I live in TN, where most people believe in magic, fairytales, and superstition. Any kind of group kid activities in some way or another have religion in it. How do I allow my 6 and 14 yr olds participate in social activities with out god being present? Just now I had a friend (christian) and her daughter over for dinner. Their church is a block away so she stayed until it was time to go pray to the invisible. Well my 6 yr old wanted to go (because there isn't a whole lot to do around here), I told my friend that she could go as long as she was not made to pray. Well you can imagine how that conversation went. Anyway, what to do?

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Well...good news, my 6 yr old assured me she did not pray while at church. She did not close her eyes, bow her head, or put her hands up, or say anything (her words). She said they freaked her out. She went for the crayons and flowers! She said she believes in her family and not god. My how I love that little girl!
There are no religious children, only children of religious parents.
Yeah that wasn't my point. I wanted to know how to have my kids included in community activities in a religious community with out them being brainwashed by the crap going on around them. I can't be there 24/7.
HI Suzann!  I am sooo with you on this.  The beliefs people hold in this area are just plain scary.  I held off for a long time telling my children that I didn't believe in god (a good part of that was because it could make life difficult for them around here).  After listening to a friend tell her children that jews, muslims, people in africa, homeless people, etc. were going to burn in hell because they didn't believe in jesus I had a change of heart.  They now know that I do not believe and I discuss this with them whenever they have a question where this arises.  That is all I can say--I am trying to raise freethinkers--when they do go to church activities with friends (yes, they go because there isn't much else around here) they always come home with questions.  'Mom, they said I can't do this or this is bad-why do they say things like that-is it true?'  Then I give them my answers.  I'm sure you are doing a good job--just answer their questions truthfully.  They will be okay.
Stand your ground and make it clear you want your kids to have fun not get preached at. If the press the issue as more of the religious do then kindly state that you are there for your kids take them out of the prayer time then join back when they are done.if they scoff at you then maybe you can go to a near by city or town or post a add and start your own god free group you might be suprised how many people in your sounding area are looking for a alternative to religious activity good luck to you!  -AZel
Good for you.

And on a different matter, while I was admittedly a theist at the time, I was active in all manner of church activities all thru grade school. I was also from a small town in the bible belt where there wasn't a lot to do. I am not recommending it for you, but it did not seem to have had much long term ill effects on me.




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