To raise a child in this world

Hello all,

I’m new here, and just tonight found this forum. I’m going to post this to kind of get to the point of what I am looking for, and thought that this is the most appropriate part of the forum to post this question/topic in.

Should I raise my child(ren) in this religious environment?

I was raised catholic, went to catholic school, and the majority of my family on both sides were, at the time I was young, catholic as well. I will try to cut to the chase here, and add in information after for background, but I do not follow the faith at this time. I do remember that at least some of the people who influenced me as I was growing up held this belief, and the good aspects of these people and their beliefs stuck with me throughout my life. As I grew older, I had lost my attachment to the religion, but the good ideals ingrained in me from them stayed, and this is why I ask your viewpoint on if this is a wise route to raise a child in that mindset.

I had grown some severe resentment towards catholicism as I got older mainly because I felt I had no choice in the matter. I am leaning to raise my children with the ideas posed by the core of this religion, but have a hard time seeing the difference between all the other worlds religions that promote the same thing (be a good human being, do unto others etc.) I have a fear I am thinking of going back to this as a bit of a crutch just due to familiarity with the religion, but do not want to grow resentment or force ideas into my child’s head that he or she may come upon his own accord. I know that I would have not been so bitter if I felt like I had some choice in the matter when I was young.

Thank you for your (name removed by moderator)ut, and nice to meet you all.

Does your family know anything about your feelings about Catholicism? If the don’t how do you think that they would react if they did? I ask this because I am assuming that you will want to maintain your current relationship with your family members and for some I know differences of religion can be a point of contention.

Make your decision based on what the best educational opportunity you can obtain for your child no matter what else.

The rest, is gravy. If the best is the Catholic Church school system where you live and you can afford it and can supplement their education in the areas that will make them more college ready, then do so.

Go to Mass again, it really is nice. I find it comfortable at this point.
I have found no reason to stop going since I started, even if I am simply a long time observer.

Maybe it will bring something back to you that I never had to begin with.

Hello Polivchak and Welcome to CAF!

By all means, and I can say that from experience. I used to be a fallen-away Catholic and raised my kids laissez-faire.Two of them are still fallen away, and one is relatively churched. Makes my heart cringe that I did this to them.

To do what you say you want to do will be tough. Kids, most of all, need a model: someone to duplicate. If you won’t be a model you won’t be one. If you could begin to reacquaint yourself with Catholicism, you might find a way back and become that model. I did exactly that and have found my way back from the abyss.

This forum, and these good people will be here to answer questions, along with your Parish Priest. But, be a model, even if you’re just faking it! The degree that you may not be faking will be known by God and that will allow some pittance of grace to seep in. As time goes on, you never know.

God bless,

With respect, I cannot agree with you that this is what Catholicism is about. That is ethics, not religion.
I would highly recommend that you read The Everlasting Man.

A young mother remarked to me, “I don’t want to teach my child any religion. I don’t want to influence him; I want him to choose for himself when he grows up.” That is a very ordinary example of a current argument, which is frequently repeated and yet never really applied. Of course the mother was always influencing the child. Of course the mother might just as well have said: “I hope he will choose his own friends when he grows up, so I won’t introduce him to any aunts or uncles.” The grown-up person cannot in any case escape from the responsibility of influencing the child, not even if she accepts the enormous responsibility of not influencing the child.

It is entirely obvious, to anybody who will think for two minutes, that this responsibility for determining childhood belongs inevitably to the relation of child and adult, quite apart from the relations of religion and irreligion. But the people who repeat these fragments of phraseology do not think for two minutes. They do not make any attempt to connect such a phraseology with a philosophy. They have heard the argument applied to religion, and they never think of applying it to anything else except religion.

G.K. Chesterton

I was brought up a Catholic, and as an adult now I am grateful for that.

Is it your fear that your children will resent being brought up Catholic, or are you concerned it that they will actually become Catholics?

I just wanted to start out with a ‘thank you’ for all of your polite and thoughtful responses. This is exactly what I was looking for, people who aren’t seeming like they’re trying to recruit, but have a good conversation and pose viewpoints intelligently about topics I have no other venue in life to have.

To ThinkingSapien:

Yes, now my family knows my current viewpoint on religion, each to their own degree of what I have talked with them about it. But, there is no misunderstanding that I do not believe in jesus or god as they do, it is still something they discuss with me quite often. My grandmother, whom I feel taught me what my morality is, didn’t know. But, my living immediate family does and I don’t lie to them about it.

As far as my grandmother goes, she was very religious, and I didn’t think I could have a conversation with her about my lack of belief without making her feel terrible, so I had lied to her and said I had still went to church and followed the beliefs and such until her dying day. I just couldn’t rationalize hurting her feelings so, and never brought it up as an argument.

To StrawberryJam:

Thank you for the (name removed by moderator)ut, I am having a bit of a conflict with my wife about home schooling. From my experience, I had found that the schooling I was recipient to in catholic grade school was sub-standard to say the least. My school day consisted of:

1.)morning mass
2.)recess 30 min
5.)an hour of learning non religious things
7.)church based instruction
9.)reading religious literature

and then being released to buses to go home.

I was in kindergarten in public school, went to catholic school, and in second grade tested as the highest level of learning in the entire school, 1st through 6th. I was then summarily sent to a catholic psychologist, at times through the school day which separated me from the usually normal development of childhood interaction, where I was the weird kid who left class to see if he’s crazy.

There was so little actual learning, I knew something was wrong at the age of eight. An eight year old shouldn’t have a want for less recreation time.

I want to home school my kids, I just worry about the social interaction aspect of what school has to offer that I can’t provide in home school.

In summary on this topic, I am afraid of what public and private school will do to my kid(s), and what the alternative would do to their ability to socially interact with the rest of humanity (if that is even a worthwhile concern, based on what humanity is at this time).

To JDaniel-

I do not plan to raise my children with a laissez-faire attitude. I have lived the majority of my adult life without god and jesus, without the promise or threat of damnation or salvation, and have gone through my life doing things that are good and right, to save and help others I do not know or relate to. What I’m looking for, honestly, is an arguement I can make to them to use the structure of catholicism when they become adults. I have a hard time finding a definitive reason to use this religious methodology to teach wrong and right to a kid in honesty and be able to defend it when they grow to adulthood. And this basically gets to the point of why I posted on this board. I saw quite a large number of people to discuss things with, of not just catholic beliefs, and get their viewpoints. I promise you, if nothing else, I will never take a passive approach in their development as a human being. My actual concern in regards to your response, is that you sound as if you failed the children who didn’t end up believing in catholicism. Please don’t feel pity or feel a sense of failure as a parent because of it, for quite a lot of people, religion is a hard pill to swallow. And if its of any benefit, if I hadn’t felt like it was shoved down my throat as a child, I would probably still believe in god and jesus if I felt like I had some choice in the matter.

to chipeto -

Your first response:

I saw your link to the $30 book, which I am not going to buy to have a discussion with you about.  As far as your differentiation of the idea of religion and ethics, I think you are being conveniently exclusive, where religion should be at least an allegory of the ethics their respective peoples should live life by.  So on that part, I don't know what this separation you are assuming really gets to.    Your following quote seems to speak to the idea that I am not assuming responsibility for the impressions I will incur on my children, which is totally wrong.  My concern, which you quoted from my initial post, was not that I would take a passive stance in the development of my children, but that I wanted to use some methodology that would be easy for them to understand.  It may be that the way I worded it seemed to be that, as that was a previously held opinion of another poster before you, but I assure you I will have a very active role in teaching the difference between what wrong and right is.  I also want to note, from the second quotation that you referenced, that I do assume total responsibility for the development and education of my children, and do absolutely not assume it will happen without my influence, intended or not, and will contribute to what makes them the person/people that they come to be.

To Vincent1984 -

That is a good and honest question. And I think the answer is both. On the one hand, where I worry about the resentment if they were raised catholic, I have not been able to resolve with what information was given to me to not be resentful to some degree being raised catholic. The specifics are better gone through in another thread, but to this day I am a bit resentful to be honest. The general aspects of the religion I can now appreciate, and have come to some degree of understanding with my parents, and I’m all grown up now and don’t blame anyone for who I am today. I still feel a little bit lied to, and fooled when I was a child, but I chalk it up to the equivalent of the lie of santa claus.

I do, to some degree, fear my kids growing up to believe in catholicism, because I worry that it will degrade or destroy my relationship with them because of what we each would theoretically believe in. I don’t know how yet to handle that situation, and that exact situation is unfolding in my immediate relationship with my parents at this time. Its honestly kind of ugly. I like to think that good people shouldn’t need a carrot or a stick to do the right thing, and the dogma and rules that follow organized religion seem to supersede the ability for many people to have a real conversation about it to any regard.

Just noticed this topic.

My comments can add very little to what has been said. But reading your reponses I do have respect for the path your thinking is taking you along.

Have no fear - ‘All will be Well’.

God Bless.