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Children and Religion: From the Teen’s View, Episode 2

by Jacob P. | December 29th, 2010 | Teen Perspective, Teens
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Again, before I begin, I know I am touching on what is one of the hottest and most tender subjects out there. I do not want to insult anyone, I merely want to express my opinions on the subject.

Now, in the last article, I expressed my opinions on religion and what point of view I am coming from on this one. I have no personal problem with religion: be what you want to be, but I personally am not a pious man.

Raising children is hard enough, but the religion factor adds yet another monkey wrench to the system. Let’s say your child has always been brought up in Christian household, and over time, having met a Jewish friend and learning about Judaism, decides he/she wants to be Jewish. Or maybe the child merely decides he/she doesn’t believe in God. What do you do as a parent?

First of all, in my opinion, you should not oppress your child. This will promote rebellious behavior and distance between you and your child. Instead, have the child educate him/herself. They should go to one or two services and learn what joining the religion means. This doesn’t mean the whole family has to, just the child needs to learn. Also, this shouldn’t be for a young child, but rather only a mentally mature adolescent. Make sure it isn’t because of something silly, like the thought that Hanukkah is eight days long, so you get more presents than on Christmas.

Now, many people believe that religion is critical to having healthy, mentally stable children, as said by Fox News: “Kids with religious parents are better behaved and adjusted than other children, according to a new study that is the first to look at the effects of religion on young child development.” At the same time, if a child is old enough to maturely choose not to believe in religion or change religion, how is it unhealthy? The child is making a stable, mature decision, right?

The argument over whether or not children will probably continue on for eternity, but now I have put down my two cents, hopefully helping someone make a major decision.

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