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Should parents wait to introduce religion to their children until they are older (in their teens)?

Asked by: Leroybulk
  • Children will believe anything you tell them.

    Santa Clause.
    Easter Bunny.
    Scary mythological figures.
    Aduni the alien high priest.
    Gamithor the invisible kingdom.

    When their standards for information are consistently this low, the entire notion of telling them a multitude of these extraordinary claims isn't just incredibly unfair, but it's also basically brainwash.

    Claiming that there is an ultra powerful omniscientific being that's essentially invisible is bad enough, but it's usually taken an entire step further to a point to where this massive claim just isn't enough. There isn't just a god, but there's only one god, and this one god is only the one of my religion in a world with thousands of religions.

    And you know, this is without getting into other claims like a certain smelly ancient person being the son of god, a certain religious figure writing a book despite the fact that they're supposedly illiterate, and lets never forget the claim of a mother supposedly being impregnated by an angel. Because you know, I guess the idea of a woman lying about being raped or having an affair during a time of when she'd be stoned to death is just too unreasonable. Nah, who would believe that right? The only rational explanation must be that she was impregnated by an angel and her son just so happens to be the son of god. Because clearly, even just one of those claims would be totally believable.

    Children should not be taught that things like this are fact.

  • Kids won't understand

    As a child they will just follow there parents into religion, not understanding the full depth of it. Whether they want to be religious or a follower of that religion. They should be able to choose when they are ready and not forced to go. Religion should be a personal choice, not a family choice.

  • Of course they should

    Parents brainwash thier children into believing, not knowingly, I hope! If you tell a child they will burn forever if they don't believe it that child will not question it and even if they start to question they will think back to their childhood imagination and see the self burning for ever. Children stop believing in Santa because there is no fear of Santa except from coal at Christmas.

  • Of course they should wait.

    Little kids would not have an understanding of good and evil. Let them read and choose which way they will take. Explain to them all the details of both sides. Let them choose their way. Watch to see if they have faith or if they go on the human eye point of view.

  • Wait with introduction

    Religion is, in a way, organized spirituality. Until a child can distinguish between spiritual needs and supporting myths, we should not offer the myths as truths, even if we believe in them. That would be manipulation. If we make them believe in things that they will be able to question later, we will have done serious damage to their emotions and relationship with any moral authority.

  • Children should not be making life decisions

    If you teach a child that the easter bunny is real. He will accept it. 99.9 % of the time at least. Children do not have the mental capacity to start questioning life and death. It is actually proven that we do not develop a sense of mortality until our teens. If you teach a child a religion from birth, then that is most likely the religion that he will belong to for the rest of his life. He has no choice in the matter, and to take away his freedom of thought through religious indoctrination is wrong. If you want to introduce religion to your child. Introduce the IDEA of religion. Rather then preaching a specific one. Then when the child is older he will be educated enough to make his own discussions. Teaching a child a religion from birth is a way to make a slave to a religion. Allowing the child to choose is a way to invite free thinkers.

  • Children know better.

    Let children be children, they will play and ask questions naturally about life and the world, its up to the child's guardian to be honest and responsible. Answer to the best of their ability or both read books on the questions they're interested in together. Force feeding children a particular faith as truth and keeping the door closed to other possibilities is child abuse, Children are individuals not there to represent your beliefs.

  • Only An Introduction

    The only role parents should play in their child's development of faith is introducing different sorts of religions. In no way is it a parent's right to enforce a belief upon a child. Religion is a personal choice, and therefore it is up to each individual person to make their own choice about what they believe. Parents should simply serve as objective teachers, and not subjective dictators.

  • Like any other substance

    The reason we wait to let children have more rights when they're older is an attempt to let their still developing brains finish without interrupting the process with damage or fallacious understandings of the world. Although I would never agree to "enforce" such a rule, it would be a large leap in maturity for the religious community to let their children come to their respective Gods on their own.

  • Yes, now lets try convince the parents.

    Personally I think it would be better to never introduce anyone to the poison that is religion. It is irrational and does not help anyone's development. If you cannot work out what is good and bad from living in the society we live in then maybe you have mental health issues which need to be addressed. BTW religion makes mental health issues worse in my humble opinion.

  • No, parents should tell their children about their religious beliefs

    We don't wait until children are teens too begin instruction on other topics of importance. Why should parents avoid introducing younger children to age-appropriate religious topics? We begin instructing preschool children to respect diversity. We teach them basic elements of sexuality through "good touch/bad touch" before they enter elementary school. We teach these things because we appreciate the importance of these concepts. If their minds are capable of processing these concepts they are certainly capable of understanding basic religious concepts.

    For many, religion is an import part of their personal and family life. People of faith do not have a monopoly on moral behavior, but their religious convictions do play a key role in the development of their personal concepts of morality. Parents have the responsibility of teaching moral behavior; we shouldn't ask them to deny the basis of their morals, and their hope, from the ones they love most. In my opinion, it's also a matter of respect. The family is the basic unit of society. Parents should have the right to raise their children, and this includes the right to teach children about their religious beliefs. Children mature and they must ultimately decide for themselves, regardless of their parent's beliefs. In my opinion, it is absolutely ridiculous to assert that this is a form of brainwashing.

  • This is stupid

    It's extremely feasible a god exists. It's scientifically valid, and it's not disproven. Since it's not disproven, we can't assume that no religion is true, because if a god exists then at least one religion is probably right. If at least one religion is probably right given god exists, which is feasible, then we have to allow parents to teach their children a religion. People have the freedom of religion, and children who "believe everything their parents tell them" don't have a strong grounding in religion later in life unless they develop reasons to believe. Since religion is possibly true, and children who just get told that something is true in their childhood generally start showing skepticism later in life and make the decision then whether they believe it or not, then it is logical to allow parents to teach kids religion at a young age.

  • Will we accept?

    Honestly speaking, if I have never been introduced to any religion at all and suddenly one day, my parents started to talk about these things, I think it's only natural I won't accept it. Let's think about it properly. Would you really take in religious principles that you have never heard of into your lifestyle at this age (teen and older)? At this stage of our life, it's harder for us to accept sudden new things, especially if it will cause drastic changes in our current lives. This is why introduction to religion should be introduced to children when they are young and open to learning and more accepting to changes and lessons in their lives. Besides, is it not every religion teaches good morals and create a good spiritual being in a person? What would parents be teaching to their children without religion until they are in their teens?

  • That would be foolish

    No reasonable parent will wait until teenage years to communicate those values necessary in forming the child's character. Religion has been integral in raising children.

    Teenagers actually go through much temptation in the name of drugs, sex, crime, gangs, etc. They usually fair better against such temptations when from religious backgrounds.

  • Impractical when religion affects everyday life.

    Religion is more than just a set of beliefs--it affects the way we carry out our day to day lives. For example, in Judaism, a man is required to pray three times daily, to refrain from work on Sabbath, and to celebrate the Passover every year (by retelling the story). Just from a practical standpoint, you can't hide that.

  • Everyday Moral Compass

    Often, parents who follow a religion do so for several reasons. It is also often the case that their religion pervades every part of their life. It is their moral compass...Their basis for what is right or wrong. So parents should teach their children while they are young, so that the children can have a moral compass to guide them through life. Someone greater to depend on than themselves or their parents. Someone who will always be there, even if everyone around them dies. Then, when they ask themselves a moral question, they know where to turn for the answer. This has after effects of benefiting society as a whole.

  • I really want to vote on the yes side, but the question is "SHOULD they wait to INTRODUCE"

    This may have a few semantics getting in the way of this one, but parents (if following the law and thinking of the child's wellbeing to the best of their ability) should be allowed to do what they think is best for their kids (unless you think you should have the ultimate authority over their decisions in raising their children). I do not think religion is particularly helpful, but many do in terms of shaping their morality. Just because they have a differing opinion doesn't make me capable of saying what they SHOULD do. Also, if they are INTRODUCING religion, what if we are talking about introducing kids to what religion is and how some people believe it. I assume you mean teaching children doctrine from a particular religion and to follow it blindly without the ability or experience to comprehend what it all means. In that case, I absolutely agree that parents should wait.

  • It depends what you mean by "introduce."

    As a general note, parents should educate their children about ALL major world religions. It doesn't matter if you believe in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc etc. because it is an undeniable fact that these religions have a HUGE impact on the history of the world and modern global interactions. I'm not saying kids need an in depth theological understanding of these religions, but for the sake of tolerance, respect, and education, they need cursory knowledge of these religions.

    Furthermore, if the parents are devout followers of a religion then of course the kids should be knowledgeable about it. If my mother was a devout Muslim but I knew nothing about Islam then I would understand very little about my own mother and her view of the world. Yes a kid will probably try to mimic the parent and worship as they do (just as kids will mimic political beliefs for a time) but if they are knowledgeable and raised to be free/independent then it won't matter.

  • Everyday Moral Compass

    Often, parents who follow a religion do so for several reasons. It is also often the case that their religion pervades every part of their life. It is their moral compass...Their basis for what is right or wrong. So parents should teach their children while they are young, so that the children can have a moral compass to guide them through life. Someone greater to depend on than themselves or their parents. Someone who will always be there, even if everyone around them dies. Then, when they ask themselves a moral question, they know where to turn for the answer. This has after effects of benefiting society as a whole.


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