I don't want to raise my kid Wiccan/Pagan

Discussion of raising your family in the pagan tradition.
User avatar
RosieMoonflower
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1176
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2014 11:32 pm

I don't want to raise my kid Wiccan/Pagan

Post by RosieMoonflower »

I would not be surprised one bit if parents could have heir children removed from their home for practicing witchcraft in the southern United States. It's the Bible Belt and they don't tolerate anything else, especially witch craft. While they couldn't outright say it was because of witchcraft, but find some other associated reason. Like that the witchcraft being practiced by parents are affecting the child negatively either mental, physically, or socially. Or, they would say they were removing them for something minor and stupid but deep down it would be because of the witch craft. Which means parents practicing witch craft have to be %100 on the up and up in every other area of their life.

And, if you had another parent or grandparent in the mix who was Christian and opposed the upbringing of the child to be a witch, then I could really see it happening, because to have your children removed someone has to complain. And, it usually takes several complaints to get a child removed, but if you're a freaked out Christian parent or grandparent and truly believe the soul of your child/ grand child is at stake you would make it your mission to complain until something was done.

Just my two cents on that part. I can't speak to raising children since I don't have any. If I did, I assume I would just raise them to understand there are many different religions and that no ones path is exactly the same, while encouraging them to find their own path and the religion that makes them the most comfortable.

Rosie

User avatar
Becks
Posts: 1194
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:50 pm
Gender: Female
Location: Vancouver Island

Re: I don't want to raise my kid Wiccan/Pagan

Post by Becks »

Well you learn something everyday! That's amazing to me Rosie. Food for thought for sure. So much for freedom religious or otherwise! I'm going to be extra grateful that I live where I do now. Thank you for letting me know. I still think critical thinking is essential for young people, but that is very interesting indeed!

User avatar
JH
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:07 pm

Re: I don't want to raise my kid Wiccan/Pagan

Post by JH »

I was raised Christian and when I had children, I had to wrestle with this. I did the same thing! I actually ended up getting drawn back into church because I felt like it had greater light for them and they are very happy. I'm very glad I did. (My children love it!) I didn't realize how much I actually missed and needed it myself. I was very honest with people about where I was at and what I believed and what I was doing and they were very kind and understanding - and I actually ended up following Jesus again very, very much. It's strange really - because I have all this paranormal stuff happen accidentally, but believe in a completely right-hand religion - I almost feel like I'm accidentally a witch sometimes! I pray, "God! I love you! I'm not trying to be witch! Don't be mad! It just happens! Please forgive me!" and I get this really calm sense that he knows I'm trying and he's so happy about me and he loves me so much more than I love him. Sometimes I feel like I'm God's witch - just not exactly on purpose.

User avatar
Becks
Posts: 1194
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:50 pm
Gender: Female
Location: Vancouver Island

Re: I don't want to raise my kid Wiccan/Pagan

Post by Becks »

I happen to think that "God" doesn't make mistakes and that I was given the abilities I was given because it is supposed to be that way. It's okay to heal and comfort others. I mean there are mystical saints that talked to Angels and the like, if that makes you feel any better.

I think mainstream Christain religions get jumpy when they think that individuals have power and can commune with "God" on their own. It means that they aren't exclusively in control of the 'word' of "God" threatening circumventing the power of the middleman....anyways..I digress from the original intent of the thread.

User avatar
JH
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:07 pm

Re: I don't want to raise my kid Wiccan/Pagan

Post by JH »

Becks wrote:I happen to think that "God" doesn't make mistakes and that I was given the abilities I was given because it is supposed to be that way. It's okay to heal and comfort others. I mean there are mystical saints that talked to Angels and the like, if that makes you feel any better.

I think mainstream Christain religions get jumpy when they think that individuals have power and can commune with "God" on their own. It means that they aren't exclusively in control of the 'word' of "God" threatening circumventing the power of the middleman....anyways..I digress from the original intent of the thread.

LoL! Completely understand how you feel! I think most of them are trying to help me, but most of them don't accidentally "hear" what the baby is saying in her head or suddenly know exactly what's going to happen next word-for-word and action-for-action. There is a prophetic Bible study that I went to for awhile - that really helped. I really do love Jesus and they pointed me towards how the prophets were miraculous. They said God just makes some people naturally prophetic. I totally relate to Joan of Arc, who was burned at the stake for hearing the voice of God and other voices. (And yet successfully freed a nation.) I have a Christian sister who screamed at me for 30 minutes straight for thinking that I could hear Yahweh or that he would love me enough to answer my prayers. :-/

Rathac
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:07 am

Re: I don't want to raise my kid Wiccan/Pagan

Post by Rathac »

Becks wrote:As a person who professionally cares for young people in the education field, and will be a teacher at the end of the year I think that you may be over generalizing. Not every caregiver or teacher is looking to control minds. I think when parents raise children to be critical thinkers, and encourage open discourse in the home, then young people will grow up with the ability to make good choices for themselves-whatever they may be.
Becks, yes I am generalizing. I do understand that every teacher isn't like that, mainly because not every teacher is a fundamentalist Christian. But the ones I'm talking about do exist, particularly in privately run day cares. They are also in state funded day cares, which are allowed by law to proselytize as long as they do not do so in the state-funded programs. (Because private day cares/schools simultaneously host state-funded education programs.) So, you have children who are there who are being privately funded sharing the same classrooms with the children who are there for the state funded program. Prayer to Jesus, the one true god, is allowed. Bible study is allowed. Then the kids who are privately funded, and have attended their Bible study courses and have been conditioned to follow their religious practices, being dispersed into the state-funded side. Keep in mind, this is all happening inside the same 10-classroom building. Kids like routine, and with but the slightest nudge, they will bust out in musical film style song and prayer "of their own accord, not being led by a staff member." These kind of facilities that operate like this are numerous, and their owners are typically fundamentalist Christians.
Children aren't like buckets that you need to hurry up and fill before somebody else comes along. Everybody eventually makes their own choices. The sooner young people are encouraged to think about their own thinking-the better. Youth amaze me constantly with their wisdom and tolerance.
While I know you're right... I still bear misgivings, though your words are encouraging. If you are studying to become a teacher, then surely you've studied some aspects of psychology. At what ages do children typically form their ideas about society, religion, and purpose, and are able to conceive of larger ideas? When do children typically learn to feel guilt? (When you notice them starting to hide their faces when they "do something wrong"?)

While I know that parents will always be the ultimate influencer, children are attracted to structure, inclusion/not being left out/sameness/fairness, and most of all knowing the right answers... all virtues of orthodoxy, and of educational systems in our world today. In the West, our standardized educational structure promotes there are right answers, and there are wrong answers. You either know it, or you don't. You are with us, or against us.

What are some ways pagan parents might be able to teach their children openness, tolerance, and humility--inherent pagan virtues--without seeming indecisive and wishy washy to a child who needs a clear-cut answer?

User avatar
Becks
Posts: 1194
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:50 pm
Gender: Female
Location: Vancouver Island

Re: I don't want to raise my kid Wiccan/Pagan

Post by Becks »

Oh wow! I just saw this. Super food for thought! I am running out the door right now, but I will be back to to thread for sure! Have a great day!

RinRin1985
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:03 pm

Re: I don't want to raise my kid Wiccan/Pagan

Post by RinRin1985 »

Rathac wrote:Does anyone here raise their children as part of a pagan religion?

Does anyone here have the thought that if you don't impart your beliefs and values to your own children, that someone else might and be successful? Boogymen don't exist under the bed. They exist in the form of authoritarian teachers and day care givers, and even friends and family members, who whisper the truth of Jesus to young impressionable minds.

Parents, have you had to contend with this? How is raising your child with an open mind working out when they find themselves in this kind of situation?

Yes I have had to deal with this exact scenario. My parents are Christians and they know that I do not hold to the same beliefs they have. And yet, when I had them watch my daughter for a week about a year ago, they instilled their belief system into her over and over every day she was there. They made her read a bunch of books, they took her to church three times in the six days they had her, and when I came back, she talked non stop about how people nailed Jesus to a cross and whipped him and killed him. My parents had her do a project, collecting little trinkets that represented Jesus's death. Funny thing is, the whole point of that story is that he supposedly came back to life but they didn't even touch on that. She was 6 years old, impressionable, gullible. That one week was all it took, and to this day she chooses to believe the Christian faith. Now, I have nothing against her believing whatever she wants to believe, I told her the very same. However, I DO have a problem with people who shouldn't have any say or decision making influence in my daughters life, making those very important decisions for her and steering her purposely in a way which goes against everything I live for in life. She is MY daughter. I should be the one exposing her to different ideas and beliefs and choices. NOT my parents. Not anyone else.

I admit that part of me has a grudge against my parents for raising me in the same exact way. I was forced to believe a certain way, being told that if I didn't believe it I would burn in hell for eternity. Nice right? Scaring an already scared little girl into thinking that she must obey a deity who will smite her if she doesn't. So part of the reason I was very upset at them for doing that to my daughter was because of my childhood. I don't like it, and I will NEVER let it happen again. Don't mess with my kid!!!!!!! :x

User avatar
JH
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:07 pm

Re: I don't want to raise my kid Wiccan/Pagan

Post by JH »

RinRin1985 wrote: Now, I have nothing against her believing whatever she wants to believe, I told her the very same. However, I DO have a problem with people who shouldn't have any say or decision making influence in my daughters life, making those very important decisions for her and steering her purposely in a way which goes against everything I live for in life. She is MY daughter. I should be the one exposing her to different ideas and beliefs and choices. NOT my parents. Not anyone else.

I admit that part of me has a grudge against my parents for raising me in the same exact way.
Awwe. They were probably just doing what they thought best because they love her. (If that helps you.) You must have felt betrayed though! Forgive and forget so you can get on with your life in joy instead of anger and misery! (As if I'm very good at that myself - Lol! - but it's nice when it works.)

Rathac
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:07 am

Re: I don't want to raise my kid Wiccan/Pagan

Post by Rathac »

RinRin1985 wrote:Yes I have had to deal with this exact scenario. (etc.)
How did you respond to this situation? When your kindergartener came home reiterating your parents' version of the truth, what did you tell her?

Honestly, while a big part of me values open mindedness, if this were me another part of me feels as though I would have said to her, "Your grandparents are wrong, and here's why..."

But is this really the right response? I honestly don't know, but I feel as though it would be better than allowing her to be tainted by a dogma that I, as the parent, do not share.

Then again, would I be tainting her ability to be open minded?
Has her ability to be open minded already been sufficiently tainted?

Is the way to teach open mindedness to children limited to giving all other religions the benefit of the doubt, thus giving those religions credibility to the child?

Most "religions" are very clear: all other religions are lies. Paganism doesn't necessarily teach this.

Or should children be taught that no one is wrong, and everyone is right? Or, no one is right? Or simply, no one knows? But is this really how I would feel as a parent? How do you feel about it?

User avatar
Becks
Posts: 1194
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:50 pm
Gender: Female
Location: Vancouver Island

Re: I don't want to raise my kid Wiccan/Pagan

Post by Becks »

Rathac wrote:
While I know you're right... I still bear misgivings, though your words are encouraging. If you are studying to become a teacher, then surely you've studied some aspects of psychology. At what ages do children typically form their ideas about society, religion, and purpose, and are able to conceive of larger ideas? When do children typically learn to feel guilt? (When you notice them starting to hide their faces when they "do something wrong"?)

While I know that parents will always be the ultimate influencer, children are attracted to structure, inclusion/not being left out/sameness/fairness, and most of all knowing the right answers... all virtues of orthodoxy, and of educational systems in our world today. In the West, our standardized educational structure promotes there are right answers, and there are wrong answers. You either know it, or you don't. You are with us, or against us.
Hi there Rathac, I've come back to this. It's end of term time and so I'm pretty busy with my courses, but I have been thinking on this topic. Please keep in mind that I speak as somebody who works with children and somebody who studies education and children. I am not a parent; therefore I don't have to make these decisions for myself. So that is my perspective.

In terms of the development of those complex themes like society, religion and purpose....I think understanding is arrived at in different ways and in a process of 'passes' throughout the course of our lives. A pre kindergarten child, or a child in day care will be taught themes of ownership of items, sharing, inclusion, friendship....they learn the "rules" as taught to them by people who care for them. More complex themes come in at later times in all of our development...the layers build and we learn things like 'tact' and weigh that against truth....etc. You talk about fairness and it's interesting because many young people I work with can understand that perhaps one child may need extra support or time or resources to reach a place of equality with their classmates. Most are okay with this when we explain it.


Middle school age is where young people really start to examine differences in peers and in themselves....developmentally pre-teens and teens are working very hard in self identity and themes of belonging. Teens often try to distance themselves from authoritarian figures and work on themes of independence....often alligning with peers. I find young people look at these themes when they are ready and that can be at different times....there is a huge variety in terms of development and maturity.

While I agree that the tone of our families and communities can work to shape who we are; they are not the sum of our identity. I'm sure you can think of people who are not like their families or distance themselves...people who are free thinkers and people who educate themselves. There is also the opposite....people who are not encouraged to be free thinkers and people who are happy to practice what they are told. I think these are the people with the narrow view and rigid thinking...not matter what their thinking is.

I think that there are so many factors that go in to determining how we will move in the world and acquire information. We can't limit it to how we are raised or what a psychology textbook says about the stages we are supposed to move through.

All I know is that increasingly the world is demanding that people think about their thinking, and use a variety of problem solving techniques. Our BC curriculum is heading in that direction. People will always see things differently and prize differing values.

I like to honour a child's process and choices to be critical thinkers. We can invite children and encourage and guide critical thinking, but in the end the young person has to make a choice about what they value. Each person makes choices about values in terms of religion/spirituality, how we treat people, what we believe to be true. You are right, these are shaped by our personal, cultural, and societal values....I personally see these things as flexible and developing over the course of a life, but I define myself as a life long learner. It's what I value.

I guess I could ask you what was your recollection of your own development? How did you come to your values and beliefs? What shaped your ideas?

Wandering Warlock
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:39 am

Re: I don't want to raise my kid Wiccan/Pagan

Post by Wandering Warlock »

Very interesting thread.

Was anyone here raised pagan? If so, your perspectives would be valuable contributions to this topic. Personally, I've never met an adult who was raised pagan.

Here's a question for pagan parents: Even if you don't actively raise your children pagan, do you think you are still effectively raising them according to your beliefs/values which may predispose them to paganism?

I have a five year old daughter, and I am raising her pagan. We cast spells together, and we perform holiday rituals together, and she loves them. I feel like our brand of paganism, and the craft, puts us more directly in touch with the natural forces of the universe which other structured religions seem to lack (except maybe Islam to a slight degree, which is very lunar-based). I get the feeling that one day, she will actively depart from paganism in her attempt to find herself. I can only hope that if that happens, she'll come back. As long as she grows to be a honest and sincere person, I believe she would return because I believe pagan values to be honest and sincere. I feel it's my duty to impart my religious values to her, and I don't slight from this for a moment because just about all pagan paths are inherently free-thinking practices which promote honest evaluation of the world around us.

User avatar
WiccanWitch
Posts: 196
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 12:06 pm

Re: I don't want to raise my kid Wiccan/Pagan

Post by WiccanWitch »

Given I am just turning to paganism I have mixed feelings. Though I never embraced Christianity I wanted my children raised in it for the reason that I felt it gave a good solid base for morality among other things. But my oldest is seeing my transition and says she wants to go that way as well. I fear it's just because she doesn't really know what she believes yet which I know is normal but I don't want to chase her away from the church which is potentially a healthy network for her right now. So my jury is still out.

I don't think it's wrong but given my "youth" in the Wiccan beliefs I don't feel I am personally at a point that I'm a worthy teacher.

User avatar
Lord_of_Nightmares
Posts: 957
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2015 9:26 pm
Gender: Transgender Man
Location: 9th layer of the underworld
Contact:

Re: I don't want to raise my kid Wiccan/Pagan

Post by Lord_of_Nightmares »

Wandering Warlock wrote:Very interesting thread.

Was anyone here raised pagan? If so, your perspectives would be valuable contributions to this topic. Personally, I've never met an adult who was raised pagan.

Here's a question for pagan parents: Even if you don't actively raise your children pagan, do you think you are still effectively raising them according to your beliefs/values which may predispose them to paganism?

I have a five year old daughter, and I am raising her pagan. We cast spells together, and we perform holiday rituals together, and she loves them. I feel like our brand of paganism, and the craft, puts us more directly in touch with the natural forces of the universe which other structured religions seem to lack (except maybe Islam to a slight degree, which is very lunar-based). I get the feeling that one day, she will actively depart from paganism in her attempt to find herself. I can only hope that if that happens, she'll come back. As long as she grows to be a honest and sincere person, I believe she would return because I believe pagan values to be honest and sincere. I feel it's my duty to impart my religious values to her, and I don't slight from this for a moment because just about all pagan paths are inherently free-thinking practices which promote honest evaluation of the world around us.
My BF comes from a family where his mother is a trad Wiccan (British Traditonal Wicca) and his father is agnostic, and he has a pagan aunts, and his great grandmother was into folk magic. He also has Sothern Baptist family members. He was essentially raised secularly though, and his family who was Christian took him to church occaisonally. He is a Discordian pagan.

I don't think a child should be raised in any spiritual or religious belief per se. Even raising them pagan is risk because it could be similar to Christian indoctrinition. I think they should be raisrd learning about different beliefs and religions, secularly. David McAfee has a great Belief Book for kids and while it is more atheist geared, i think it is a great way for them to learn.

I also think if they want to go to church or learn paganism etc, it should be optional from a non-secular point of view. I am not going to be disappointed in or rejecting or wanting my child to "come back" if he doesn't choose paganism. Even if they are Christian, secular, or whatever, i will just be happy they made an informed decision and wanted to be that way. I don't want to force them into Wicca or any other path. I know Wicca or any pagan religion is not for everybody and is not one size fit all.
I am the Earth, The Sun and the Stars
And I am the also the Moon
I am all animal and birds,
And I am the outcast as well, and the thief
I am the low person of dreadful deeds,
And the great person of excellent deeds
I am Female. I am Male and I am Neuter.
- Devi

Wandering Warlock
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:39 am

Re: I don't want to raise my kid Wiccan/Pagan

Post by Wandering Warlock »

I don't think a child should be raised in any spiritual or religious belief per se. Even raising them pagan is risk because it could be similar to Christian indoctrinition. I think they should be raisrd learning about different beliefs and religions, secularly.
A fundamental part of my raising my child pagan is teaching her to make her own decisions. Another part is that I am honest about not having all the answers, and that she'll have to make up her own mind.

From what I have learned, a major part of pagan upbringing is to teach the child that they are responsible for their own spiritual development; it isn't as simple as "being saved," and that's that. It takes work. It takes questioning the self, and questioning others to find what one truly believes, and feels. Personal responsibility is an inherent part of most pagan traditions. It's far from indoctrination (say this prayer, sing Jesus loves me over and over again = brainwashing), though I can see how you might think that given limited information.

When my child asks me questions, I generally respond first with, "What do you think?" I teach her that the truth is inside her, more than anywhere else.

Post Reply

Return to “Pagan Family & Parenting”