167

Well, I would first try not to indoctrinate him myself. If you want him to make a conscious choice, you probably should be very careful with your reactions. I'm myself agnostic but coming from a Christian culture. My 6 year old girl goes into a non-confessional school but yet manages to talk to me about Jesus and so (we're in Belgium, so a country that is ...


132

I'm an atheist living in Germany, and had to face similar problems with the surroundings of my daughter (7). One very important lesson that I try to teach her every day is to never blindly believe anything anyone tells her. She should double-check any piece of information, even if it comes from a supposedly reliable source (teacher, her parents, grand-...


85

You (the parent) are responsible for 'indoctrinating' your children Let me tell you what I think, from the complete opposite side. I am a fundamentalist Christian, who has the misfortune of living in Washington DC. Christians who want a Christian education in the large cities of the US sent their kids to a Christian school. But, the one near my house is 14k ...


81

As a 54 year old German I just had "Religion" as a normal subject in our public elementary school. I guess my parents could technically have let me skip these one or two hours per week, but nobody did that back then, and there was no non-religious alternative like "Ethics" or such. Of course the lessons were about Christian religion. I remember them fondly, ...


55

The approach we use, with our children, is to focus on understanding the reasons for belief, and the benefits of believing in something even if it's not real. Our oldest never really believed, and I didn't want to push a belief with falsehoods; by 4 he'd figured things out, particularly at his Montessori preschool with older children having intelligent ...


47

Rest assured that science and religion are not neccessarily a contradiction. Some of the best scientists of past and present time were deeply religious - and came from different religious backgrounds. As one commenter wrote, Georges Lemaître being one relatively modern example. The question of how to connect religious beliefs and teachings and scientific ...


41

As the other answers suggested, it's very likely that whatever you put will come of as weird. Still, it's an honest and reasonable sentiment, so it's kind of frustrating that it can't be expressed as such. Here's my best effort (to be placed in relatively small print at the bottom of the invitation): Gifts are welcome, but not necessary. If you would like ...


41

About 25 years ago I was in the same place as you. So here are my observations: At 3 years old it's already too late for kindergarten to persuade your kid that their deity is more real than Santa. Your kid copies you a lot more than you think. Actually they don't try very hard, they all just troop along to church or whatever, sing the songs, decorate for ...


30

We have explained Santa as a dress-up game that is played at Christmas. So far there hasn't been any conflict about it - after all, children of this age are often quite immersed in all kinds of play. So "revealing santa" is not any different from going to other children pointing out that their doll is not a real baby or that the motor noises come from their ...


28

I think the key question to ask is, Is your son capable of not believing what he's told in his Religion class? If he's capable of disbelieving it, then he's not being brainwashed, and there's no great crisis. You would do well to discuss with him that the facts in religion are less settled than they are in most of the subjects he's learning at that age. ...


24

I don't think you can really tactfully put it on the invitation. In fact, many would say the invitation shouldn't refer to gifts at all. Registries are quite often communicated by family members and not the invitation - although I find that silly, personally, and certainly would add it to mine. However, what I would typically do is ask your parents or ...


22

I personally don't think that science is inimical to faith and faith-based values. It can be a magnificent way to explore the intricacies of creation. You're probably versed in Ancient Near Eastern culture. There is nothing deceitful about a God who communicates with His people in a way they can understand, and in the ANE, that was through stories. ...


21

I personally don't think it's polite to invite people to a celebration while telling them how they should and shouldn't gift you. While I am not an atheist, I would still be somewhat taken aback by that kind of announcement on an invitation. The gifts at celebrations are certainly appreciated, and baby showers in particular are supposed to be oriented ...


19

It seems the conflict is not about your daughter, but about you and your wife. You disagree about religion. That obvious point being said, your daughter should not become the center of a belief battle between you and your wife. To answer simply your main quest : No, you cannot insist your daughter to be non believer in religions., but neither can your wife ...


18

If you are a person of faith (especially if you still practice your faith), but your fiance is not, then this is just a portion of a larger conversation that you and your fiance need to have before your wedding day: What is the place of faith in your life together and in how you raise your family? If you don't have an understanding about this ahead of ...


17

Part of this answer depends on how much you teach, and trust, your child to question what he has been taught, and to allow him to arrive at his own conclusions. Leading by example is probably the most important factor in this. Your son likes the stories. Can you let him hear all the stories, i.e. take some time in Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim classes, as ...


17

Can I insist them to come in my way or I should keep calm? If you live in a civilized society, then, practically speaking, you can't insist that anyone "come in your way". I would like my daughter to believe in herself and science. It may surprise you to learn that many people believe both in God and in science (I would phrase this as, "If you're ...


17

Explain it to him as it is, in such abusive environment where they rip the childhood out of the children you have no choice but to be honest as the damage has already been done. You should explain to him that he might get executed and those whom he love might get hanged, if he is smart enough to ask questions about Allah then he is smart enough to figure ...


17

This is something I also struggled with. I have two children: a son, now 14, and a daughter, who'll be 8 at the end of the month. I had custody of my son for the first four years of his life, after which his mother begged me to let her take him back. She actually enrolled him in a private Christian school which he attended for several years. I avoided the ...


17

This is the strategy I took when my daughter had been introduced to Christianity by a kindergarten teacher and begun professing a belief in God. Teach her about many other religions, myths and origin stories. Explain how these stories contradict each other and cannot all be true. Explain my own atheism and why I do not believe in Christianity, and told her ...


15

While you should not lie, you can tell half truths. So rather than telling them about your lack of religious belief, you could instead tell them you were raised Jewish just like them. I would however suggest that you talk to your sister about it, tell her that you don't want to lie but want to respect her wishes, so if they do ask, how does she want you to ...


15

It is inevitable your child assumes the norms and values from the society he grows up in. If you don't like your environment, your only choice is to put your child in another environment. But norms and values are fundamentally different from taking everything people say for granted, which is something most people learn when they become more self-conscious ...


15

I pretty much told my daughter as soon as she was old enough to realize what Santa even was that it's a fun make believe thing, but it's not real. I also told her that a lot of other kids in school think it is real and that she shouldn't tell them. I did the same with all the other holiday characters, the religious stuff, and mythical stuff. For the most ...


14

Live and let live. While you will obviously want to go along with the show at the bar mitzvah, if the nephews ever ask about your beliefs, I see no reason to lie, even by omission. If your sister's feelings are hurt because you tell your nephews that you do not believe in God, then quite frankly that's your sister's problem, not yours. Also, I'll disagree ...


14

I fear you are worrying too much. I would encourage you to read bedtime stories from Norse mythology, Greek mythology, Aesop's fables, and maybe even Hindu mythology. The notion of powerful figures will be quite acceptable to young minds, but many of us "grow out of it". The parables in the Bible are part of our Anglo-European literary culture. It should not ...


13

DISCLAIMER: I consider myself an agnostic, and have recently been leaning toward the atheist end of the agnostic spectrum, but I think I'm significantly more inclined toward the possibility of God's existence than you are, and I happen to know a decent amount about the Catholic Church and to have a pretty healthy respect for it (though I have never ...


13

I don't know what this group teaches other than what you've described above, and let's be blunt: if you're an atheist and they're evangelical Christians, you're probably not a totally unbiased source. For example, do they really "loathe" people who do not believe the same as they do, or do they just say that they're wrong? I don't know. No doubt your mother'...


12

I can't speak to the schooling system in Germany since I live in the US, but I do understand your desires, albeit from the opposite perspective. I am a believer in Jesus Christ and as a father I fear the indoctrination of my son by an atheistic world view. We may desire differing world views for our children but our base desires are the same. Our main goal ...


11

Science is a tool. Whether it is good or bad depends on who wields it. For all the controversy, things that allegedly conflict between science and religion rarely come up in practice. Personally, I find an evolutionary process to be a rather logical way to effect a creation for someone with infinite time and insight. Even if I didn't, I had to spend all ...


10

I wonder, does your mom have other things to talk about? Clearly she used to. Have things changed? If they have, you can find things to do and talk about together. A book you're both reading, etc. You can't control how your mother speaks, how she thinks, what she believes, etc. You can only control your own actions. But you can talk to her about it, and you ...


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