Parenting Little Heathens


Parenting Little Heathens

Atheists don't have a lot of parenting resources that speak directly to them. Come chat about all things parenting here.

Members: 975
Latest Activity: Sep 18

Welcome to Parenting Little Heathens

Hi moms and dads. Welcome to the parenting without religion group here at A|N. Please feel free to post an introduction, tell us about yourself or if you'd rather not, just jump right into any discussion.

Before you get started I would like you to be familiar with our Posting Rules and Guidelines. This will help clarify what this group is and what topics are appropriate or inappropriate.

Also, you might be interested in our list of atheist related parenting resources list. This is a work in progress, if you've found something you think is a good fit please post a reply and I'll see about adding it.

If at any time you would like to contact me, the easiest way is to send a private message through my page. However, in order to send any member a PM you must first be their friend.

Thank you for joining the group, I hope you enjoy being here.

-Dawn K

Discussion Forum

Kids as video game addicts

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by James Sep 4. 4 Replies

…your kid’s brain on Minecraft looks like a brain on drugs.…Continue

Tags: video game addiction

Brain injuries during youth sports can predispose for homelessness

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Jun 8. 3 Replies

A traumatic brain injury sustained in childhood or early teenage years could predispose someone to homelessness as an adult.Dr. Topolovec-Vranic looked at data on 111 homeless men aged 27 to 81 years…Continue

Tags: homeless, childhood brain injury

Kids Eat Less, Still Gain Weight

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Loren Miller Apr 28. 1 Reply

Here's Why Kids Are Still Getting More ObeseIf your kids are overweight,…Continue

Tags: causes, childhood obesity

Pollution kills more than a quarter of babes under five

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Mar 18. 0 Replies

More than a quarter of all children who die before five are killed by pollution!... deaths that year could be attributed to toxic environments. The causes ranged from air, water, and soil…Continue

Tags: child mortality, pollution

How to soothe crying baby

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joan Denoo Feb 1. 2 Replies

Pediatrician Dr. Robert Hamilton shares a secret of the trade in how to calm a crying baby.Continue

Tags: to stop a crying babe

Encourage adequate sleep if child is obese

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Nov 6, 2015. 0 Replies

Meta-analysis finds that children who sleep more are much less likely to be obese. For every additional hour of sleep, the risk of obesity was reduced by 21%.…Continue

Tags: childhood obesity, poor sleep habits

Belgian river polio contamination

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Sep 24, 2015. 0 Replies

If you're in Belgium, take note. Forty five liters of live concentrated polio virus was dumped into the the Lasne and Dyle rivers on September 2nd.…Continue

Tags: GlaxoSmithKline, polio threat

Food supply to collapse by 2040

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Concerned parent Jul 24, 2015. 2 Replies

New Research…Continue

Tags: stop TPP, mass starvation by 2040

Omega-3 nutrition tied to social/emotional improvements

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner May 15, 2015. 0 Replies

Extra Omega-3s for young children significantly reduced depression and antisocial behavior, and even criminal behavior years later. I'd read a British study in which Omega-3 supplements improved the…Continue

Tags: child depression, child aggression, Omega-3 fatty acid

Live tweets from an abstinence-based "sex ed" class

Started by Grinning Cat Apr 17, 2015. 0 Replies

(OK, for not-so-little heathens...) Funny and horrifying -- Alice Dreger, a professor of medical humanities and bioethics, live-tweeted sitting in on her son's abstinence-based "sex education" class,…Continue

Tags: sex ed, abstinence-only, abstinence-based, awesome parents, sex education

Second hand smoke linked to ADHD

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Apr 3, 2015. 0 Replies

Childhood ADHD linked to secondhand smokingChildren exposed to tobacco…Continue

Tags: ADHD, second hand smoke

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Parenting Little Heathens to add comments!

Comment by Annie Thomas on July 7, 2011 at 5:30pm

No, my apologies.  I just reread what I wrote and it sounded more confrontational in black and white than it did in my head. I just meant maybe you had a good anecdote to share. 


I too find it exciting that some of our kids are in a climate where it is safe to be who they are.  I just worry about a potential witch hunt on my daughter some day... hopefully she is in a progressive enough school that it will never be an issue.

Comment by Michelle on July 7, 2011 at 4:25pm
I'm sorry, Annie, I didn't mean anything wrong by it.  It's just not what I  expected.  It seems that atheism is becoming more common so instead of being worried about our kids being sucked into religion they seem to be feeling more able to change minds.  That never seemed to happen when I was in Jr. high and that was only 25 years ago.
Comment by Annie Thomas on July 5, 2011 at 9:44pm



It was helpful, though I'm not sure I get why your first response was to laugh.   It's funny, my daughter had an incident on the 1st grade playground, where a bunch of Christian children surrounded her and said, "Oh, yeah?  If there's no god, who made the trees/beach/lakes/etc.??  She noticed them as being nutty right then.  I don't mind what she's doing... she's just talking with friends.  My question stemmed from an anticipation of the backlash this might cause once parents get word.  Her current school seems to have a pretty big atheist population (the kids actually use the pledge as a way to find out who thinks as they do, and they've connected).  My husband and I have both been atheists since we were old enough to think for ourselves, but we always remained quiet about it.  I hope to make it easier for my very vocal daughter to navigate through a world of believers.


Comment by Michelle on July 5, 2011 at 9:06pm


I have to be honest, my first reaction was to laugh.  My son [8] has started telling people he's and atheist too and the pledge had a bit to do with his outing.  Upon further discussion I found that the reason he doesn't like the Christians is that the ones with which he has to contend go around telling him and others they are going to hell.  Good luck converting him now guys! That is why he tells them, I don't believe in that, I'm an Atheist. 

Kids will naturally talk about theses things and you can bet they are "proselytizing" to some extent to your daughter too, she just seems to have the better argument. 

For our personal rules we allow it provided it is among peers and no adults are involved.  I'm not sure if that was helpful. :/

Comment by Annie Thomas on July 5, 2011 at 6:07pm

Hi Vitomama-


My daughter is 12, and she declared herself an atheist at age 5 (of course, she didn't use that term, but simply said there is no proof of any gods).  She's pretty firm on where she stands. She was a born skeptic, and has been raised as such.


The problem (which may be too strong of a term really) is that she is now encouraging her friends to question their belief systems.  Two have deconverted, another has stated that she is Christian and doesn't want to talk about it.  She and I talked about how she must respect her friend's beliefs (and we also talked about not being too pushy).


As I wrote to John, I think middle school is a very natural time for children to question the culture they were raised in, but I wonder if anyone else has had issues where their child was trying to deconvert others.  There have been no problems for other parents, but I know that I would be a little angry if say, one of my daughter's friends was proselytizing in the cafeteria.  She says it just comes up in discussions, especially when one another child hears her omit the "under god" portion of the pledge at school.


I appreciate your response, and I too look forward to more discussions. 

Comment by Vitomama on July 1, 2011 at 4:52pm
Hey Annie! We have a 7 year old boy who constantly questions his friends' statements about church/god. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said "the religion they were born into". It certainly shouldn't be that way. We have to constantly remind Vito that he's far too young to make decisions like that. We're anti-theist, but he has a lot to learn before he can even understand those concepts. When we ask him why he doesn't believe in god, he always says "Because YOU don't". We tell him that's not good enough. That really is the problem. Children just take on what their parents believe. We do, however, give him various reasons why WE don't believe in god. We're very science-oriented. We always talk about the solar system, the element table, the science of dating objects, atoms, the awesome reality of infinity, etc. But, yes, most of his friends have been "born into" some form of christianity. We have had to be "that parent" a couple of times concerning issues at his school (once in Oklahoma and once here in Connecticut - [it was a good relocation]), but they were resolved favorably. I don't know how old your daughter is, but as for Vito and his friends, they usually end up moving on to a sword fight or some other activity without my having to step in. I look forward to more conversations with you and others here. It really is a tricky business trying to make sure we don't indoctrinate the way others do. All we want for Vito is to have knowledge and self-esteem - the rest will follow. Cheers!
Comment by Annie Thomas on June 13, 2011 at 4:42pm
Thanks, John.  Luckily, we live in a nice little pocket of reason within the state (university town).  I think she is just at that age where many children start to question the religion they were born into, and so it makes sense that her friends might be doing that.  She seems to be talking with a lot of friends about it, and she's always been open about her lack of beliefs.  Just wondering if any other parents have experienced this.
Comment by Annie Thomas on June 13, 2011 at 10:50am


Hi Everyone!  My name is Annie and I just joined this lovely site.  I am the mother of an amazing 12 year old daughter.  We have this raising an atheist thing down pretty well, but a recent issue we're dealing with is that my daughter is starting to deconvert her friends.  No nasty phone calls from other parents yet, but I wonder if any of you have dealt with this.  I simply tell her to be respectful of other people's opinions and the family culture in which they live. 

I look forward to getting to know you, and participating in this community.

Comment by AgeOfAtheists14 on May 20, 2011 at 7:00am
Comment by Dawn K on May 18, 2011 at 8:17am

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