Parenting: When it Comes to Religion, Politics and Forming Opinions

blogpiktoOk, can we be serious for just a second?

Coming from a parental perspective, of course we WANT our children to believe what we believe. We are fond of our own opinions and want others to agree with us, especially our own children. But at some point, we should be able to put ourselves in their shoes. Would you want to go your whole life being told what to believe or which side of the political scale to merge to? Or would you want your parents to work towards training you to weigh all options and then decide for yourself?

Let’s be real, when it comes to things like religion, politics, gender identity, views on race or sexual preference, people tend to have pretty firm opinions. So when it comes to raising children, it would seem impossible for a parent not to project their own views onto them. At what point should a parent step back and let a child think for themselves?

Truth. Children tend to live in the realm of monkey see, monkey do. They will converge towards whatever they are lead to believe is the correct thing. If a parent only ever talks about the pros of being a democrat, then they will have a forced closed mind to the opposing side. If a parent takes their child to the same church throughout their life, they will never be exposed to another point of view. If a parent consistently bashes on homosexuality, then a child who questions their identity will take a heck of lot longer to figure out who they are.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with telling your child your views if they ask. They are, after all, your pride and joy and they deserve to know. But if they are only ever exposed to one view, they may never see the other sides. If we can train them to take all options/views into account before just blinding following, they could have a broader perspective on life at a very young age. Some people go their entire life without ever grasping the ability to open their mind to multiple ideas.

Truth. No one is completely neutral. We all have opinions. That’s the beauty of being a human. We can think for ourselves… well only if we could open our minds to all perspectives rather than just the ones pushed on us by society.

When it comes to our children, maybe the best way to raise them is to let them decide for themselves what they want to believe or not believe. They should be able to decide if they are libertarians, republicans, democrats, a little of each or maybe none of the above.

Maybe they will be able to not just pick whatever crosses their path first, but to observe and research ALL options before taking a stance on something. It may take them time and some bad decisions along the way, but eventually they will discover who they are. What more could we want for our children than for them to be themselves.

Something to think about.

 

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