Would it depend on your child's age? the degree of difference of the two faiths? Would you exclude a certain faith because of your own negative experience with it? Would you offer to go with your child?
Just curious. We are eclectic Hindu/Unitarian type people, and our 8yo child is good friends with a girl who is Christian. She was not allowed at our child's slumber party because they had church early the next AM and mom didn't want her to be tired for it. Now my dd is invited for a sleepover at their house. They did not mention church in the morning, so I will just pick her up early if they have church. I was thinking about when or if she might get invited, what would I do.
We were raised strictly hindu, in the middle of the bible belt, if that makes a difference.
Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdad and mom to DS 24 months, and DD 8 months! .
Kelly,newly single mom of four wonderful children.
I would not allow my child to attend a religious service with a friend or relative until he has demonstrated excellent critical thinking skills and assertiveness. Even then, I would be very wary and avoid it if at all possible. I remember attending services of other faiths when I was a kid and feeling pressured into behaviors and statements that I would not have otherwise done or made. I want my kids to encounter religion with a critical eye from the outside before they are left alone at a faith gathering with people who may wish to plant seeds of conversion.
i would probably be very wary of allowing my kids to take in a worship without me there. i attended church with my friends after sleepovers a lot as a pre-teen/teen... i dont think it was very beneficial to my developing self.
I would not allow my child to attend a religious service with a friend or relative until he has demonstrated excellent critical thinking skills and assertiveness. Even then, I would be very wary and avoid it if at all possible.
My oldest is almost 13, and I'm still saying no to church with friends. I think she could hold her own, but I don't want to put her in a situation where I don't know what will be "taught". You tell my kid that gays go to hell or sex before marriage is a sin and I will come unglued.
So no, I don't let my kids go to church services or activities if I can help it.
We have friends who are River Brethren (related to Amish), and I'd absolutely be thrilled if my ds's had the opportunity to spend summers with them on their farm, and attend all their church stuff with them. I've already asked my friend if when our boys are teens I can ship them down every fall for the youth conference. I never was a member of her church and never will be, but of all the wonderful, safe places my sons could spend time, the RB youth conference is at the top of my list. : Our kids regulalry do Vacation Bible School stuff with churches of different denominations from ours.
If a religion or denomination had radically different values than I did, I'd hesitate. If it was something I would be extremely upset about if my child decided to join, I wouldn't let them go without me, and without the opportunity to talk about it later on.
To me if I would allow them to sleep over then I would allow them to go. It's not a matter of the difference in faith as I believe in exposure to multiple beliefs but how safe i feel my child is with the family. Does that make sense? Though if I felt it would cause problems in the future (like if the family is over zealous about their religion) then I would refrain.
Apparently doing it rong and ruining it for everyone, but I don't give a crap anymore.
I am not raising my daughter as a Christian. She is, however, exposed to other households that are--relatives and friends both. Right now she's spending several weeks at my mother's house. My sister is taking charge of her on weekends for the most part, so that so far the issue of whether she'd go to church with my mom hasn't come up, though DD and I talked about it before she left--mostly about how to behave. I'm not too worried about the Lutherans (even Evangelical Lutherans) trying to convert her in the course of a couple of weeks. Just as I would not worry about one or a few visits at many, many other churches.
My mother told me DD had a conversation with my teenage foster sister about religion. sis was worried that I'd be mad at her, but all she did was honestly answer DD's questions about what she believes, and I have no problem with that.
When she's in middle school, we will do a comparative religion study, and I will take her to the services of as many different religions, churches, etc., as I can, as part of that. After that, once we've had a chance to discuss religion and she's begun to gain her own understanding and form her own beliefs (rather than parroting what she's taught), it will be different.
breastfeeding, babywearing, homeschooling Heathen parent to my little Wanderer, 7 1/2 , and baby Elf-stone, 3/11!
My gut reaction is that if my child is interested, I'd let them. No one wants to be the mom refusing their child a diversity of experiences, right? However, thinking back to the kids I knew when I was younger who totally earnestly -- just from not really knowing any better -- were approaching me with a persistent "but I don't want you to go to hell" take on discussing their religion ... I honestly don't know. It would have to be case by case.
So I'm not saying no to something my child is interested in learning more about. That would be different. In that case, I'd probably go to that church's website to do some reading, and attend a service myself, and try to talk to the pastor or youth group leader BEFORE letting her go.
And I am all about my kids having a diversity of experiences, but not ones I consider harmful. There are many things that are said in sermons that I consider against my moral beliefs, and I don't want my young, impressionable kids being exposed to that - especially without me there to know what is happening.
When I was a kid, growing up nonreligious, my best friend was Catholic. Her family was pretty devout, so my friend always had to choose whether she wanted to get church over with on Saturday afternoon or if she wanted to wait until Sunday morning. So often on Saturday afternoons she and I would walk to church and I'd sit through the service with her. I always found the experience mildly interesting, but always realized I had NO desire to ever be Catholic.
My kids are growing up Unitarian Universalist, and I'd expect that when confronted with a stricter faith (as almost all are....), they would also feel happy to have such freedom in their religion.
Personally, I would not allow DD to spend Saturday night at someone's house. Friday night to Saturday would be better to avoid the whole mess.
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i do not allow my children to attend church with their friends. they attend with their dad because I have no choice but i feel church s really important I don't want them being given close but contradictory doctrine that would confuse them.
The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it. We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.
I agree that my kids would need critical thinking skills before they were to attend another church or house of worship. They are very much aware of different beliefs. Some of their school and neighborhood friends go to church and we have talked about why they go and why we don't. We are careful not to put any faith down, just to explain that people pray in different ways, they go to xyz church to pray, we stay home and pray or go to the temple.
I also remember going to churches with friends. Sometimes I felt awkward and other times it was fun. Mostly I just felt lost because I didn't know what was going on.
As it turns out the sleepover was cancelled. I decided before that happened not to let her go to this girl's church just because I don't know what church it is and what the environment was like there. I am more open to some churches than others, becuase some don't pressure people like others do.
It would really depend on the religion/denomination. If it was a group that made a point of praying for "unbelievers" and proclaiming its way to be the only way or did a lot of preaching about hellfire and damnation, I'd pass. Otherwise, I wouldn't have a problem with it.
Also - i dont think my worry would be so much with the family she is attending church with, but other people my children may encounter/interact with.
for me a lot depends on the child and personality.
where my dd is concerned i would let her go coz she is v. curious. we also have a fellowship we go to which is a combination of hindu/christian group. my dd has a v. strong sense of who god is to her. to the extent of politely arguing with our fellowship elders. as well as logically exchanging ideas with a jehovah's witness who was kind enough to talk to her.
before she went i would explain to her what to expect - basic outline if i didnt know. i know if anyone says service she wont go as she knows they are boring because at our fellowship she finds it boring. and then i would let her go. mainly coz it would open up dialogue with me and we could explore our faiths more openly.
we've come real close to her going a few times. however they were always canceled at the last minute.
I don't worry too much about the affects of a single church service on my kid, but "vacation bible school" or a faith-based sleep-away camp is another matter.
Afterwards, it would be great fodder for a discussion...I try to allow my kids to have many diverse experiences and to come in contact with many different beliefs and lifestyles.
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