ANSWERS: 26
  • Support the child as best you can. Take them to church (even if you dont go in), drive them to church school ect. Just let them investigate it on their own accord.
  • First: I would like to say that this is a great question. Second: As an atheist/Satanist, I would be supportive of any kind of religion that my child got into as long as that religion didn't tell them to do stupid things like kill themselves or sacrifice animals. I probably wouldn't want to get involved with their chosen religion, but I would let them know that I want them to do what they want and what they think is right. Third: I don't really think I answered the question the right way. Sorry.
  • I guess the only thing you can really do is show an open mind. Just keep in mind that public schools turn kids into Atheists rather fast.
  • I would teach them a spiritual aspect of god and teach them to meditate.My brother did that with their two children and they have turned out great.I would always steer them toward something that was free of dogma.I doubt at a young age a child would have a conviction for christ if they had never gone to church or hangs around with friends that do.
  • The same as any other interest, in a football team or origami or... Provide support while also providing your own criticism. I (atheist) let my son go to Sunday School a couple of times until he decided he didn't want to go again.
  • It may pass. I was married to a man who was of the Jewish faith who had a young son...at one point my son said he wanted to become Jewish...but that soon passed. I would make available whatever seems age-appropriate..do you have a friend who is religious? If so, perhaps the child can attend services with your friend. In the final analysis, we all choose that which makes sense to us...keeping someone away from a particular set of beliefs in which you don't believe does nothing in the long run but breed resentment.
  • One could always take their child to a meeting with a pastor/priest/"man of god" and have them sit down and talk things through. I would most certainly want my child to believe in anything they want and to live the life that they want. My choices are mine, and theirs belong to them. I would help facilitate their research by buying them a bible, taking them to church if they'd like and letting them speak to, and research any religion/religious sect they were interested, but I would let them know that I would not like it if they started trying to make me believe. I would be happy that my child could think for himself/herself, so I would help in any way possible.
  • Well I would probably not invest a lot of effort into that whole topic... other than to allow the child to talk and be heard. Not resisting, not agreeing, just listening. The kind of "religious education" I would want my child to have (if I had this to do over again!) would be learning awareness practices: how to be attentive to life, focused, how to "listen" to each moment and respond freely. That's the path most likely to produce a true spiritual connection, in my view. The rest is just a bunch of talk, whether you're a theist or an atheist! :)
  • I bet there are interesting conversations in your house! The best way to be suportive in this situation would probably be to get your child into Church, if not allready. Find your child some Christian friends their own age, and get them into a good youth group at your local church. Of course this begs the question that with your being an athiest, how do you know what a good church is? I think in that case, I would probably tend to take the childs lead as to where to attend. Im sure you would want to hear and be involved with what your child is learning though.
  • I am wiccan and believe everyone is right in thier own beliefs. I do find it hard to understand a 4 year old just up and wanting to belong to a religious path without some form of outside interferance. I was forced to go to both catholic and protistant churches from birth,and as such,all the studies showed me that it was all wrong,and I became an agnostic for many years. it has only been a couple of years now,that I descuvered wiccan and found I had this belief for many years without knowing it. I firmly believe no child should be brainwashed into a religious belief untill they are old enough to choose themselves. this is just my opinion and is not meant to belittle any group or belief.
  • Encourage the child to explore and understand their beliefs. Encourage them to make sure they are honest with themselves and their feelings. Don't discourage their choices, but also encourage them to understand all of the choices available (all religious choices).
  • just accept them as Christians, i was having vice-versa problems with my mom where she said i was grounded till i started "loving god"
  • Where would he get his belief in Christ? Children believe what their parents tell them. Have you ever noticed that Christians have Christian parents, Muslims have muslim parents, and Jewish people have Jewish parents.
  • All you can do is support them and help them to understand their new found beliefs without prejudice.
  • I can imagine a child of secular parents having curiosity and a desire to experiment, but not a "strong belief" unless it is caused by peer pressure. All children no mater what their parents beliefs should learn about all of the diverse religions and cultures of the world. They should also be taught history and the big picture behind each faith. With a full unbiased education I can't imagine a rational person having "a strong belief in and conviction for Christ". At most I would think it's a childhood phase- and like I said, probably caused by peer pressure.
  • put their own beliefs aside and try to support their child's curiosity. take them to church teach them about the history of different religions. let them know their beliefs but also tell the child they are free to believe what they choos and that they support them in their decision.
  • I think allowing them to view all aspects of religion and faith is fine, the same way a religious family should allow open curious minds with education of other faiths,etc. As an Atheist, consider it education if nothing else, since you do not believe, but trying to stiffle their beliefs will only cause friction between the two of you later on.
  • My dad was more of an agnostic but he taught me to pray and because my mom wanted it, enrolled me in religious instruction as well as catholic grammer and high school. Luckily he must of thought I would be smart enough to figure it out for myself...I am not agnostic or atheist but I am also not a catholic or christian!
  • my hubbys an athiest. while the rest of us believe in the Lord. he treats the kids going to church like he would everything else. he is always there to answer their questions and doesnt discuss his belief with them. as we feel they will make their own decisions as adults.
  • if he is fine with it, take this opertunity to discuss religion with him. ask him to tell you why he likes christianity, and then tell him why you prefer athieism. Make sure he feels comfortable; this is a good way to model respect for others' beliefs. Tell him that you'll support whatever he values, and take him where he wants to go. If he tries to convince you to become a Christian, try, alternatively, to talk about the pros of Atheism.
  • Let them know your happy that their exploring their faith. If you don't celebrate xmas put a little effort in for your child. Bring her to church and let depending on her age let her discuss what she knows of God to you, even though you don't belief, because depending on her age it will let her know you care and that your intrested in her beliefs.
  • Im Atheist my husband is Muslim, we don't have kids at the moment but I believe that religion is a personal choice and should not be forced upon anyone no matter what their family religious beliefs are. However if my child was to show an interest in any religion I would support them and encourage them to express their ideas and beliefs so that they can develop and follow which ever path they choose. I think the thing is to encourage without being too pushy and respect the diversity and to teach your child the same :)
  • support the child as much as you can. but do tell the child that no matter what you love them. even go to church once in a while just to be supportive. just try not to roll your eyes at the pastor.
  • I would wonder who is "giving him his strong convictions. Then I would make damn sure it stopped! I would not ever attempt to indoctrinate someone else's child into atheism, I would expect the same courtsey for our beliefs. And, No, I would not support or add credence to a system to which I did not subscribe, anymore then I would be supportive and involved if the child showed "a strong belief an conviction" for vampires. For those of you who missed it it's called "Hyprocracy"
  • oh,boy, do you have your hands full! ok, here goes my OPINION. I am a Christian. Please don't stop reading. From the time my kids were old enough to question religion, ethics and other huge topics I have been Honest with them, I believe God wants us to choose Him. Not to have Him rammed down our throats by zealots. When my kids showed curiosity in choices other than my own we researched them. Some of those new ideas, I learned from, some I didn't like, but either way, my kids knew what I believed in and were allowed to choose their own path knowing that I will love them even if their choices are different than mine. You cannot know what is in your child's heart, but you can know what is in yours. Please don't shut your child out because of their differing beliefs. your love can be stronger than that.
  • Being an Atheist means you do not identify as having any religious beliefs. It does not mean that you don't have knowledge about religion. It's not as if the child would ask about God and I would just stand there wondering what the hell a God was. I wouldn't have to Google it. And just because I do not have a religion it does not follow that I am bothered about other people, including my kids, who do. I would quite happily take her along whenever to wherever so she could see what it was all about. It is just not that difficult to support your childs' interests is it?

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