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On the socialization of children

Started by Unkl Dad, June 09, 2010, 08:54:57 PM

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Unkl Dad

So I fucked up and had kids.

I love them dearly and realize that I can't send them back, mercykill them, sell or give them away without serious social, mental and physical freedom incursions so I must do my best to raise them as decent, free-thinking individuals. 

The problems begin with having nothing to substitute for religion and the inclusiveness that religion offers.  Honesty and the uncertainty that it brings does not replace the community and warmth offered by believers and their institutions. 

My ex-wife joined the mormons about a year ago, mostly to get them to pay her rent and utility bills, and agreed that my 10 year-old daughter should have to wait to attend or be baptized into the church.  This has not stopped the missionaries from propogating their ideals in her presence nor their continuing invitations for her to attend services.  Alone, the missionaries would probably not get far, but their children offer friendship and community through the church and at 10, these are strong offerings. 

I have tried to keep my childrens' minds open and have talked with them at length and answered their religious questions as well as I have been able.    I have shown the 10 year-old the South Park episode featuring the mormons and explained that no matter which religion she chooses, if any, she will be in the minority belief and that there are probably as many ways to worship as there are people.  Undetered, she asks week after week to attend the mormon church and week after week I have denied her, telling her that I want her to be able to understand what church is about before I let her go.  This last week I relented to her crying and desire to join her friends and allowed her to go.  She explained that she wanted to go for the fun and friends and I figured that too much resistance from myself might push her to want to join even more.  She attended with her host family, fell asleep during the service (because it was boring) and was sent home early.  Score one for freedom.  I feel that this will not be the end, however, and have tried to get her to talk about the experience to little avail.

The other large problem with raising the kids in a spiritual vacuum is explaining death.  I have given in to the social ideals that surround them and allowed them to believe that the spirits of their loved ones who have passed exist in heaven.  There is too much social support for the idea to fight it, from their peers and everywhere else and trying to introduce the idea that there may be nothing after life seems to depressing for them to relate to at their ages.  Generally, I try to pass on my lack of faith in organizations I find farcical, be they social, religious or political, but I have learned to  live without believing and I'm finding that difficult to pass on.

Insight?

Vene

Allow your kid to go to the damn church. Let them know what you think and why, but don't force your kids to believe what you do. You're a parent, your job is to give unconditional support and be the one place where they can always go for help. That's the problem with teaching people to think for themselves, they won't agree with you on everything.

Dysfunctional Cunt

Personally I have taken my children to services at most of the "majors" for multiple services so they could see how it went.  I've even taken them to a couple of "revival meetings" which can be scary for actual christians, not to mention heathens like me and mine.

My kids don't really care to join any church.  They prefer to sleep in late and have a big breakfast.

As for the community church offers, well they get that from the sports they are all involved in and the various activities they do. 

Mine can go to church anytime they want, I don't care.  Thing is, neither do they!

Telarus

Zenarchist non-answer to the 2nd issue.

Death! It's like the time before you were born, but you get to LOOK FORWARD TO IT!
Telarus, KSC,
.__.  Keeper of the Contradictory Cephalopod, Zenarchist Swordsman,
(0o)  Tender to the Edible Zen Garden, Ratcheting Metallic Sex Doll of The End Times,
/||\   Episkopos of the Amorphous Dreams Cabal

Join the Doll Underground! Experience the Phantasmagorical Safari!

Cramulus

in my opinion, let the kid go to church if she wants to go to church. How can you raise her as a free thinker with an open mind if you're forbidding her from being exposed to certain ideas? I understand that that the church mode of thinking can be very attractive, especially when coupled with friendly social networks, and you want to keep your daughter from becoming another jesus zombie... But she has to be allowed to form her own opinions and conclusions. Discuss the experiences with her, but don't come out against them. Even if she decides she wants to be a for-real member of that society, she'll probably just toss it out when she's a teenager anyway, right?  :p

the danger of religion, if you ask me, is not that you believe in this everliving jewish miracle worker. It's that you accept the church's authority and let them define your morals and values for you. We have to bring up our children in an atmosphere of skeptical curiosity. It's okay to accept their values, but not without examination and contemplation. There's lots of good stuff that the church does, it just comes with a helping of judgement, a cosmic form of operant conditioning.


As for the death thing --

NOBODY knows the answer to the question about what happens after you die.

Religion doesn't have an answer, nor does scientific materialism. Both have some narratives which help "explain" death, but both sides are, at best, conjecturing about what it'll be like (or not like).

If you want to "explain" death to your daughter, I'd lean towards illustrating the lack of certainty. Death can be scary and unknowable, so we've made up these great stories to comfort us -- but they are just stories.

My grandmother's gone, but her spirit is still with me - I knew her well enough that I can imagine what she'd say or do in any given situation. So when you die, you're not gone forever, you live on through your influence of other people's lives. Isn't that a sort of heaven ---or hell?




anyway, welcome aboard, hope I could be of some use  :)

Telarus

#5
Cram, your comment on the death issue (and all the Bucky Fuller in my head from the FAQ thread) reminds me of this quote:

"A pattern has an integrity independent of the medium by virtue of which you have received the information that it exists. Each of the chemical elements is a pattern integrity. Each individual is a pattern integrity. The pattern integrity of the human individual is evolutionary and not static."

Let's pull a Men Back and do some cheesy word replacement:

"Cram's Gram has an integrity independent of the medium by virtue of which you have received the information that Cram's Gram exists. See, each individual is a pattern integrity. The pattern integrity of Cram's Gram is evolutionary and not static (even if she happens to be dead)."  (sorry for the threadjack)
Telarus, KSC,
.__.  Keeper of the Contradictory Cephalopod, Zenarchist Swordsman,
(0o)  Tender to the Edible Zen Garden, Ratcheting Metallic Sex Doll of The End Times,
/||\   Episkopos of the Amorphous Dreams Cabal

Join the Doll Underground! Experience the Phantasmagorical Safari!

-Kel-

i skimmed over this so i might of missed some things said. but...i grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. Still here, love it. My parents at 5 had the death and religion talk with me after some missionaries asked if they could talk to them about me.  My father is agnostic and my mother is an atheist. They told me their view points on religion and their view points on death. It was hard to swallow but I'm glad they did it and they let me go to church.  They told me it was a part of someone's life that a person had to learn on their own. I went to church and didn't like what was taught really and liked staying at home much more. As i got older i studied other religions and my parents answered any question i had open and honestly. I'm glad they did.

I suggest you do the same. I did have Mormon friends and they are the catch in the equation, as kids do ostracize over these things. But I got friends later that love me for me and not some stupid religion.

My mother told me how happy she was the day I started wearing all black and rebelling, "this i can handle, not all that religious stuff."

Your kid will find their own path. Just love them when they do.

:two cents:

Unkl Dad

So each iteration of the pattern would be a derivative of the original pattern yet a unique pattern in its own right. Go it, off to tell the kids.

Thanks for the insight.

I think my principle worry with the kids is tolerating the intolerant and them getting into some situation where I become the enemy.  But we keep close so the chance of that is minimal and I was questioning the catholic church at around the same age.

I'll have to take them to churches, sounds like a plan.

-Kel-

oh and on the death thing my parents said, "we dont know, no one does, but religion is all about theories on what may be"

Adios

So I fucked up and had kids.

I love them dearly and realize that I can't send them back, mercykill them, sell or give them away without serious social, mental and physical freedom incursions so I must do my best to raise them as decent, free-thinking individuals. 


You and I are off to a rocky start.

Telarus

Quote from: Unkl Dad on June 09, 2010, 11:02:39 PM
So each iteration of the pattern would be a derivative of the original pattern yet a unique pattern in its own right. Go it, off to tell the kids.

Thanks for the insight.

I think my principle worry with the kids is tolerating the intolerant and them getting into some situation where I become the enemy.  But we keep close so the chance of that is minimal and I was questioning the catholic church at around the same age.

I'll have to take them to churches, sounds like a plan.

Kinda. Integrity means Oneness, Unity, or "Such-ness". The idea being that the person still has those aspects, "independent of the medium by virtue of which you have received the information that it exists".

Let's clarify that last bit. You receive info that a "a Cramulus" exists, via the medium of the internet. Even if you've never met him flesh-to-flesh, the Pattern of Cramulus has become part of your (personal and partial) experience of the universe. Cramulus will continue to exists as a metaphysical entity long after his physical shell is no longer part of the Cramulus pattern. The pattern has changed(evolved), but it's still Cramulus.
Telarus, KSC,
.__.  Keeper of the Contradictory Cephalopod, Zenarchist Swordsman,
(0o)  Tender to the Edible Zen Garden, Ratcheting Metallic Sex Doll of The End Times,
/||\   Episkopos of the Amorphous Dreams Cabal

Join the Doll Underground! Experience the Phantasmagorical Safari!

Triple Zero

Quote from: Hawk on June 09, 2010, 11:12:57 PM
So I fucked up and had kids.

I love them dearly and realize that I can't send them back, mercykill them, sell or give them away without serious social, mental and physical freedom incursions so I must do my best to raise them as decent, free-thinking individuals. 


You and I are off to a rocky start.

I was gonna say, better make sure they won't ever read you wrote that about them.
Ex-Soviet Bloc Sexual Attack Swede of Tomorrow™
e-prime disclaimer: let it seem fairly unclear I understand the apparent subjectivity of the above statements. maybe.

INFORMATION SO POWERFUL, YOU ACTUALLY NEED LESS.

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

Meh. Sometimes realizing that you bit off a way bigger mouthful than you thought you were getting when you thought it would be a good idea to reproduce is not a bad thing. It's how he handles the rest that matters.
"I'm guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk," Charles Wick said. "It was very complicated."


Mesozoic Mister Nigel

I mean, if I'd known that my third one was going to be a murderous, terrorizing demon-spawn, I might have disposed of the birth control altogether.
"I'm guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk," Charles Wick said. "It was very complicated."


Unkl Dad

Quote from: Hawk on June 09, 2010, 11:12:57 PM
So I fucked up and had kids.

I love them dearly and realize that I can't send them back, mercykill them, sell or give them away without serious social, mental and physical freedom incursions so I must do my best to raise them as decent, free-thinking individuals. 


You and I are off to a rocky start.

When I was younger and smarter I swore I'd never inflict this world on children, sorry if you didn't like the joke.

Quote from: Telarus on June 09, 2010, 11:19:27 PM
Kinda. Integrity means Oneness, Unity, or "Such-ness". The idea being that the person still has those aspects, "independent of the medium by virtue of which you have received the information that it exists".

Let's clarify that last bit. You receive info that a "a Cramulus" exists, via the medium of the internet. Even if you've never met him flesh-to-flesh, the Pattern of Cramulus has become part of your (personal and partial) experience of the universe. Cramulus will continue to exists as a metaphysical entity long after his physical shell is no longer part of the Cramulus pattern. The pattern has changed(evolved), but it's still Cramulus.

OK, but then Cramulus is limited to being an impression and can only exist as long as there is an observer or prior observer of the medium.  I'll spend some time in the FAQ tonight and see if I have anything to offer.