We’ve had a few visitors in the past while, including a dear high school friend who has kids about the same age as my own.

It was nice to discover that we still have enough in common to enjoy a visit without god at the centre of it.  Although, I did remain quiet several times.  I think I’m learning social skills!

Like the time that she proudly shared her husband’s explanation for a little boy not wanting to share pushing a stroller with her little girl.

Apparently boys don’t like to be helped.  (It sounded like a sharing issue to me, but I guess it was about accepting help.)  If you want to help a boy, you need to be sneaky about it.

Her conclusion: better that the three year old learn that now, because that is how men are.

That made me so sad.  What does that teach her about the relationship between people of different genders?  Honesty isn’t acceptable?  Sharing and helping have to be sneaky.  Protect the distorted self-image of an insecure guy at any personal cost?

Rant done.  Wish I had had a good come-back for that one.

At bedtime my friend called all the kids over and read them a little devotional.  It was about how we need to think about god all the time.  Then she asked the girls to pray.

Her little girl adorably warbled “Thank-you for the food Amen”

Lil’T said, “I love you and I’ll never forget you.”

My friend was charmed.  I don’t know who Lil’T was talking to.  She seems to have forgotten.

There was nothing overly alarming about that particular devotion and I skimmed through the book after.  Some of the stories were really good, some not so much.

In the end this was harmless, but I was still not prepared.  And I’ll need to be if we are thinking to leave the kids for a week or so at the grandparents sometime.  I guess I can’t protect them from everything, I’m just worried that Christian friends and family will work double time to expose our children to the harmful parts of Christianity once they find out we won’t.

7 thoughts on “Devoted

  1. It seems they are but two sides of the same coin! 😉 The faithful worried that the world will creep in and burst their children’s Christian bubble, and others, such as yourself, worried that bad religion will rub off on their children.

    I think you’re on the right track. Just be open and honest, and work to maintain a communicating relationship with your little ones like you are. Let your love and relationship bulwark against those influences, and I think, chances are, it will all turn out OK. 🙂

  2. Quince says:

    I agree with the Wise Fool! 🙂

  3. prairienymph says:

    I’ve now had a chance to observe other children whose grandparents or other authorities believe their religion trumps respecting the parents’ decisions. The most extreme of these was the grandmother who ‘circumcised’ her granddaughter while babysitting her. Good intentions are not enough, this loving woman truly believed she was saving her granddaughter from inept parents.

    Other children just become confused and frightened when they are told their parents are ‘deceived by the devil’. That is a trauma I’d rather avoid. There are many wonderful things about Christianity, true. And one day our kids will be making their own decisions. But until then I’m still not comfortable leaving my kids alone with certain people for long periods of time knowing they feel that teaching kids to lie and distrust their parents is for their own good. Maybe it is mostly my own issue. I would hope to have an open and honest discussion with such loving people, but I’m not sure if it would be helpful or not.

  4. This reminds me of a post Hemant made at Friendly Atheist last week.

    So, the fear is well-founded for many families. It isn’t so much the fear that christianity will “wear off” on the kids but that it will be forced upon them in such a way that they are frightened.

    I found your blog through a commenter on my own, by the way, and I’ve been enjoying your posts!

  5. Yeah, if I had kids I’d be afraid of it with my parents. They only mean well, but that doesn’t mean I’d want them trying to indoctrinate my children behind my back.

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