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Non-Fluffy Pagan Parents
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Subject:pagan household and children
Time:03:23 pm
t seems that sometimes, raising a child within any religious setting is seen as indoctrination. I don't believe that. Being a religious, spiritual person around them, being true to myself, is not harming them in any way. It is good for children to see a life lived within a set of morals, guidelines and beliefs. It gives them an example to work from, so they will be able to discern the difference between a spiritually stable and unstable foundation.

In the long run, what religion they choose, if any, will be based upon a firm understanding of the need for skepticism, observation of any manmade religious structure. THAT is the best gift you can give your child; the ability to ask a question.

So don't be afraid to be Wiccan, or pagan, or whatever in front of your child. You're not brainwashing them against their will.
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Subject:But I'm not ready!
Time:01:14 pm
Okay, I realize this is not a Pagan parenting issue per se, but I will take all the advice I can get.

My daughter, who is 18 months old *today* seems ready to start wanting to try the potty. We've been reading her books about it for months, and I try to "set a good example."

Suddenly, this week she is interested in yanking off her diaper and peeing "outside" like the beagle I'm currently housetraining. (okay, she didn't quite make it, but the laundry room *is* right next to the back door). Her favorite word is "outside" and she seems to have figured out the connection between peeing and being "outside."

The diaper also disappeared some time in the middle of the night last night...

Now I can basically housebreak a dog in a week or less, especially one as food-motivated as a beagle.

But this is a person. Where do I start? I actually had a mother at work suggest I start with a kiddie potty outside (our yard is walled and our neighbors aren't particulary nosy).
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Current Music:A Perfect Circle
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Subject:Fighting Stereotypes within our own community
Time:02:03 pm
Current Mood:curiouscurious
I have recently been reading communities about pagan parenting and alternative parenting and find one commonality to be very disturbing.

As pagans, I would like to think that most of us are intelligent and have open minds. Am I being naive?

I have found that there are many people who accept stereotype as 'normal' or who dont even think twice about it. Is this because people dont look or is it because people are not trained to look for it? Is it laziness and apathy? Reading stories to children about Witches riding around on broomsticks, wearing pointed black hats and casting spells on evil-doers is promoting a stereotype image of a Witch that, personally, I do not want to encourage. If this were an image of a Native American wearing nothing but a deerskin tunic and a feather headdress, there would be outrage at the lack of cultural sensitivity and promotion of ethnic stereotype.

Based in the same concept, seems to be the opinion that we should expose our children to all religions, faiths and cultures...all except Christianity. Are we afraid, as pagans and witches, that our children will be 'turned'? Are we so intolerant that we would disallow our children to learn about Christianity because thats the 'bad' religion? Or is our own faith so slight that we cannot hold our own?

Maybe it is because I was never really 'in the broom closet' so I cant really relate to people's fear of being found out. I just wonder about the compromises we make and what they teach our kids. To me, it seems we are teaching them that it is something to be kept hidden, or to be ashamed of. It is beyond me how a family can claim to be pagan and still celebrate Christmas because they dont want their children to know they're pagan. Is it just me or does this not make sense??
Maybe I am completely wrong and have misinterpreted it, but it seems that we are not really teaching our kids anything when we hide, promote or encourage stereotypes, and live contrary to our beliefs. Its that whole "do what I say, not what I do" Makes me wonder if some people really believe, or is it just the cool thing to be...

or...maybe Im confused just cuz Im Canadian ;)

Sirene
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Subject:holy days and children
Time:09:05 am
MySpace comment:

Merry meet everyone! I am thinking about starting a family with my husband and was wondering how I'd bring up my child in a familiy with diverse beliefs. On my side of the family, they are strict catholics, on my husbands side, you have methodist. I dont want to force my beliefs onto the child, but I definately want to introduce them, without confusing him or her. For example, how would I combine wiccan holidays which are important to me to non pagan holidays. Celebrating Ostara and Easter might be fun for them, but would they understand why both are being celebrated. Another example, when your child realizes that you are a witch/wiccan, how would they even begin to explain it to their friends without getting criticized?

My response:

As the mother of a 23-yr-old and 10-yr-old, from my own experience, it's best to just let each person be who they are, and allow the children to observe. Feel NO need to "combine" holidays; they are separate unto themselves and should be observed as such. Otherwise, you just give them a hodge-podge which dilutes the spiritual impact of each.

Give them practical information about Wicca, but allow them to participate in Christian events if you are sure the relatives will respect your rule of "don't speak badly about their parents' faith" in relation to it. If the relatives don't respect that, they cannot share their faith with the children, period. Make certain the children understand that it's not Christianity, but the individuals, that you have issue with. Respect is a two-way street, and that's what your children will emulate.
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Subject:Other than bitch-slapping...
Time:08:47 am
As I've mentioned before, my daughter is 16 months old.

She sucks her thumb.

It doesn't bother us (thumbs are easy to clean, never get lost and never need to be replaced). It doesn't bother her pediatrician -- who says if she gets to the point where thumbsucking interferes with denture fit, THEN there's a problem. Hell, I sucked mine until I was...6? She only does it when she's unsure about something or tired.

My problem is total strangers who see fit to belittle my daughter for sucking her thumb. "What's a big girl like you doing sucking her thumb?" Usually loudly. She's 95 percentile height and already in some 3T's, so she is very big for her age.

What's worse are the total strangers who will actually reach out and slap her hand away from her mouth!

Besides bitch-slapping someone, what do I do?
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Subject:New to this parenting thing
Time:10:31 am
Current Mood:curiouscurious
Not new to Paganism, but definitely new to the parenting aspects of it.

Yes, the icon is my daughter, although the pic is out of date, taken 8 months ago.

Anyway, I'm looking for good Pagan parenting sources, for now and for when she's a little older -- websites, print magazines, anything?
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Subject:Spirit Guide vs Imaginary Friend
Time:04:48 pm
My son (who is almost 8) has recently been describing someone to me that he is calling a Spirit Guide. Evidently, said guide follows my car on a skateboard, among other things. How can a parent tell the difference between a Guide and an imaginary friend? My son is a little old to develop an imaginary friend, but he's had a rough time the last couple of years. Does it matter which it is, as long as he feels better having this guide?
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Subject:Legal Smarts for Pagan Parents
Time:11:09 am
In most cases involving government agencies, if a pagan has lost custody of children, there were other major factors involved. It may have been emotional abuse, neglect caused by alcoholism or drugs or very poor living conditions.
Usually, there has had to have been a history of some kind consisting of at least one other complaint. It is very unlikely for a state agency to remove children from a home on the first visit.

Custody fights started by ex-spouses or relatives because of religion are more complicated. But as the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in January, 1992; "Courts have repeatedly held that custody cannot be awarded solely on the basis of the parents' religious affiliations and that to do so violates the First Amendment to the United States Constitution."
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Non-Fluffy Pagan Parents
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