I wonder how those of you who grew up in the Borg and have left are dealing with your kids' choices when it comes to religion...
I know this was one promise I made to myself that I would never coerce my kids into going to church or religious meetings when they were old enough to stay home by themselves. I kept that committment and only one of the five chose to follow a different religious path. Both I and my wife respected her decision and have never done anything to pressure her to "come back" or to have any religious inclinations of any kind. Recently, we made arrangements to care for our only grandson, who was recently put into a residential school because his mother was unable to handle him. Now our daughter has asked to live with us since she has lost her job in Seattle and is out of resources. We have gladly accepted her home and are hoping she will take the opportunity to go to school until at least the job market improves.
Today she brought up the subject of religion and expressed her hope that her son would look into our faith as in her opinion she wanted her son to have a sound spiritual foundation with tolerance toward others, much like her brothers and sisters had. My wife was speachless, but mustered up a "thankyou" from the back seat.
Personally I think religion should be attractive and not have to rely on coersion, deception or fear to gain or hold onto adherants.
My children are still very young and I'm trying to raise them by following the bibles principles. Some may not totally believe in the Bible, but it has some good solid guidelines. For example, just simply, "Treat others like you would like to be treated". I am always getting compliments by their day care provider on their behavior and their treatment of the other kids. I am very strict when it comes to the treatment of others...and my kids know it!
Their father is a JW, but as they get older I will let them make their own choices, and I will instill in them the belief that they have free will to do so, and I will always support them. I teach them that there is good in everybody; we just have to find the good in everyone and be the best contribution to society that we can be.
I try to instill that kindness is the key, but we must also be examples of that. We also must show that we can stand up for what we believe and we will answer to ourselves, and deal with the consequences of our choices.
My son is only one year old but can speak from my experience and my cousins. My experience was I was JW and when I chose to be a christian instead they flipped and told me I had to lie until I was 18 and pretend to be JW or I was kicked out. That may sound crazy but those were elders orders. I was kicked out at 15--over 7 years ago. My cousin in the same house now 16 has chosen to not be JW. Her mother is makeing her go to all 3 meeting a week but doesn't make her 'study' anymore and calls that respecting her daughters decision. Go figure.
As a christian parent who hasn't had to deal with this yet, I hypotheticly in the future plan on being reasonable. I believ our faith is right and the only way but I can't make my child believe if they don't. We plan on raising him in our church community and teaching him about God and teaching him the foundation by which he can make right decisions but if the day comes that he doesn't want to go to church.......I dunno. Depending on his age and whether he's just being lazy versus actually doesn't agree with it We will probably tell him we respect his opinion, Love him and will always be here for him. We hope and pray he will find God like we have but we can't make this decision for him. I will then pray my heart out
The most helpful thing I've found is NOT to preach, but just to answer questions honestly and openly.
If you willallow your children to ask you ANYTHING from the moment they start talking, believe me you will get the questions.
I'm getting them ALL now, and sometimes I say, "I don't know." and leave it at that. Sometimes I say, "Well my OPINION is...but you should keep asking until you have enough information to form your own opinion."
I hope this has helped.
Zanex and I were talking about this at lunch today--when I was little and I asked "What is a Homosexual?" instead of getting an answer, I got homophobic judgemental "Jehovah hates fags" type answers.
My daughter asked me last week and I basically said, "Someone who has romantic feelings for people of their own sex. Scientist haven't decided if it's a genetic trait or an environmental response or a combination of both."