Raising your kid outside the norm? — The Bump
June 2015 Moms

Raising your kid outside the norm?

I've been thinking about this a bit. For those of us who live a little outside the majority - like are vegetarian, or agnostic as two examples - do you plan on raising your kids as such? And how do you plan on explaining it to 1. Your kids or 2. Others?

We are non-religious and don't plan on bringing up our child as religious. (Although we both understand the value of community that church can bring, it's not our thing).

I don't think our families will be shocked but would still love to hear others thoughts - particularly (and this is maybe very philosophical): when should you or shouldn't you pass your beliefs into your kid? Is raising them non-religious the same as raising them vegetarian for example?

Definitely not trying to start some crazy hot-button discussion today but maybe I'm just into some deep thoughts on a Thursday :)

Re: Raising your kid outside the norm?

  • KaLikeAWindKaLikeAWind
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited April 2015
    We are not religious either, and don't plan on introducing religion to our child. I don't plan on encouraging my child away from religion, either, tho. I'm sure my kid will be naturally curious and ask about why other kids go to church, or use certain religious phrases, etc. When we get these inevitable questions, I'll answer them to the best of my ability - something along the lines of some believe in this, others believe this other thing, mommy and daddy believe this. And if they want to know more, then we'll go out and try to learn more. Curiosity and a thirst for knowledge are kinda my thing, so I plan to encourage that in regards to all things, including religion. I just hope that my kids exposure to religion isn't in the form of someone telling them they are going to hell because we don't attend church, or whatever. Tho, in that case, I would consider that a learning point as well... That some people can take religion from the gentle faith it could be and make it hateful
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  • P.s. good thread idea. I wondered a little bit how we would do on this front
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  • My husband and I are not religious but live in a very religious area and my in laws (DHs whole family) attends church weekly. It's just not for us. I know the kids hear about church all the time from friends. For instance, the neighbor boy taught them a song called "Follow the Prophet"...well, my boys sing it as "follow the closet".

    I have celiac too but my kids eat gluten. They have so many other allergies that I hate to deny them things that they can eat. We have had them tested for celiac and they don't have it (at least for know).
    karaelaine1991[Deleted User]BabsTheBunnypoppyL84
  • @lovethatcolosun I am the same way about organic eating. We try to eat mostly real foods and to avoid GMOs although we do eat out more often than I would like. Especially during pregnancy. I'm hoping to find a balance for our son. I don't want him obsessing about food, but I want him to know the importance of healthy eating.
  • @karaelaine1991 that is really neat!
  • We plan to have our boys plan something special to do with a friend, like go bowling or to the movies. I hope to only do a party every couple of years. We usually end up with a family party (dinner) with grandparents and cousins.
    My neighbor recent had a bday party for their 4 year old at Chuck E Cheese. They invited 24 kids thinking only 12 would show up...nope all 24 kids came. It was $12 per kid!
  • klkonwi said:

    @karaelaine1991 my DH and I are a lot like you. We are catholic and practice our faith on a regular basis. But yes I do not force my beliefs on anyone. We will raise our son catholic and he can pick at a point if he wants to be or not.
    On another note...... My weird parenting thing is I will NOT be a pinterest mom when it comes to 1, 2, 3, or even 4th birthdays........ I will do family parties at our home that are personal but I'm not going all out because it's not really For the kid when they are that little.... It's for the parents ego. The kid is too little to have "friends" and impress them. When he gets to be school age we will do what he picks for parties etc.....

    I don't have any specific food preferences for my child as far as gluten goes.... I do worry because like @laurendutch my husband has Eosiniphilic esophagitis...... So I'm praying my kid does not inherit this!!

    I'm just like the two of you, I'm Catholic and go to church regularly and we had our daughter baptized Catholic and my parents gave me the choice if I wanted to remain Catholic or go my own way.  I obviously chose to stay in the religion and we're going to have DS baptized Catholic but we will give both of our kids the option as to if they want to stay in the faith or go their own way.  I am also not a Pinterest mom for birthdays.  DD is 3 and we've had three family parties all with a theme but they were characters that she liked from TV and nothing over the top or crazy expensive.  Some people go nuts on birthdays (especially first ones!) but that just isn't me.
  • That's funny you bring up birthdays, @klkonwi ....I have been thinking a lot about DD's 1st bday on July 2, and with being due June 23 with DD2, I wanted to just skip it!! She's only one, doesn't mean anything to her, etc, but then I thought, man, she's gonna want to see pictures some day and ask "mommy, what was my first bday party?" I didn't want to have to say, "Nothing."
    SO.....she is obsessed with our big, clumsy Doberman, so we're going to have a family/friends cookout a week after her bday with a Doberman cake (oh, Lord, please help me!!). It's what she likes as a less-than-one-year-old, and what DH and I would like to do...hang out with friends and family!
    P.S. Sorry for hijacking this post, a bit off-topic :)
  • And, even more off-topic, I feel like everyone (government, Internet, companies, etc.) knows wayyyy too much....just got an Oriental Trading magazine all about 1st birthdays! Yikes.
  • This is a very sensitive topic for me. I was not exposed to religion early on in life and having a mother who was raised strictly catholic, she felt mostly responsible for not raising us the way she was raised and for several bad life choices I have made. Though I cannot place blame on her, I can't help but wonder what would've been had I known what I know now. Being a Christian is very important to me and my family. DH was raised baptist and we are missionary baptist and are raising our kids to be such. Once they are old enough to investigate, which is actually encouraged in missionary baptistery, they can make their own decisions as to which branch or sect they'd like to follow. I feel I have much catching up to do as far as being knowledgable in answering their questions, if they ever have any, but DH is able to cover my gray areas. The only religious/non religious behavior I'm sure to not tolerate from my children is bible bashing. Or any religious bashing for that matter. It's not only about my beliefs but respect for a person in general. I am naturally curious for knowledge in all religions even if it's not something I believe or follow.
  • @karaelaine1991 that is a really neat idea for birthday parties.
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  • I was raised outside the norm I guess I went to catholic school but never to church. My mother and grandmother are agnostic, I'm a Buddhist. I would hope to teach my child that all religions showcase loving one another, and that to lead a good life to be a good person. My husband was raised christian and is now just nonreligious, and though I wasn't raised religious my mom is obsessed with Christmas. My in laws are incredibly religious and have at times gone way too far with their faith and us joining their faith. Dh and I are planning a very long detailed discussion when they take lo to go over what we are and are not ok with it. While I support all faiths, I don't support the message that one faith is right and everything else is wrong. Nor would I want my kid to feel that they have the right to judge another's faith. So it will be interesting, luckily I live in the most agnostic state in the union. Lol. So most likely the kid will be a meditating, caring, agnostic, christmas lover. If I'm lucky. As far as food, I'm really picky, and I want them to try lots of different stuff not just because I think it's good to try other foods but I think it's part of a cultural experience. Food defines many cultures in different ways and right now I just want to eat all the food.
  • @mellymar I know, right? My parents are smart sometimes ;)
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  • We plan to have our boys plan something special to do with a friend, like go bowling or to the movies. I hope to only do a party every couple of years. We usually end up with a family party (dinner) with grandparents and cousins.
    My neighbor recent had a bday party for their 4 year old at Chuck E Cheese. They invited 24 kids thinking only 12 would show up...nope all 24 kids came. It was $12 per kid!

    This is my nightmare.  Chuck E Cheese grosses me out!  And then having 24 kids running around there that you are quasi responsible for... NOPE!  NOPE!  NOPE!  Ack.
    • Married 6/1/2012
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  • I am very into eating locally sourced, organic and non processed. If people try to give my kid sugar, even at holidays I will be saying no... Sorry grandparents. This is until he is old enough to learn and understand about food and his impacts. Then he can make his own choices. Until then I want his palate to be developed clean and do not want him to get addictions to bad food that was pushed on him when he didn't know better. We can make special treats with honey, he won't be deprived ! Hoping to homeschool which will help but is a whole other topic that could be discussed here
  • Hi ladies, sorry to start the thread and then run off..... I post before work and then on way home so there's always a roughly 9 hour gap! I was really happy to see how this thread evolved and honestly how civil it stayed... I think that says a lot about us and how we will be excellent mommies :)

    We certainly won't be baptizing or raising our kid in the church, mostly because we feel it's disingenuous and actually very unfair to the church to pretend we believe something we don't! But we wouldn't begrudge our child if they decided to join a faith when they were old enough to understand it and make a conscious choice. I was brought up Catholic (my great grandpa was a priest!) and DH has two Lutheran minister grandpas so plenty of exposure to go around.

    Apologies for use of the word norm in my initial post - I struggled for a better word but simply meant making a choice that might put your child in some minority relative to his or her peers. No judgement on it! It seems we all kinda understood what I meant but just making sure I cleared that up.
  • DH and I both were raised in the church, however we felt as though we were forced by our families to believe a certain way. I personally rebelled against this as I got older because I did not feel that I was able to make decisions for myself. Based on our experiences with our churches growing up, neither of us believe in organized religion. We will not be baptizing our son or taking him to church, but when he is older and able to make educated decisions for himself we will support him 100% with whatever he decides regarding organized religion.

    Our families will be against this but this is something DH and I both have a strong opinion on.
  • I live in a city of over a million and a half people. I'm not sure that there is a 'norm' here since it has such a huge diversity. I love that about here. It's a bonus. Like what my children aren't exposed to in our home, they will be in school or in the neighborhood or even in the grocery store.
    On that note, our 'norm' is hugely involved with our church. We attend regularly and are actively involved. My 8 year old attends a Christian school. Food rules involve eating as healthy as possible and treats in moderation. Considering some of the people we have run into, this sometimes seems the out of 'norm'.
    I'm a huge baby wearer and we co-sleep so I suppose that might be something that some people look at us funny for. But to be honest, it's because I am busy, I need my hands free and I like to sleep. I had one kid who wouldn't sleep without us and now that he has a sibling, I am happy to say that they can share a bed now and my husband and I can have ours back. Until this one is born, of course.
  • mindaamindaa
    Long-Lasting Membership 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Photogenic
    Wow, deep discussion week!

    DH and I are Christian,vegetarian, rock climbers... so we're already used to not totally fitting in to either the church crowd or the outdoors crowd :)  As far as how that affects our parenting, I guess we'll just be ourselves and do our best to honestly communicate why we make the choices we do. 

    I'm also happy to see a backlash against the extravagant b-day party! I appreciate that my mom always went out of her way to plan special events, but they were memorable without being over the top and not every year. 

    Oh, and I had a family member make her LO a very nice 1st b-day cake sweetened with applesauce and a yogurt frosting.Thought it was a perfect compromise and hope I can find the recipe next year. :) 
    Me-37, DH-38
    Married in 2006, TTC #1 since Jan 2012

    Baby Boy born June 1, 2015

    He settles her in her home as a happy mother of children, praise the Lord! (Psalms 113:9)
    And the peace of God, which surpasses all understand, will guard your heart and mind in Jesus Christ (Philippians 4:7)

  • edited May 2015
    I never thought that bring a vegetarian makes me outside of the norm. A lot of people have a food they do not eat, because they can't or don t want to. I don't eat meat. I won't prepare meat for my family, but if we're at a restaurant, I'm not going to stop my child rom ordering meat if he or she wants it.
    Coffee Bean Born 6/13/15.
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