe in god. It's rough enough in a public school, but I'm not sure about the reaction in a catholic school. Keep us updated!

Comment by Jimmy Boy on July 12, 2011 at 1:30pm

I told my kids that there are some people - like me - who think it's all dangerous nonsense.  There are others, like certain friends of ours, and my parents, who believe passionately - so they should keep an open mind until they are adults. But at all times demand evidence from anyone who makes strong claims about anything.

My aim is to teach them a sceptical approach - and hope they work it out from there.  I've no shame that they know a) there are atheists out there and b) that I am one...

Comment by Arcus on July 12, 2011 at 3:58pm

Preferably somewhere between cutting the chord and slapping the butt.. But that isn't always realistic so I would urge you to read her fairly tales and just keep telling how her all this make believe stuff isn't really real, but it's like make believe that she can play along with for a little while if she wants to, but always keep in mind that it's all make believe.

Then, if you like operant conditioning, give her cookies when she's right about make believe and withhold them when she is wrong. And if you really want to reinforce her, then give a 5 minute time out of total social isolation if she ever insists religion is real.

At least, that's how I will treat it when my time comes.

Comment by Brian Wood on July 12, 2011 at 3:59pm
Traditional age of adulthood until the last couple hundred years: seven.
Comment by Brian Wood on July 12, 2011 at 4:00pm
If you stole a loaf of bread in England in 1810, and you were seven or older, you could be hanged.
Comment by Tim Palmer on July 12, 2011 at 4:06pm
My son just graduated from a private school. He started there in pre-K, so he was there a total of 14 years. Our reason for putting him there were similar to yours, we live out in the country (Ga) and the local school was having race riots, bomb threats, etc...  We made the decision based more on safety and the fact the school is a College Prep facility.  Sadly it is also a "Christian school". Living in the bible belt is a royal pain in the ass for me. Anyway I said nothing to him until he was in the 4th grade and he brought home a book that I disagreed with. I sat him down and told him there were many different views on the subject, we, I, had been doing that on everything since he was an infant so he never blinked. A couple of years later he was asked by friends why he didn't go to church. He asked me. I told him why I didn't go and why his mother didn't go. I also told him, that if he wanted to attend, I would make arrangements for him to try it. I believe everyone must make their own decision about religion. He declined. Now 17, almost 18, he has never shown any interest in religion of any sort. He has been a A+ student in every science or science related class he's ever taken. My point is I don't think your daughter will be warped as long as you are open about your beliefs... kids do listen to us whether we think they do or not. Also, don't blame yourself for choosing that school. I've HATED my son's school at times over the years but followed his lead... "chill dad, it's no big deal... I'm good"  ;-)


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