Introducing religion to children

Asha Dornfest, Author of Minimalist Parenting, shares advice for parents on the best way to teach your children about religion and how to introduce them to it
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Introducing religion to children

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Religion is such an interesting topic. You know, I would never presume to tell anyone what they need to believe or how they need to practice. Clearly, it's an individual choice and based on people's own cultural backgrounds. What I would say and what my experience has been is that it might be worthwhile to open yourself to the idea that your children might have different spiritual questions than you do. I know in my case, I'm not particularly a religious person, but both of my children when they were 4 years old - it's really strange. I don't know what it was about 4 years old. But, when they turned 4, they asked me about death. They really wanted to ask some very specific questions about what happens after you die. And, I realized that I did not want to give them a generic answer. I also realized that I didn't know what my own beliefs were about that, given that nobody knows what happens after you die. You really do need to give them an answer about your beliefs more than about facts. And, I started realizing that they had spiritual questions that I really didn't have and I needed to open my mind to the fact that perhaps there was a place for religion or some sort of spirituality in our life because it was coming from them. So, if you're a parent struggling with how to include religion in your life, I think it starts with, first, examining your own beliefs and how you feel and talking it over with your partner if that's appropriate. But, also, consider making space for that questions that your children are asking and, maybe, considering the fact that they might have different spiritual needs than you do.

Asha Dornfest, Author of Minimalist Parenting, shares advice for parents on the best way to teach your children about religion and how to introduce them to it

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Asha Dornfest

Author of Minimalist Parenting

Asha Dornfest is the co-author of Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More By Doing Less, and the founder of Parent Hacks, an award-winning website devoted to sharing “forehead-smackingly smart” parenting advice. Since its launch in 2005, Parent Hacks has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Real Simple, Family Circle, and Parents, and has been named the “#1 Most Useful” of Babble’s Top 50 Mom Blogs three of the four years the honor has been given. Nielsen named Asha one of its 16 influential “Power Pack Moms,” and she has appeared in several TV and video broadcasts including CNN and ABC News Now. Asha lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two children.

 

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