How to Teach Your Children About Religion

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Sharing your culture, values, and beliefs with your children is one of the most rewarding things about being a parent. When it comes to religion, however, things can get complicated. Some parents foster a religious or spiritual atmosphere at home and are keen on raising children with their religion. Other parents, who are not religious themselves, ignore the topic entirely. 

Children are curious, so no matter your approach towards religion, your children will discover things by themselves. Teaching them about religion yourself is an excellent way to ensure they get correct information. In this article, you will discover the best ways to teach your children about religion if they are at an age when they start asking questions. 

Give Them Plenty of Information 

Children can be very inquisitorial. No matter what you choose to tell them about religion, have your facts straight. Do you want your children to be familiar with all the aspects of your particular religion? Do you want them to have a good understanding of religion as a concept and know about various religions in the world?  

Letting facts support your teachings is the best way to educate your children on religion. The more information they have, the easier it will be for them to trust their religious instinct. So, share as much information as possible or guide your children towards primary sources. 

Before starting a conversation about religion, consider checking reputable sources to verify and update your information. For example, is there evidence of the book of Mormon? Make sure to gather facts before discussing a religion, faith, or doctrine with your children. They will certainly have many questions to ask you. You need to be confident that the answers you give them are accurate. 

Expose Your Children to Various Religions and Belief Systems 

Most parents choose to school their children in one particular belief system or religion, meaning their own. Even if you strongly want your children to share your belief, consider exposing them to various other religious traditions and creeds. 

Introducing your children to multiple religions will help them develop a good religious education and learn discernment. Being aware of the cultural and historical frameworks that gave rise to different religions is vital for a proper understanding of the world. 

Today’s children are growing up in a globalized, highly-connected world where they are most likely to interact regularly with people of different faiths. Knowing about the world’s religions will help them develop tolerance and compassion. Moreover, they will be less likely to question their faith when meeting practitioners of other religious or spiritual practices. 

Talk to your children about historical events that have shaped religions and traditions. Discuss customs, holidays, and rituals. What is Diwali? Why do some families not celebrate Christmas?  How to recognize religious clothing? Why are places of worship different from each other? All these details will help your children get a good understanding of the diversity of religious traditions. With proper guidance, they will never feel lost in the face of this complexity.  

Emphasize the Importance of Religious Practice 

Especially at younger ages, children can have difficulties grasping abstract concepts and theories regarding God, divinity, morality, and other terms that dominate the religious discourse. If you want your children to relate to a particular religion at an intuitive, emotional level, teach them about it through actions.  

The first tip is to lead by example. Start your morning together with a prayer. Read from the holy books together. Take the children to worship places regularly and explain the rituals they’re participating in. 

These simple actions will help them understand that religion is not an abstract idea but rather something that can permeate our entire lives. 

Another fun and practical way to teach your children about religion is to celebrate major religious and cultural holidays in the family. On each holiday, discuss the basic symbolism of the day.

Avoid Negative Stereotypes 

Religious beliefs and attitudes are disparaged in modern society, especially in media. As you teach your children about religion, it can be challenging to explain why religion can be such a controversial topic. Why do discussions about religion in the media trigger belittlement, disagreements, and hatred? 

Avoid portraying any religion, culture, or creed negatively. Ensure your children do not have access to media that reinforces negative stereotypes about a particular religion or religion in general.  Growing up with a wrong impression about certain religions, cultures, or creeds will affect their ability to relate to people with different backgrounds. 

Talk About the Core Values of Religion

Regardless of their religious or spiritual affiliation, parents want their children to grow into well-rounded, kind, and tolerant people. Religious practice can help a lot in this regard. 

As you introduce your children to religion and help them nurture their spiritual side, the most important lesson you should teach them is that all religions and systems of belief share the same core values: selflessness, tolerance, empathy, and discipline. 

As a parent, making sure your children stand by these core values is a lot more important than telling them what system of belief to follow. Besides the different symbols, rituals, clothing, and holidays, the goal of all religions is to help us become better people. This principle is the most important thing you can teach your children. 

Lastly: Avoid Pressure 

When trying to bring their children closer to God, many parents achieve the opposite. The explanation is simple: they put a lot of pressure on the children to adopt a certain belief or respect certain practices that the children don’t understand. This approach backfires. Moreover, children can feel a lot of anxiety over difficult words like good and evil, God, sin, hell, redemption, punishment, and others. 

Teach your children about the joy and peace that faith brings to help them develop a positive idea about religion. Do not pressure them to adopt a specific belief.  Avoid negative connotations and loaded concepts that they may interpret negatively.  

Teaching your children about religion can be a challenging task. Use the tips above for guidance, and you’ll notice a favorable response in the family. 

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