In the last few years I have transformed from elder, preacher and worship director to atheist, but my children haven't made the transition. They still want to thank god when giving thanks, and like watching the veggie-tales videos we filled their minds with.

How do we open their minds without destroying their capacity to trust us? (The children are 11, 8 and 4.)

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@ Ed Catt:

That is great advice, not only for Stuart, but anyone raising kids today.  Thanks!

I also really think kids can benefit from their parents acknowledging that they are fallible, that maybe they were wrong about something and are reevaluating.  My dad is a minister and he definitely subscribes to the father-is-the-head-of-the-household-therefore-must-spiritually-lord-it-over-his-family idea.  When I was a kid, he would inevitably fail, since he is human.  Never admitting that you're wrong, never admitting that you've thought something through and you've come to a different conclusion isn't healthy.  I think I'd respect my dad a lot more if he had shown me that respect.

I'd say talk to your kids, especially the older ones.  Explain what's happened; how you've changed.  Let them know on no uncertain terms that they have the same freedom to make up their own minds too.  Answer questions with honesty.  And just love them.  Kids are smart; they can always see truth.  I think they will respect you if you are honest and forthcoming and upright. 

Good luck!




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