Having a family and raising children is a challenge at the best of times!  One thing I have found to be very interesting and ultra-challenging is attempting to raise my children without the guilt of religion at their heels!  From the day of their births onward I have always sought to give them reason and teach them rational thinking.  Not wanting to instill fear of eternal damnation for sins,  I find it is a lot of fun to teach them personal reasons why they should behave certain ways.  I do think I am up to the challenge, though.  :)

 

Anyone else going through this ultra-challenge?

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You make it sound so simple! :) we do have an honest, caring relationship with each other - all of us in the family. I just have to hope that this is enough, I guess. I worry because, due to how I was raised, I instilled a high sense of self-worth into my daughter. Well now she's 10 and believes she can do anything. But I would like for her to also keep a sense of morality about herself as she becomes a teen, and adult. I am the first generation heathen in my family (LOL) and am doing this job on the fly.
Might I recommend introducing your ten-year old to other's shoes? Perhaps volunteering at a soup kitchen, for example. Teaching the quality of selflessness goes farther than teaching fear in the long run.
You will find many parents on this site as John has said who are going through much the same thing.

I just have to hope that this is enough, I guess. I worry because, due to how I was raised

I myself was raised in an atheistic environment, though possibly not on purpose, my family simply didn't have any use for religion. My sister and I are both life long non-theists and a lot of the credit can be squarely put at my mothers feet.

In fact I think that the greatest gift a parent can give a child is the gift of mental freedom. A life unburdened with the idea that they are in some way flawed and need an imaginary friend to make them feel complete in some way.

If I have one piece of advice, encourage their curiosity about the world and teach them how to think, but not what to think. My mother personally encouraged my curiosity about the world and always prodded me to find out the answers for myself once I was older.

There are several "atheists since birth" on this site who I am sure would be more then happy to share their stories of how they were raised.
no LOL what I meant was, it's so obvious when I think about it. Just - yea, this is the way. :D
I also have an 18-year-old who moved to live with his bio father when he was 13, and I've always told him that he should look at everything and become what makes the most sense to him, whether I believe it or not, and taught him through his youth about the over-laying myth that surrounds any religion. One day during our phone conversation, he announces to me that he'd become a christian. I had to hold it very close to the vest and remind him that I had told him to believe in what he chose. But it broke my heart. All those years of teaching, down the tubes. I hope that as an adult he re-thinks everything.
Yes we are. It is interesting since my husband and I were both raised in religious environments, but we both feel it's well worth the challenge. I love listening to my oldest son work through the various questions that wonder in and out of his mind. Here recently he was pondering *while we were on a walk* how my husband and I had created him and why. He was curious to know if there was a particular material we are made out of like wood or metal. I touched on reproduction a little *he's far to young for the whole spill just yet* and discussed some of our reasons for having children. I love the fact that he gets to know facts, and see the process in which decisions are made, and gets to use his brain. When I was a kid every answered ended in some god response "god did it". My kids actually get to have their thirst for knowledge filled *with real information*. So it can be a challenge *how does one discuss conception with a 1st grader on the spot?* but we wouldn't have it any other way.

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