First off let me say HI! and any advice/links/articles/etc are greatly appreciated and welcome.
I have been a pagan for many years, my husband is not (son of a preacher, but has no ties with that faith) We are all fine and dandy....now we have a child. I want her to grow up knowing my craft, and after a "long" discussion with my husband, he agrees. My problem comes from where do i start? how do i explain everything i know or have learned to a child in terms they can understand? i still have another year or so, but i just want to be prepared. i do plan on taking her to different religious services when shes a bit older so she can decided on what path she wants to follow.
another issue i can foresee is our parents, how to i go about a discussion with them? the one with my husband was pretty much "i want our daughter to learn my faith" "ok, as long as you don't get pushy or force her to do it" I want our parents to respect our wishes and to not try and push their faith on her when she spends time with them. i don't want her confused. this thought wouldn't have crossed my mind till i saw a Facebook post by my mother-in-law saying that her granddaughter was growing up to be a fine christian. If later on when my daughter can make decisions for herself, she want to be christian, awesome or any other faith for that matter.
Sorry for the rambling just trying to get that jumbled mess from my brain to a coherent post... lol
With 2 children of my own, and not raised as pagan myself, this is something I've been doing a lot of contemplation on myself. Here are a couple of the websites I've found
A couple books
I guess let opportunity be your guide - my teaching with my son (now almost 5) really began a little over a year ago when our Rottweiler died :-( I talked to him about where he went and how he would come back - gave him a giggle when I talked to him about how our big boy could come back as something as little as a Chihuahua - and it gave me an opportunity to talk about the Lord and Lady. "But who will feed him if we dont?" Made me so sad! But it was a learning experience (in the end for both of us) but it also helped him feel better.
I also have started teaching my kids about the cycles of the moon - teaching them the names of the moons - what they signal for each cycle (deer moon, strawberry moon, etc.) - and they will tell you all about it if they see you on a full moon night and will sit still long enough for them to tell you about it lol.
At this age (2-5) deity is a little bit hard for them to understand - so I guess I would suggest starting with the things they can see - touch - start off with things like making corn dollies or bread men (if your faith does such things), weave a dream catcher together - so basically - start with the physical and work towards the spiritual as they mature.
I hope this was helpful cause I definitely understand the desire to know the "how to" of it - I'm still figuring it all out myself and will be following this thread lol!
HOW wonderful that you can agree on this and what an adventure......I'd keep it as daily and simple as can be,depending on your path. my Mom told me tales of Scottish Faeries when I was really young,I passed them on to my kids. When you light a candle you could include her/him(?) in a daily ritual customized for a child or include little happy spells in cooking. A small altar pherhaps too in the childs room? Sounds like a wonderful opportunity. I'm sure thyere may be some books to out there on this. There may be a group here on Pagan Parenting too under groups.
I grew up pagan, didn't realize it was odd until I went to school...lol.
My family just lived and I just lived right along with them and learned as I went. Raised my kids the same way. In-laws were a problem at times, but I would explain that is just how gram and papa believed, it ain't wrong, just different than we believe and you can learn from all beliefs and in time decide which things fit for you.
There all grown now and all wonderfully abnormally normal, with kids of their own. Lucky for them 2 out of 3 sets of in-laws believe as we do...lol. So the grandbabies are just living and learning as they grow. Seems natural to me.
I have 2 children, a 10 year old girl and a 3 year old boy. They are named Mia Sri Laksmi and Raven Sage Ganesha (Hindu deities)...so that was a start for me with them. My boy had a natural waterbirth, lotusbirth (no cord cutting- I dried and kept the placenta for magickal reasons for our connection through life) in ritual at home, and wasn't immunized or circumcised. He has never been sick btw, simply breastfed until 20 mos. and still gets pumped milk for antibodies. I have raised them totally alone without their fathers with the exception of a few months at the beginning with my daughter. I take complete control. They have never had meat. I'm sure you can imagine those that ask if I "force this" on them but I simply ask if they force their kids in the opposite direction? My daughter is happy with her life, smart, healthy, best student in school, she reads 2 books a day for fun. So what can they say, really? When she was 3, I was initiated as a medicine priestess and she was around or in ritual often. When she was 8, she read "The Heart of Understanding" (Buddhism) and wrote about it after, and said "I learned, that if you look at something, you can see the whole universe inside it." :) My mom is a medicine woman so she doesn't have issues with it, father passed on as a child, and my sister is a reiki master. My dad's family is LDS. If they want to see them, I require my presence, to prevent them from imposing their religion because they very much will. I just set the boundary, that if anything religious is enforced on them they will not see them. Growing up with trauma, I learned that if my family can't be safe or is detrimental in any way, they can just be cut off, I only allow relationships that have a healthy effect on me and the kids. They dare not cross the boundaries I set. As my children grow, of course their path is their own. I have taught them that they can pick which beliefs they would like to explore for themselves. It's about what makes us happy. I consider myself a lot like Christ actually (more so than the modern churches that warp and disrespect who he was in the most perverted way) and tell that to any "Christians" who have issues with my path. I consider him an ascended master like Buddha. I am very eclectic because I embrace wisdom period. So I did not raise them to shut out, but to be inclusive of what works for their own path. As far as how to start, or what to do, we have to listen to our instincts as parents and do the best we can, and this will lead us in the right direction. Only you can really answer this. In fact, my biggest mistake was letting others impose themselves in the past, on any level, for my own path and theirs. I am glad I learned that so I no longer allow it. Children learn by what they are around, languages, behaviors, etc. So there is no need to try too hard, just be yourself. For ex., I talk about energy, so she understood it naturally growing up, as a child would with anything else they are around. I didn't have to explain it in a complicated way. As their awareness evolves, so does their understanding of such. I never told them the spirits they played with were "imaginary" never told them fairies weren't real, ghosts weren't real, etc. I raised them in a way that would help keep them close to spirit, as we all are at first until we are taught disconnection. I can only share my own experience if this helps at all. It hasn't always been easy, but my own fears and anxieties were the biggest problem. To battle this, I learned to work with law of attraction, like when I was worried about putting Mia in school, and ended up drawing an elementary school that is open and accepting for Utah, and the teacher she had for first grade worships the goddess, and attended a Yule ritual with us. I take them to a homeopathic health practitioner who is more accurate than most doctors and actually heals causes, not just treats symptoms. I take them to doctors if necessary, but it is rare because they are so healthy. I also have a strong background in psychology, social work, early childhood education and development, and worked with children for years before having my own, so even though my path and choices might be questioned, I am well prepared. We as parents just have to trust that we can handle it if it gets hard because of outside influences. If you listen to your maternal instinct, even if there are mistakes, you can't go wrong overall. Congratulations on your baby and best of luck! )O(
oooh oooh ooh *raises hand* I have written a book for pagan children explaining some things. The first book is some of the basics. The second that is being worked on is about yule and told in a fairytale fashion. The link is on my page.
AHA.....there you go!! Excellent!
there are tunes of pagan children story books and activity books that you can read her, you can meditate with her, take her on nature hikes and tell her you are out to experience the presents of the nature spirits. Tell your mother and your father and your inlays that she is your child and you are going to do what you think is best for her which is teaching her your faith first, then others later.
My husband isn't any type of faith but he agreed to let me raise my daughter in my faith, and he has helped explain some pagan holidays to his family.
Making the holidays more kid friendly helps a lot to explain the changing of the season and why we celebrate them.
ALL great ideas!!
Have you checked out your local Unitarian Universalist Church? They often have a good Children's Religious Ed program that is very compatible with Paganism and the members are usually pretty nice. You could also start a CUUPS chapter (UU Pagans) which is a national organization and kid friendly. An added plus: Their participation will look pretty mainstream and nosy neighbors won't even blink.
I would recommend letting her/him decide if the interest is there for them. Not teaching it to them right away, but letting them find their own interests.
Anthony, I know what you mean about not forcing religion down a kid's throat, but still a Pagan religious education for kids usually includes ecology, ethics, tolerance, world religions and other things that can really anchor the child to some pretty good stuff. The Deity part can be optional depending on interest, age, and whether the child can use discretion in front of non Pagans. There are advantages to our type of religious training that just teaches a child to be a responsible and kind human being even if s/he is destined to be an atheist.
You underestimate a child's imagination and curiosity. They would find things on their own.